How to Use Instagram to Meal Plan
We all know Instagram is great for gawking at other people's food, but have you ever thought of taking it a step further and using IG to plan your own meals?
I started doing just that about six months ago, and it adds more variety into my cooking and makes meal planning easier and faster. Want to try it out? Here's the method I use.
Follow food accounts! The best way I've found to discover new accounts is to search for tags based on what you like to eat. So those could include #vegetarian, #paleo, #whole30, #comfortfood, #junkfood or whatever it is that you're into. I don't judge. Each of those tags will not only bring up pictures that contain that tag, you'll also see a list of related tags across the top of the search results. You can really go down an IG hole by simply clicking from one to the next. I would recommend carving out a little bit of time to do this if you're serious about meal planning with IG.
Save the photos of foods you want to cook. There's an Insta feature where you can save and then refer back to any photo. Let's say you see something you like. Simply tap the icon that looks like a little banner under the photo on the right side. This will save the post, then when you want to refer back to it, go to your account page and click on the same icon on the right, above your stream of photos. You'll find everything you've saved.
Put together your list and get to work! I use a handy dandy notepad for meal planning. On one side it has the days of the week and on the other it has room for a shopping list. It's also magnetic, so it lives on the fridge, with a pen attached to it and I simply add to the list as I think of things we need. Then once a week, I'll sit down and decide what I want to make for the week and what groceries I need to buy to do so. I might end up mixing it up some, like if I have steak down for Tuesday but I'm really feeling steak Monday, I just swap the meals.
I have a good amount of time on my hands to cook regularly, but if you don't, I would also spend a couple of hours doing some prep work for the meals you plan to cook during the week. Chop onions, make sauces, portion ingredients, etc. On the weeks that I do this, I spend way less time making dinner. If all the ingredients are ready to go, it can be hard to spend more than 30 minutes in the kitchen. Generally speaking, I stick to this plan and it helps me waste less food and eat healthier because there's less temptation to say screw it and get take out.
What do you think? Would this work for you? Tell us in the comments!