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How to create an emergency meal plan

You likely have some time carved out on the weekends to plan for the coming week -- the grocery list, your upcoming errands, housework, and appointments. No matter how much we plan, though, sometimes an unexpected turn of events can derail our day and throw us off track.

And then sometimes, even with the best intentions, the weekend planning session doesn't work out, and we begin the week without our detailed plan of action. Specifically, when meals aren't planned out for the week ahead, this can lead to a drive-thru-filled week as we grab for quick and easy options when we run out of time.

That's what inspired me to create what I like to call an Emergency Meal Plan.

First, start by making a list of your favorite easy meals. This includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Add it to the list if you like it, and it's simple to throw together. Once you have a list of your favorite meals to draw from, you can begin to plan. Plug in a few meals (let's say Monday and Wednesday) and then a corresponding meal (on Tuesday and Thursday) that can make use of the leftover ingredients.

Second, make a grocery list once you have your meal plan in place. This includes everything you need to make each meal. Be sure to add a few easy grab-and-go snacks, as well. By keeping a pre-made grocery list on hand, you'll be much more likely to run by the store at the beginning of the week. It'll also be much quicker moving throughout the store. And these days, with options like grocery pick up and delivery, it's as simple as submitting an order.