Meal planning is actually as simple as it sounds! You simply determine what you would like to eat for dinner for a week or two in advance and then you plan your meals around ingredients that are similar in order to have recipes that can be made quicker, easier and are cheaper to prepare. If you want to make life even less stressful, you can make several meals at one time! That way you can freeze or refrigerate them for later.
Interested in meal planning for your family? Here are some tips to get you started:
- Start with what you know. Choose a week or two’s worth of meals that your family already loves and that you are already an expert at making. If you can, try and choose some recipes that can easily be stretched to make two meals, such as a giant pot of chili, a casserole or a large batch of some kind of pasta.
- Get yourself a white erase board or a notebook specifically for writing down your meals for the week. Do this even if they are leftovers or if you plan to eat out. This is where the whole planning thing comes into play. Not only will you be more motivated to follow through with your plan, you will also (hopefully) be able to get your family more involved.
- Make a list of all the ingredients you will need to make the recipes you have planned for and purchase them all during one shopping trip. Once meal planning becomes more of a habit you will be able to plan your meals around what is on sale or what you already have on hand.
- The more meals that you can make out of the same ingredients, the better. For example, you can cut up a bunch of veggies and use them in several different recipes, such as a casserole and stew.
- Ideally, you could make an entire dish and freeze it ahead of time. Of course, you may not always have the time or the space to do so. Think about the little things you can do to make preparing dinner or lunch easier and faster later on. For instance, you could roast an entire chicken and then break the meat apart into bite-sized pieces to be added to pastas, salads or soup.
- Save your menus so you can use them again later. Doing this is sure to save you time if you are attempting to do your meal planning in a pinch and it will come in handy when the meats you used last time go on sale again.
- One of my favorite things about meal planning is how easy it makes it to accomplish your food-related goals. If you are trying to eat healthier or follow a certain kind of diet, meal planning will certainly make things much easier for you. When you have meal ideas ready to go you will be less likely to resort back to your usual less-than-healthy tendencies.
I’ve actually taken meal planning to a whole other level at our house. I am a very busy mom and I work full time from home, so my time is a bit limited. Add to that the fact that I absolutely hate grocery shopping. So, I found an even better way to handle meal planning for my family.
I actually get our groceries delivered every week – right to our door. These groceries are all fresh and come with the recipes to make our meals. Recipes that are absolutely delicious, too, I might add! My family and I have loved everything that they’ve sent us so far and the recipes are so easy to follow, my daughter has taken over the cooking! It’s so easy since the ingredients are all separately packaged and pre-measured. The only thing we have had to have on-hand is olive oil, salt and butter.
Some of the recipes we have had so far are:
Cumin Roasted Cauliflower over Macaroni & Cheese
Ingredients: Cauliflower, Cumin, Macaroni, Mozzarella Cheese, Cheddar Cheese, Parmesan Cheese, Balsamic Vinegar, Arugula, Milk
White Bean Chili
Ingredients: Red Bell Pepper, Jalapeno, Onion, Garlic, Stock Concentrate, Corn, Cumin, Chili Powder, Sour Cream, Cornmeal, Lime
Roasted Portobello Sliders with Sweet Potato Oven Fries
Ingredients: Slider Buns, Portobello Mushrooms, Balsamic Vinegar, Mozzarella Cheese, Mayonnaise, Hot Sauce, Red Onion, Sweet Potato
I chose the Vegetarian option, but they have meat options, too.
If you are interested in this kind of easy meal planning, I have been given the authority to save you $40 off your first box! Try it out and see what you think!
Simply go HERE and set up your account!
Let me know what you think!
~ Carrie A Medford
P.S. ~ Tupperware has a ton of great items to help you make meal planning and preparation quick and easy! Check out our unique and affordable line of kitchen helpers here.