When it comes to taking care of my family, one of the most challenging jobs is trying to find a creative solution for dinner each night.
Once I’ve finally come up with a solution, finding the time to cook is a whole other issue.
Our lives are super busy, and we have a lot going on these days, however getting dinner on the table is still a priority in our household.
Here are my tips for meal planning for families.
Set Up A Time To Meal Plan
Meal planning can be a challenging task, especially if you have kids running around the house, a needy husband, and a cat at your feet begging to play.
Having a system in place to get things done saves me so much time!
When I know it’s time to meal plan; I look for a small window of opportunity. My kids are reading or taking their Sunday nap, my husband is watching some kind of sporting event and the kitties are sleeping too.
I sit down with my weekly ads and recipes and quickly jot down my meals for the week.
Get Your Family Involved
If you are meal planning, you need to get your family involved in the process.
Each week, I ask my husband and kids what they would like to eat each week.
Not only is this an easy way to fill your meal plan with meals you know your family will eat, but this can help you determine what you need to make each week as well.
Your family is going to be more likely to eat dinner each night if they feel like they were apart of the plan.
Don’t Jump In Without A Plan
If meal planning has not worked for you in the past, this is probably the reason why.
You can’t just jump headfirst into the meal planning game and expect it to succeed.
You need to make a plan of attack for your meal plan and how to make it work.
When will you shop for groceries? What will you make on busy nights? Are there any nights when you need to make multiple meals for busy schedules?
Keep these questions in mind when creating your meal plan, and think about what your mood is as well.
Are you most productive during the middle of the week? If so, this might be when you want to make your most difficult meals.
Don’t Lose Your Momentum
Whenever you introduce something new into your daily routine, it can be challenging to stick with it.
Just like dieting or any other new habit, it takes some time to make it a habit.
By the end of the second week, you might be less up to meal planning than you were on day one.
For days like this, you need to be prepared and find ways to keep the momentum going.
Reuse meal plans if you need to, or find ways to make it easier if you need to.
The most important thing is that you continue to stick with it.
Don’t Make It Too Difficult
Meal planning is supposed to be a tool to make your life easier, not harder
Remember that if you are struggling with meal planning, it might be that you are making it too hard on yourself.
Keep a list of all your family’s favorite recipes to reference when you’re low on ideas, reuse old meal plans, and plan leftover nights often.
Don’t try to reinvent the wheel each week, and stick with recipes you know you can handle if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Plan For The Unexpected
Babies are born, people go to the hospital, and you don’t feel like cooking.
All of these things are inevitable parts of everyday life, and bumps along the road are going to happen.
Keep freezer meals or meals that can be made with no effort such as frozen pizza on hand.
This will help keep you from eating out and make dinner easier on these crazy nights.
Planning meals for your family doesn’t have to be difficult!
Follow these tips, and you’ll be putting dinners on the table for weeks and even months to come without issue!
If you are looking for a way to make sure your family eats in each night, or that you don’t waste any more food, then you need these meal planning tips!
YOUR TURN: What is one of your easy meals to prepare on a stressful evening? Let me know in the comments below!
More Fun Articles To Read:
Many people are looking to improve their finances this year, but have no idea how on earth to achieve this goal! If you are struggling to get ahead financially, just the idea of getting control of your finances can seem intense. I’m not going to lie to you and tell…read more
How to Coupon - Understanding Coupon "Fine Print" Here’s the situation: The grocery store gives customers a generous $2 off Bread coupon. Sounds easy enough, right? Then the Green Sign next to the bread says 2 for $5 sale…does that mean you have to buy 2...read more