For many of us, getting dinner on the table can be a stressful and time-sucking endeavor.
Cooking is a time-consuming task, and most of us don’t have a lot of time to spend on it these days.
Between having to keep up with our kid’s crazy schedules and practices, keep our home tidy, get work done, and so many other things, gourmet meals just aren’t an option for most families.
Meal planning can save not only your family money but also your time!
If meal planning and cooking dinner are stressing you out, I’m going to show you how you can plan all your weekly meals, stress-free guaranteed.
Gather ALL Your Recipes In One Place
It doesn’t matter what method you choose to organize all of your favorite recipes, but you need to have one place where you can find ALL of your recipes.
If you get all of your ideas from Pinterest, make a board for recipes you’ve tried and liked, and ones you want to try. This way you can quickly scroll through the boards when you’re ready to try them out.
If you use a recipe binder, cookbooks, or a mix of all of these, then you want to have a central location where all of your recipe information is stored.
I recommend keeping a bin or box with all of your meal planning supplies and recipes in one area together.
This will make it easy to get to all of your recipes, and you won’t have to think about where they are.
You can also keep all your recipes in an app, or on a sheet of paper to choose from when meal planning.
Consider Who You Are Shopping For
When you are putting together your meal plan each week, ask your family what they want to see on the menu.
This will help keep everyone motivated to eat in, versus going out, and you’ll be able to plan meals your family wants to eat.
You should also create a list of your family’s favorite meals by person.
This way if they tell you “I don’t know” when you ask, you can refer to this list for ideas.
Group Meals Together
When putting together a meal plan, one of the best places to start is by grouping your meals by a category, cuisine, or theme to keep things interesting.
You might do Breakfast for Dinner on Thursdays, Pizza on Saturdays, Italian on Mondays, and Crockpot Tuesdays.
Following a common theme or schedule will help make it easier to decide what to make each week, without the pressure of coming up with fresh new ideas.
Plan Around What You Already Have
If you don’t already, start keeping an inventory of what you have in your home at any given time.
You can include a printable on your pantry door, fridge door, or in your family’s command center to help you figure out what you have on hand already.
Planning your meals around what you already have in the house is a great way to not only save money but save you a trip to the store!
Plan Around Sales
Not sure what to make? Let the store sales decide for you!
Check your grocery store’s weekly circular to determine what’s on sale that week, and use this as your guide to putting together a meal plan.
Seeing certain food items may give you a new idea to try, and you can be sure you’ll be saving money!
Before I sit down to meal plan, I always check the weekly ad to see if there are any good deals I can use to make my meal plan a little cheaper.
Reuse Old Meal Plans
If you aren’t hanging on to your old meal plans, you need to start!
When you are in a rush or can’t think of something to make, these old meal plans will give you a lifeline!
They have all the items you need to get, and you know they work because you’ve used them before!
Meal planning doesn’t need to be stressful to work.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be on your way to planning a week of meals, stress-free.
YOUR TURN: What’s stopping you from meal planning? Let me know in the comments below!
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