If you are here from my spot on Central Valley Today, welcome!
Food. It is a necessity and we spend so much time figuring out what we are eating, when, making it and that is not mentioning the numerous trips to the grocery store! Well, while eating is a must you can make all the rest just a little easier. I am a big believer in meal planning in all its forms and incarnations. You can just plan to actually have the stuff for 5 meals in your house or you can go the other way and plan every meal in detail for the next month. How you do it is up to you but there are some easy tips to consider that will start you on the right path!
Meal Planning Tips!
-Have a base list of meals your family loves. One night during dinner just sit down with a pad and ask everyone what their top 5 meals are. That is a great start!
-Take stock of what you already have (pantry, frig, freezer). Lets not waste money! Start with what you have and eat all those wonderful things you already bought! We don’t want to put money in the garbage!
-Anchor your week’s meals to the grocery ads. For example chicken breasts and London broil are on sale this week. We will be eating both this week! I also make my meal plan off the ad then make the grocery list.
-Try something new every couple of weeks. Variety is the spice of life! I made a new recipe last week (Gluten Free Spinach Fritters) and they were a hit. They will be on next week’s meal plan because we found an easy keeper!
-Plan meals that remake leftovers. I am making chicken tonight with roast potatoes. The leftovers will be in my gluten mac and cheese that I am making Thursday night. Uses the leftovers but with a little planning is an entirely unique meal.
-Take life and your schedule into account. I have crazy Wednesdays! Dinner can’t be late because we head out to church that evening. So you will notice that is often my crockpot night! This week we are having corned beef.
-It is ok to plan an eat out/order in night! NerdDad and I like our weekends to be pretty easy. So this pas weekend we had corned beef hash on Saturday and then we had the Outback brought in on Sunday. It was no stress or surprise because we usually plan on fast food/ordering in 1 night every weekend.
Meal Planning doesn’t have to be hard at all! It may take a few minutes but it is worth it. I really encourage you to put it down somewhere so you can look at it. You are more committed and frankly I can forget part way through the week;). I do my meal planning on my Cozi and on my website but you can do anything with it. There are also some great free printable planners out there from places like DonnaYoung, Family Fun, and Vertex42. You can even get magnetized meal planning pads for a dollar at Michaels and the Dollar Tree.
Use what makes you feel comfortable and just do it!!! Let me know what works for you and what doesn’t!