i have to say, this is probably one of the most challenging things to figure out as a household- at least it was for me and a handful of others i’ve chatted with. my husband and i have more recently found a routine that works for us. it’s not perfect by any means, but we’re less stressed and saving money because of it, so i thought i’d share.
1 have grace with yourself. know that the first week (or many weeks) of meal planning won’t be perfect and it probably won’t be easy. there are weeks where too many meals are planned for and food goes bad before you eat it and weeks where not enough meals are planned for, leading to a spontaneous trip to the store in order for dinner to be a success.
2 write down your meals. part of our sunday afternoon planning for the week is meal planning. we sit down together and go through each day at a time, and part of that contains, writing down each lunch/dinner for the week. we use pinterest when we need some inspiration.
3 make enough food to have leftovers for the following day’s lunch. you’ll save time and it’ll be much more convenient for you. we typically only plan for dinners, hoping dinner will have leftovers that we can eat the next day for lunch and maybe even dinner too.
4 order groceries online. some people love walking down the aisles of their grocery store to get their groceries, but what i’ve found is that i spend more unnecessary money on snacks and special drinks when browsing all the aisles nonchalantly. meal planning takes intention. so, i order all our groceries through target’s app and i do the, drive up pick up. this way, i can see all deals available and see my total before i check out. then, i can add or delete items depending on that total.
5 always have some easy/simple meals available just in case. for us, this is rice, beans, broccoli, and chicken. we always have these things on hand for a quick lunch if we didn’t have enough leftovers or a simple dinner in case we didn’t plan accordingly.
6 stick to it. you may get to monday night, look at your meal, and see that you planned for tacos, and of course, you are not in the mood for tacos. in this scenario, we switch tacos with another night of something we had planned for a different day, but we try to not go out and completely scratch the plan- just revise it a little.
7 look at the ingredients you already have and take that into mind while meal planning for the following week. for example, we had a lot of leftover soft taco shells in our fridge. we know these will go bad soon, so we planned to have a meal this week that would use those up so we don’t waste them.
8 when we plan meals, we first plan our weeks. you have to know what your specific week looks like for you and your spouse/household before you can effectively plan the meals needed. each week’s amount of meals will vary since each week’s plans may differ. for example, if you’re going to a friend’s house for a pizza night, you may only need to bring a side dish instead of planning an entire meal for that night.
each family might have their own tips and tricks that work for them, but this is what works for my family. don’t make meal planning seem daunting. it can be as stress free as you want it to be.
Leave a Reply