Here’s the deal, it took me a LONG time to jump on board the meal planning train. I thought it was dumb and too strict, and I was all, what if I decide I want to whip up a duck confit for dinner at the last minute? But, the sad truth is, I never whip up a duck confit at the last minute. If we get to the last minute, we are having mac and cheese and nuggets for dinner.
And so, my meal planning days began. I started out easy, just planning dinner every night. And then I realized that my girlies and my man still wanted to have food in the house to eat for breakfast and lunch AND snacks too. So, my meal planning expanded. I now plan out 3 meals a day and snacks for everyone in the house.
It is nice to know what you need ahead of time at the grocery store. I plan on Sunday for the week keeping in mind our schedule. I might need to have dinner ready at 4:30 one day, or I might need to bring a picnic to soccer practice or I might only need to get out the bowls for cereal (because cereal is a totally valid dinner choice). But if I plan it all out, then I know I will have everything I need, and I will not be stressing out because I forgot to buy the lettuce.
Making a meal plan helps you save time and money. You might remember to bring your coupons if you know exactly what you need, and buying and cooking in bulk saves money too. For example, if I am making tacos one night, I will cook double the ground beef, and then use the extra meat in Spaghetti Bolognese later in the week. Less kitchen time makes me a happy mom.
After I have my meal plan all done, I can add all of my ingredients to the Our Groceries app on my smart phone and head out to the store. This app is awesome. (Nobody is paying me to say this. The makers of the Our Groceries app do not know I exist.) I never need to remember a list, and it is so easy to check things off once you've bought them. Download it here.
Decide on how often you want to go to the grocery store in a week. Some people go once a week, some twice, some everyday. Whatever works for you. But, as with everything else, I suggest you make a plan for it. Shop every Monday, or Wednesday afternoons, or every Saturday morning. Also, if you will only shop once a week, make sure to buy enough milk and other staples to last through the week. It costs more money and time to have to run out for just one thing everyday. Hopefully, you will have less on your mind, and mealtimes can be like they used to be...
Feel free to download any of these meal plans from the sidebar, and have more fun eating this week!