Meal Planning is a great way to save time, money and reduce the stress of providing a balanced meal for you family! I swear by it and have been making weekly meal plans for years!
MEAL PLANNING 101 : Basic Tips to get you started on your own!
Here are a few basics to get you started
- Review your Family Calendar for the entire week. *Please tell me you are using a Calendar??! If you aren’t yet, I highly recommend getting a calendar on your cell. I use Google Calendar, because it syncs with my google account and my family member’s accounts as well. Sorry, I digress- back to the main idea..* Look at your week as a whole before you make the Menu Plan. Think about things like after school obligations, how much time you have to prep, how many people will be home and needing dinner. Based on a realistic vision of time, decide what you would like to make each day.
- Mix up Proteins– It’s just not healthy, affordable or environmentally conscious to eat red meat 4-5 times a week. There are plenty of alternate forms of protein out there to choose from. In fact, to have a truly wholesome meal, consider the vegetables as being the largest portion on the plate. Whole grains and protein are more like an accompaniment to the vegetables. I realize that may be hard for some picky eaters, but it’s really a fight worth having – it’s their health!
- What do you Need/ What do you have?– Based on the meals you have chosen, write down all the ingredients needed before you go shopping. Make sure you are home to take note of your already available inventory. I often forget how much I have of an ingredient and end up buying multiple unless I’m actually home when making my list and actively looking at what’s already in my cabinets.
- Designate Days for Specific Themes– At first, it may seem very overwhelming to pick out 5 meals every week. I mean, the possibilities are nearly endless! Try narrowing down the choices by coming up with a weekly routine, for example: Monday: Soup/Salad Night , Tuesday – Taco/Mexican Night, Wednesday – Meat/ Chicken/Pork Night, Thursday– Seafood Night, Friday- Pasta/Italian Night. This will make the “googling” for new recipes much more streamlined. Bringing me to my next point
- Blogs are your friend! I get so much inspiration from reading through my trusted fellow bloggers websites. Obviously, I’d love for you to stay here on SaltSugarSpice, but there are just so many great ideas out there, explore them! Use them as a base to create recipes that are tailored to YOUR families likes/dislikes. Cookbooks are great, but they aren’t fluid, they don’t update weekly.
All in all, practice makes perfect. So if you are struggling on a nightly/weekly basis to make dinner for your family. Consider following these tips to help make this second nature for you.
With Salt +Sugar + a pinch of Spice,