Want to save brain power? Then write out your ingredients list. This is a super important step in meal planning.
I remember the days I would go to the grocery store to pick up the stuff I needed to make an “on the fly” meal. Didn’t have a list. All I had was the ingredients in my head.
Well, all but the hot dog chili sauce.
Yep, I’ve done it. Several times, actually. I have walked in the grocery store with everything in my head that I need to fix hot dogs and would forget that dang chili sauce every time.
When you are meal planning it might be trying to figure out what meals to fix that throws you into a frenzy if you don’t have some ideas written down. But not having the ingredients written down will throw you into a complete fit when you realize you have forgotten something and can’t fix your meal.
Having your ingredients listed out will keep you from even having to think about what goes into a meal. All you will have to do is write down the ingredients you don’t have on hand straight from the list. You talk about saving brain power!
Don’t believe me? Then do it your way. I will be here waiting on you to come back and complete this step.
This is just another one of those little things you may not think about but can be a life saver.
Look at this way. Say you want to fix BLT’s for dinner. Now anyone in their right mind is going to easily remember the bread, bacon, lettuce, and tomato. BUT, what if you like to add onions to your BLT. In our house we have BLOT’s because we like onions on ours. Oh, and let’s not forget about the mayo. You can’t have a BLT or BLOT without mayo!
But guess what, while writing down your list your mother calls, the dog is barking at the cat running around in the front yard, and your son is whining about needing his phone fixed because he dropped it and the screen is cracked.
If you don’t have a list of ingredients for that BLT in front of you what do you think the chances are that you will forget about the onions and mayo?
If your mind is as one track as mine is, then the odds are pretty great.
Do yourself a favor and write down those ingredients. It may seem like a pain in the rear the first time you do it but then it is there for you when you need it.
Get Your Ingredients List on Paper
Start with your first meal on your brainstorm list and either write out the ingredients or print the recipe. Even if the meal is super simple. Even if it is a no-brainer meal. Trust me… Write it out.
If you have a meal that you typically have a certain side with then write that out. For instance, for us we have spaghetti with garlic bread so my ingredients list will look like this.
- Spaghetti sauce
- 1 lb hamburger
- Garlic salt
- Garlic bread
- Shredded cheese
- Parmesan cheese
Now, be honest. If you were writing out your grocery list off the top of your head would you have remembered to check the garlic salt or parmesan cheese? I wouldn’t have.
How about this one. For BLTs or BLOTs. Here is the ingredients list for this.
Without this list I have forgotten the mayo. WHAT!! Forget the mayo! That’s un-American!
If you have a meal written down that needs a recipe well then print the recipe or write it out.
Remember, don’t forget the normal sides that you typically have with a meal.
Next, we are going to take a little inventory stock of what you have in your pantry, fridge, and freezer.
Action Steps to Complete Before You Continue
1. Print recipes or write out if you don’t have a printer.
2. Write out ingredients list for meals that don’t have a recipe.
Want the PDF Version?
The Simple Meal Planning Mini Course has been turned into a free PDF you can download to your computer and even print if you want. This PDF also includes space to complete your assignments and take notes.
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