It’s the start of a brand new week , hooray! This also means it’s time to start thinking about this weeks dinners. Before you start to stress about how your going to fit it into your familys hectic schedule, why not consider switching it up this week? Between soccer practice, ballet recitals and possibly unexpected meetings; theres still a way to get in a healthy meal with your family, without compromising time. All it takes is a little planning! Trust me, it will be worth the quality time you get to spend at the table without having to go through the same thing every single day. Read on to learn some tricks of the trade when it comes to meal planning.
Keep a long list of meal ideas
It is super helpful to have an ongoing list of categorized meal ideas to keep in rotation. This could be in the form of index cards or simply a word document that you can keep adding to as you find new recipes. My personal method is to use a word document and split my recipes into categories based on cuisine (i.e. Italian, Asian, etc).
Plan your meals according to which ingredients you need
Not only is it more cost-effective to keep in mind which ingredients are needed when meal planning, it also makes it that much easier on your meal-planning process. For instance, if you are making chicken Fettuccini Alfredo one night, you can use the chicken and noodles for an Asian-style stir fry on another night! Easy peasy.
Make a grocery list
Making a grocery list is a no brainer, but I’ve found that it saves a whole lot of time to make your list in order of section. Consider ordering it based on the location of the section in the grocery store. This may seem excessive, but trust me, it makes it that much more easier on you. Typically I will list my produce first, then my packaged goods, meat and finally dairy is last; since it is almost always in the back corner of the store (product placement technique).
After you’ve finished planning your meals and doing your shopping and you have time, it never hurts to do a little meal prepping. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to prepare every single element of your dinners (although that is ideal), Maybe consider preparing any pasta, rice or other grain and keeping them in Tupperware. If you have any sauces that you need to prepare, making those ahead of time will save you bundles of time, not to mention make cleanup a breeze!
You may be thinking, okay I know this is supposed to save me time and energy but what about all this planning! The key to this is to set aside a time during the weekend and you will certainly be thanking yourself when things start getting busier during the week, trust me!