Family Meal Planning: Tips, Tricks, & Lists to Save Time

When you find out you are having a baby, you know your entire life is going to change. From the amount of sleep you get to how long it takes you to get ready to leave the house, nothing will ever be the same. One way you can help yourself keep your sanity is to learn some tips, tricks and lists to plan family meals. Taking the stress out of this aspect of your daily life can save you time and help ensure your and your family get a hot meal every night.

You may want to consider integrating some of these four tips as soon as you find out your due date. Doing so will help you establish a routine that will be easier to manage once baby comes.

Plan your meals – Whether you shop once a week or every other week, take the time to plan out your meals for each day. Your meal plan should include a main entree and side dishes. It’s a good idea to come up with a few ‘extra’ meals in case you find a great sale on meat once you arrive at the store. Be sure to plan at least one ‘easy’ meal each week. Hamburgers or a crock-pot meal are great time savers for nights when you are in a bind.

Build a list – Use your meal plan to create a complete grocery list. Consider creating a separate list for each department, such as dairy, frozen, produce, and meats, in the grocery store. For each meal, fill in all of the needed ingredients, keeping in mind what you already have on hand. Not only will you actually buy everything you need, it will take you far less time to shop. Just make sure you don’t forget it at home.

Freeze meals – Whenever you are making soup, chili, or anything that can be frozen, double the batch and freeze it. Most foods will store for several months in the freezer. On busy days, a home cooked meal can simply be pulled out of the freezer. It’s the convenience of a prepared meal – just one you made yourself. Sloppy joes, meatloaf, meatballs, and more can be frozen.

Cut out the prep work – If you find yourself in a rush when you get home from work, consider cutting down some of the prep time by buying pre-cut veggies and other ingredients. Many grocery stores now offer diced onions, celery, mushrooms, carrots, peppers, and other ingredients. These may cost a bit more than the traditional kind, but can save you hours of work. 

Making a home cooked meal each night can be a big task, but by breaking it down, making lists, and using some tips and tricks, you can do it. There is nothing better for you than a home cooked meal. When was the last time that you created a meal plan?

Isn’t it time you try?


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