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In case you haven’t noticed, meal planning is all the rage when it comes to professionals these days. Whether you live alone, with a house full of roommates or in a family home with children, meal planning can be a great way to save money and time and have some delicious dinner on hand. Ready to embrace the trend? Here are some tips to make it easier.

Get all your ingredients in one errand. The purpose of meal planning is not just to keep you on track, nutrition-wise, but to save time and effort. So, if your grocery shopping isn’t organized, it defeats the entire purpose of planning your meals in the first place. The solution? Do a major grocery shop once a week. Make sure you make a comprehensive list of all the ingredients you will need for the upcoming week so you don’t have to worry about last minute grocery runs.

Categorize your meals. When you’re planning your meals for the coming week or month, make things easier for yourself by sticking with a common theme or template for certain days. This gives you one less thing to worry about during the day if you already know its vegan Tuesday or rice bowl Wednesday. You can log this in a notebook or calendar, or on your smartphone for easy access.

Have a mix of health-conscious and indulgent. Another benefit of meal planning is that it reduces the risk of impulse eating, which usually involves food that’s not so nutritious, like that Taco Bell order you crave after a late night at the office. When you’re planning out your meals, make sure you incorporate food you can look forward to, as well as food that nourishes your body. Got some root vegetables that badly need to be eaten up? Plan a hearty soup for Wednesday. Not looking forward to Monday? Plan to make your favourite chicken recipe on that day.