Meal Planning Tips- For Busy Families!

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Meal Planning Tips

If you are looking to save time and money each week on healthy meals for your family, then Meal Planning is the way to go!

I want all the Meal Planning Tips because it is something I work hard each week to do. It helps our family save money.

The following Meal Planning Tips provide suggestions for meal prepping and planning, while also giving you some ideas for freezer meals to enjoy on the busy days.

The start of Meal Planning is to write down a plan. I have a great post with a FREE Meal Planning Printable HERE!

After you grab that, come back here to read up on some more Meal Planning Tips!

So, this is a rough draft of Meal Planning:

  1. Write down a Plan.
  2. Write out a shopping list.
  3. Do shopping and chopping.
  4. Plan a prep and cook day.
  5. See what works and doesn’t.

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Meal Planning Tips- Shopping List

Get a Variety of Food Storage Containers

To start with, you will need some food storage containers that meet your needs. Do you need large containers with different compartments? Like these. Or would individual different size containers work better for you? Like these. to make the best out of Meal Planning the secret is a little trial and error. You have to figure out what works best for your needs and your family.

Food prepping and planning does require you to put some food items, chopped veggies, and prepared snacks into containers so you can store them in the refrigerator or freezer. Try to get more containers than you think you will need so you can use them for lunches, snacks, prepped ingredients, cooked meals, and leftovers throughout the week.

Set Aside a Day

The key to making meal planning work for your family before you even start is to set aside a day for the prep and cooking. (or just prep. I personally don’t cook any meat ahead of time.) You don’t have to do all the work for the week but just the harder more time consuming tasks. Cook your chicken or other meats to save time during the week or go as simple as just chop and dice your veggies. With time you will find out what works best for you. Also, consider that life gets in the way sometimes. Picking one day, or afternoon, a week will help you get through the week of prep and make sure you don’t overlook anything or become too stressed.

Chop All Your Veggies Beforehand

Meal prepping isn’t always about making entire meals and freezing them, but sometimes just about preparing the ingredients. I like to wash fruits and veggies for snacks and put in baggies for easy grab and go.  You can do this by getting vegetables washed and just chopping, slicing, and dicing them when you have time. Think about what meals they will be used in so you can cut them in the right form. You might have carrots that are used both for a stew and for slices to put in your kid lunches.

Try Main Dishes You Can Use For Multiple Meals

Another great way to save time is to meal plan to create a single main dish that can be used for multiple dishes. For example, if you roast a chicken, you can use it for so many different things. You can make chicken soup, shredded chicken tacos, chicken southwest burrito bowls, chicken fajitas, sandwiches, wraps, and so many other things with just this one ingredient. Roast your chicken, then pull it apart and put the chicken in containers either to be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Having chicken on hand that has already been cooked is very helpful.

Examples of Good Freezer Meals

Now it is time to take a look at freezer meals. Consider the size of your freezer and the meals that your family likes week after week when deciding what meals would be good to freeze. Here are some things that are good to be used as freezer meals:

* Soup and chili (I have a great way to Freeze Soup HERE!)
* Casseroles
* Chicken and veggies
* Lasagna
* Pulled Pork
* Meatballs

When planning out your meals each week, think of freezer meals you can have for dinner, but also save for your freezer too!

Your Crock Pot can be a LIFESAVER.

I really mean it. If you are a Mom then you know all too well how life can be BUSY. My husband is not big on crockpot meals but I have a rule to use it at least 1 time a week to make my life easier. I use this one HERE because it has a timer and goes to warm when cooking time is finished. Also, I buy liners likeTHESE so there is no clean up, other than lifting the liner out of the crock pot and take to the trash. GAME CHANGER for busy moms!

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