I know life is hectic and I also know how we can get in a rut with planning meals for our family. I know we get into a taco rut a lot! I didn’t know there were so many ways to do tacos!! Anyways, I am a very list oriented person so meal planning feels so natural to me and I would love to help anyone who either don’t like to, need some help, or just those who are strapped for time!
There are many reasons to meal plan, here are my top reasons:
- I have an idea of what we will have food wise which cuts down on the oh so famous “We don’t have anything to eat!”
- I am able to plan ahead, so if I find I have extra time during the kids naps I can meal prep so that cooking is much easier and much less time consuming.
- This is my biggest reason. It saves SO much MONEY!!! It is always nice saving where you can! I find I rarely have to go to the store through out the week to pick up food for meals, which cuts down on impulse buys and “I might as well get this since I’m here” buys.
I find that for me and my family it works out best if I only meal plan for a week at a time, I encourage you to find what works best for your family! Some other things that help me are:
- Keeping a list of meal that we like.
- Keeping a list of meals we want to try
- Not stressing about what day we are going to eat what meal. I know for some people keeping a strict meal plan works for them, but it doesn’t work for us! I keep meals that I have for that week on our fridge, that way I can pick the night before which meal will work the best for us the next day.
- Keeping a price list. This one is harder and a bit more time consuming so I don’t worry about it being perfect but it can help you save money if you know what items are cheaper at which store.
- Don’t plan breakfasts and lunch for everyday! I find we end up eating whatever we want for these meals and we often eat the same thing for the week, so it’s just easier not to stress about it!
- When in doubt add cheese!!!
This Picture is just a quick list of meals we like. I lost my original that had over 30 meals! I’m so sad! Now to start over because I have a horrible memory! Anyways don’t be afraid to start out with a small list of meals you and your family like! You can slowly add to it over time! One way to help that is… Another list! If you write down meals you want to try and add one of those a week to your meal plan you will soon have 30+ meals to choose from!
Having something complied with all the meals you like is a huge time saver and helps so that you don’t have to deal with a bunch of “I don’t know” when you ask the family what you want for the week, you can just pick 7 meals and be done! It’s a huge time and sanity saver! Meal planning takes up about 10 minutes now that I have this system set up!
This is what a week looks like in meals for us. I try to have choices for breakfast and lunch, but I don’t stress about having a new one for everyday and it makes it so much easier!
I hope this has been helpful and encouraging. Meal planning doesn’t have to be a stressful long process! It can be a little time consuming to start it out, but as soon as it’s started it saves so much time in the long run! If you have any questions feel free to ask and I will try to answer the best I can!