As a mom, in most cases, you’re the COO of your house. Your responsibilities include everything from balancing the budget to folding clothes. That usually means that at some point in the week, you have to think about what to feed the family and if you’re like me, it’s as painful as emptying the dishwasher or cleaning the bathrooms.
With my days packed tighter than my kids diaper pail, it’s super important for me to become an efficient meal planner and I want to share some of the basics that have helped me get dinner cook time down to 10-15 minutes a night and put a dinner on the table that everyone will eat.
1. Plan the week’s meals prior to making the grocery store run. In my book the best day to do this is Sunday but whatever day you do it, make sure you figure out what’s for dinner before you head to the grocery store. Your wallet will thank you. Link to Printable Meal Planning Sheet
2. Plan not only major meals but snacks as well for the entire family (don’t forget breakfast). To keep from raiding the vending machine later, make sure you think through all your meals, snacks included and don’t forget the kiddos. Having plenty of healthy, ready-to-go snacks will keep them from grabbing something they shouldn’t.
3. Keep a log. This is important if you have picky eaters, knowing what you made last week, what went over well and what didn’t will make meal planning in the following weeks that much easier. it will also keep you from repeating dishes week after week.
4. Create a grocery list. Once you know what you’re making, get your grocery list together. Don’t forget to check the spice rack to make sure you’re not missing anything. Organize your list by areas of the grocery store, that will speed up the time you spend in the store.
5. Prep as much of the week’s food as possible before the week ever begins. One of the things I loved most about traveling weekly is that it took the guess work out of dressing. I had to wear what I had packed. Same thing applies for food, if you plan it and prep it, just the convenience of it will make it more likely that you’ll stick to the plan. Cut Veggies, Marinate meat, freeze extras, split snacks into proper serving sizes and pack lunches. Check out Lindsay’s Sunday Food Prep posts. It’s a great resource for getting you started.
I think a lot of us already know that meal planning comes with big rewards when done right. The week just seems to flow a little better. There’s less stress and more family time in the evenings. So let’s do this…let’s plan.
What are your favorite meal planning tips?
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