10 Simple Meal Planning Tips

Making a weekly meal plan is what keeps our house running smoothly at the witching hour. Knowing what we are having for dinner and having parts of it already prepped helps tremendously with all the stress around this time. From getting homework finished, 3 kids running around (ok one doesn't move but is fussy and wants held), Brian coming home from work, getting ready for our evening activities, etc. Things can be a little nuts. (maybe a lot nuts) 

Yes meal planning can be stressful. There use to be weeks where I wanted to pull my hair out trying to figure out what to make, especially with picky eaters. I have learned that even though at times I hate doing it, it is a task that I need to get done. From making our days run smoother, to saving money, to not eating out every night there are so many benefits to doing so. 

Meal planning is different for every person. Some people meal plan every meal, some people plan elaborate meals every day... I usually only plan out dinner, some nights are quick and simple other nights other nights are crock pot done in the morning, more and more I am using my instant pot and loving it as well. You have to do what works best for you and your family.

Here are 10 steps to help you take the stress of meal planning for your family. 

Choose a block of time. Come up with a time that you can sit down and make your menu. The first few times it may take 30-45 minutes, but will get quicker the more you do it. 

Keep inventory of what you have on hand. We have a running inventory of our main dishes/meats on our fridge. Whenever I make something I cross it off the list. 

Keep it Simple. Every night doesn't have to be an elaborate meal. Simple, easy, and what everyone will eat works the best. Having themed nights are also fun such as Taco Tuesday, Pizza Friday, and Pasta Monday.

Get the family involved. Get everyone's opinions of what they would like for dinner. 

Make your grocery list at the same time you make your menu. 

Be prepared. When you sit down to make your menu and grocery list have your  pen paper,  family calendar/schedule, meat inventory, and grocery ads with you.

Plan a light for leftovers

Look at your meal plan every morning. If you need to pull meat, or throw something in the crock pot. 

Your meal plan isn't set in stone. You can always switch it up if something comes up. Having quick grab and go foods in the freezer help when plans changes or you don't have leftovers. 

List. Have a running list of your favorite meals and recipes that you want to make. I have a folder on my computer with recipes I want to try. When I am in a rut for something new I look there first. Also Pinterest is my best friend when it comes to new recipes.

Meal planning does not have to be stressful. Make it simple. It doesn't have to be elaborate or anything pretty. As long as you can read it that is all that matters.

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  1. Always appreciative of encouragement in this area!

    1. Meal planning isn't the easiest for everyone. It takes dedication and commitment from the whole family

  2. I've been trying to do meal planning for a bit now but I'm not very good at it!

    1. It takes practice. It easiest I have found to stick with a theme nights.


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