Meal planning may seem like a daunting task, but with a little effort it can save you both time and money. By selecting your meals ahead of time you can quickly make a shopping list of the items you know you need. Heading to the store a little more organized will help save you both time and money. Planning your meals for the week ahead will also help to keep you and your family healthy by having a plan and not resorting to quick fixes or takeout for dinner. Planning meals for the week is a great way to get everyone involved and share responsibilities. Find recipes that are suitable for kids to help prep or easy enough that your spouse can start cooking if you are running late one night.
Tips to consider when making your meal plan:
• Plan quick meals, like crockpot meals or homemade pizzas for nights you know can be hectic for your family with after school or work activities.
• Plan to make enough to have leftovers if you like to bring leftovers to work for lunch the next day. Or double the recipe and freeze the leftovers to reheat for dinner next week.
• Consider what is in season when planning recipes.
• Keep your pantry well stocked with basic canned goods, whole wheat pastas, spices, frozen vegetables, olive oil, etc.
• Work with what you have on hand - throw together some canned beans into a quick chili or repurpose your plain grilled chicken into a stir fry, pizza, or quesadilla.
• Keep the recipes simple and doable. Include your family favorites or let someone else plan a meal one night.
• Don’t forget breakfast and lunch! Plan for the week ahead with the staples your family t typically enjoys for breakfast and lunch - cereal, oatmeal, sandwich ingredients, healthy snacks, milk, eggs, etc.
• Plan a theme night - Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, Breakfast for Dinner night.
• Try a meal delivery service like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh.
• Consider downloading an app like Yummly, Pepper Plate, or Evernote to help organize your recipes and grocery lists to help with your meal planning.
Artical Provided by: MetroWest Nutrition