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Meal planning is one of those areas that can really cause stress if it is not under control. We all know what it is like to have the evening hours creep up on us and not have a clue what we are going to fix for dinner. We either end up going out to eat, ordering out, or fixing something quick and easy that is not as good for us (like opening a can and heating it up!).
The good news is that it just takes a little bit of planning ahead of time and you can have this area of your life under control! Not only will your stress level go down, but you will save money, and eat healthier!
Follow these quick steps to get your meal planning under control:
1. Make a meals list! Get a piece of paper out and make a list of your family’s favorite meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Get your kids involved and let them tell you their favorite meals. Write them all down! Now that you have your lists in hand, you are ready to make a menu!
2. Make a menu! You can make your menus a week at a time, two weeks at a time, or a month at a time…whatever works best for you. Grab a blank calendar and choose meals from your meals lists for each day of the week (breakfasts, lunches, and dinners). Keep in mind if you have certain days of the week that are busier than others…plan easier meals for those days. Place your menus in a prominent place such as on the refrigerator so you can see it easily each day. Once you have your menus made up, you are ready to make your grocery list!
3. Make a grocery list! Take a look at the meals you have on your menus, look at the recipes (click here for instructions on making your own recipe book!), then make your grocery list based on what ingredients you need to buy.
4. Go shopping! Once you have your list in hand, go do your shopping! Come home, put your groceries away, resting in the fact that you are well prepared for the coming week.
5. Prepare the meals! Each day you simply need to check in the morning what meals are planned for that day, get any meat out of the freezer, etc. When the time comes to prepare the meals for the day, you will have everything you need!
I know this seems simplistic, but it really isn’t that hard! Follow these easy steps, and you will be well on your way to being organized in this area of your life!
If you need more help, check out my Menu Planning ebook which comes with details instructions and forms to get you started!
Happy meal planning!