Updated: Sep 2, 2019
Do you get tired of trying to figure out what you're going to cook for dinner?
You get home from a long and sometimes frustrating day at work after picking the kids up from the babysitter or after school program. You look in the freezer, refrigerator, and kitchen cabinets to get an idea of what to cook.
The kids keep telling you they are hungry and ask what’s for dinner.
Too tired to figure out what to put together so you order out…again. Then you get frustrated that you keep ordering out because you could have saved that money and cooked a meal at home.
Does all of this sound familiar?
Yup, I know...that use to be me.
How would you like a solution to that problem?
Yup...no more struggling at the last minute to figure out what to cook and feed your family.
It's called meal planning!
I will be honest with you, when I first heard about meal planning I said: “I don’t have time for meal planning".
That was until I started doing it and noticed that I wasn’t spending as much money when I went food shopping and we stopped ordering out because I knew what I was going to cook each night.
With these five steps and a little patience, it is possible and it does work.
1. Download a meal planner printable and grocery list or create your own. Click here to download my meal planner. It starts on Monday because that’s what works for me and my family.
2. What are you going to cook? Think of some recipes that your family enjoys. You can also search google and Pinterest for some ideas. I usually search on Pinterest and save recipes to my Dinner Idea board on Pinterest. During the week I try to keep meal planning simple with quick meals. Something I can put together real quick and put in the oven or crockpot.
3. Try to be creative. Create nightly themes for dinner meals; pasta night, taco night, or seafood night. Some of my favorites are breakfast for dinner, soup and sandwiches and taco night. I try not to make the same dishes twice in a month. If I make spaghetti one week then the next week I might make lasagna. We love Mexican in my house so we will do taco night one week and change it up the next week and have quesadillas or burrito bowls.
4. Make your shopping list and go food shopping. Write down all the ingredients you need to make your meals. You might end up saving money if some of the recipes call for the same ingredients. Don’t forget to clip some coupons so you can save even more money.
5. Write down your meals and hang your meal planner where you and the family can see it. I put my meal planner on the fridge so I don’t have to hear the kids and hubby ask me "what's for dinner".
Here are some more tips for you.
Look for kid-friendly recipes so the kids can get in the kitchen and help. Designate a night for the kids or the hubby to cook. Sometimes I put a free night on my planner. Everyone knows if they see “FFYS” (Fend For Your Self) that means I am not cooking dinner and we are either ordering out or everyone finds something to cook for themselves.
Let me know what you think about meal planning and what ideas you may have.
Heck...share some recipes with me too.