Are you wondering how to start meal planning for your family? I have the best tips for you to follow!
If you are looking to start meal planning for your family, you have come to the right place! I have been meal planning ever since 2005 and cannot imagine not having a plan.
Have you ever looked at the clock at 4 pm and felt panic because you had no clue what to make for dinner? You are not alone. This panic happens to many moms but it does not have to.
Growing up, I watched my mom make a weekly meal plan and then head to the grocery store on a weekly basis. It was ingrained in me to make a plan for our dinners. Now, as a mom of three, I am so grateful for this simple rhythm. Let’s get you started!
How to Start Meal Planning for Your Family
1) Get a meal planner.
It is key to have somewhere for you to write down your meals. Otherwise, it is way too easy to forget what you had planned. I love Erin’s Meal Planner as it gives you space to make a weekly meal plan. Then on the other side of the meal plan is space to write out what you need from the store. You can tear out the grocery list but leave the meal plan in the planner.
This is brilliant because you can leave your meal plan in the planner for reference and you will be able to look back at previous weekly plans to get ideas for recipes!
2) Start with making a weekly plan.
While some people like to do a monthly plan, this can be a little overwhelming at first. I suggest making a weekly meal plan. Decide what day you will do this. I typically make my meal plan on Thursdays and then go grocery shopping on Fridays.
3) Look at your calendar when making a plan.
The key thing for meal planning as a mom is to look at your plans for the week ahead. For example: on our soccer nights, I aim to have simple meals that can be prepped ahead.
4) Look at the sales when making your plan.
Many people are looking for ways to save on groceries. A great way to do this is to shop the sales.
5) Plan for 6-7 dinners a week.
If your budget allows it, you can plan for a night where you will eat out. I typically plan for 7 dinners a week, and then once a month we may have a night where we eat out.
6) Do themed nights for dinners.
Themed nights for dinners take away a lot of the stress. Here are some simple ideas:
7) Have a master grocery list.
Have you ever gone to the grocery store and returned home only to realize you forgot something? This used to happen to me all of the time. One thing that has helped me is to create a Master Grocery List. In this list, I write down all of the basic grocery items we like to keep in the house (snacks, juice, baking supplies, etc). Before I finish my grocery list, I check the Master Grocery List and make sure I am not forgetting anything.
8) Allow room for flexibility.
While I do come up with a plan for our weekly dinners, there is flexibility with them. There are times when I decide to switch up dinners. It still works because I choose one of the meals from my list for the week.
Are you ready to start meal planning for your family?
Meal planning will save you money, and sanity, and help you save time! Check out these freezer dinner ideas for easy dinners to have on hand.