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How to Meal Plan the easy way for beginners.
Hey there Mama!
Instead of just giving in and going through the local drive-thru or ordering pizza three nights a week, why not give meal planning a try?
Here are some things to know about meal planning to help save time, money, and still prepare healthy meals each day for your family. And, I share tips on how I started meal planning!
Meal planning can save time and money. We all know this, but it still doesn’t make it any easier to get it done each week.
In the past, I worked 50 hours a week and my husband worked 40. We only ate one meal a day at home for the most part. I had to rethink my entire thought process on feeding our family when I began to stay home with our children.
I must stick to a budget each month which requires that I meal plan and shop accordingly. Meal Planning is a great way to save money on your grocery bill.
Download this Meal Planning and Grocery List Printable
This meal plan printable I created can be printed and laminated to be used each week. Or simply print out a few at a time. Whatever works for your family.
Subscribe to Simply Happy Mama email list for this free printable!
Step 1- Create & Write out your Meal Plan for the family to see.
I created a list of our family favorite meals and keep it close by when creating our meal plans. It makes it a lot easier to just fill in the days with a list of meals our family loves. Another thing I started was keeping a list of recipes I want to try and when it is meal plan time I just take a look at it. This is the best advice I have used in meal planning.
I love when I write out my meal plan for the family to see. It holds me more accountable and I follow through with each meal I have scheduled a lot better. Especially when I know everyone in the house is expecting for what I have written down.
Check out this tool to post your Meal Plan for everyone to see ->HERE
Step 2- Make out your Shopping List
Always take a quick inventory of your pantry, fridge, and freezer before you shop. It will help save money and not waste any food you have on hand.
Step 3- Shop & Organize your food
After you shop for your food organize it neatly in your fridge with your planned meals in mind. If you have time wash and chop your veggies and fruits. It will save time later and you will be so happy you did this.
HOW I STARTED MEAL PLANNING
1.) I began small. There are people who have the most organized and beautiful plan. That’s awesome! However, I’m sure it wasn’t near that way when they started. It takes time to work out the quirks of each meal and the planning process. Don’t get discouraged that it isn’t perfect at first.
2.) I made a list of our easy go-to meals our family loves. This is important because it will make it easier. With meals, you are familiar preparing it will take less time to get the food to the table. With your list made you can refer to it when filling in each day’s meals. This will help keep things together Recipe Keeper and Vintage design.
3.) I only added a few new recipes in the beginning. I find that sometimes It takes me longer to prepare new meals and it sometimes can be more clean up too. So once your meal planning is “organized and beautiful” experiment all you want with new recipes.
4.) I always study my week and plan accordingly with meals. I have a stash of crock pot freezer meals ready to go for a day with doctor appointments or anything where we will be out of the house most of the day. Or try freezing leftover soup. Read that post Here because it is so easy and great to have a quick go-to meal 🙂
5.) I have a few meals that are “leftovers”. Our dinner each night is the next day’s lunch. If you do not like to do this that’s fine too but to cut down on waste make sure to only cook what will be eaten by your family at each meal. Or have a leftover day. these are great 🙂
6.) I make an organized list to shop. Make your lists for what is needed by looking at recipes so you don’t forget anything. I then go back and categorize items to my grocery store layout. So I then just start at the top of the list and go down. This can be done in so many different techniques. Whatever works best for you.
Remember, it’s ok if things are not perfect. Have fun figuring out what is best for your family and then stick to it. That is how it will start saving you money and time.
This is how to meal plan the easy way around at my home. I hope it gives you some inspiration. 🙂
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