It’s a question our families ask us everyday, and if meal planning is stressing you out here’s a solution! I call it Meal Planning Made Simple – 7 Days, 7 Ways. It’s simply 7 ways to come up with dinner ideas, so you’ll add some variety to your meals and save money.
Did you know that meal planning and making a grocery list are two of the most important steps you can take to save time and money? Those everyday trips to the grocery waste time, gas and money. It may seem like just a quick 30 minute grocery trip, but if you’re doing it everyday…that’s 3 1/2 hours of grocery shopping a week!
Meal Planning Made Simple – 7 days, 7 ways!
- Check Your Calendar – each week before you plan your meals. Don’t try to plan an elaborate meal on a night when everyone is coming and going! How about crock pot dinner night? Try The Budget Diet’s recipes for Crock Pot BBQ or Crock Pot Red Beans & Rice
- Organize Your Recipes – take time to organize your recipes and revisit some old favorites! Maybe you want to make a list of your favorite recipes, so you can refer to it each week when your planning meals! It’s a menu planning cheat sheet!
- Try New Recipes – commit to trying 1 new recipe each week! If you’re a Food Network fan or you’re forever clipping recipes out of magazines…get cooking!
- Make Freezer Meals – get in the habit of doubling and freezing some of your recipes like casseroles and soups. At least once a week, you can look to the freezer for dinner and take a night off from kitchen duty! Freezer meals are especially good on busy nights, and if you’d like to learn more about freezer cooking check out these articles: Freezer Cooking aka Super Mom’s Dirty Little Secret and Season & Freeze Ground Beef
- Look at the Grocery Ads – the Wednesday newspaper is filled with grocery inserts, use these sale ads to spark dinner ideas and save money. If you notice that ground beef is on sale, maybe you should make chili! Try The Budget Diet’s Chili recipe
- Let Your Kids Do the Meal Planning – let each child plan dinner 1 night per week. They’ll love planning a meal with all their favorites! Even better, if they are old enough…check out my plan to let your kids do the cooking!
- Grill It – just because you’re in charge of meal planning, doesn’t mean you have to do all the cooking. Declare Saturday night grilling night, and let your husband do the cooking!
So, the next time you kids ask you what’s for dinner…impress them by pulling out the menu for the week!