We all see those moms. You know, those moms. The ones who seem to have it all together, and get it all done. We wonder, “How do they do it?”
The truth of the matter is if we were better planners, we’d be able to get it all done, too. Moms who “meal plan” spend a little time upfront, and reap many rewards later on, such as more time to relax, less complaining from the kids at suppertime, and more money in their wallets.
5 Simple Steps to Effective Meal Planning:
Have a master list of meals everyone likes. Sit down with your family to list out what everyone’s favorite suppertime meals are. Make it a discussion, so if someone picks something really unhealthy, there can be compromises – like say, for instance, Mom gets a ‘wildcard’ in exchange, a day where she gets to pick and the family promises to eat with no complaints. Make sure everyone leaves the table happy with the final list.
Decide on your preferred medium. Maybe you like smartphone apps (we like MealPlan and Meal Board), or to use your home computer, so you can print out grocery lists, recipes, and weekly menus. Maybe you prefer to kick it old school with a pen and notebook! All these methods are fine, so long as they work for you.
List out the ingredients needed for each meal. A bit of time up front, but will make shopping for it all a breeze in the coming weeks, months.
Pick a day of the week to plan and shop. It should be the same day each week, so it becomes an easy part of your weekly routine. Sit down with your family’s calendar of events, and plan out what meals you’ll be cooking and when, depending on what everyone’s got going on. If you’re a coupon clipper or discount shopper, take this into consideration when planning.
Make a grocery list. Then compare it to what you already have on-hand in the fridge, freezer and pantry and cross things out. Imagine how much time you’ll save, not wandering from aisle to aisle aimlessly – or worse, hungry!
Browsing Pinterest reveals a treasure-trove of meal planning tips, tricks, and helpful printables. When you first start out, be fluid and flexible, until you find the exact meal planning how-to that perfectly suits YOU, and soon, you’ll be one of those moms!
Photo Credits: monkeybusinessimages/Thinkstock, Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock, dolgachov/Thinkstock