Creating a meal plan is easy and can truly change how much money you spend on food each week. Meal planning prevents you from wasting food that you buy during the week and never get around to eating it. Believe it or not, meal planning takes a little time when it is written down in advance. It also saves time and stress during the week. You also may find that a meal planning helps you to eat better and lessens the amount of fast food that you eat each week. Daily life can get really crazy, but cooking is one area that you can control. Meal planning can make the job of feeding your family fun and cost –effective. Below are steps to help you effectively meal plan for the week:
1. Identify some good recipes. You can Google recipes online by simply typing in the word recipe or you can get cook books with great recipes. One site to mention could be: www.recipe.com or the www.foodnetwork.com. This is what I recommend that you do first when you are getting ready to plan your meals for the upcoming week.
2. Write out a plan for the week. What will you be cooking each night including the side dishes? Will you have a leftover night or a dine-out night? At this stage, I also look at the calendar to see what family events or practices and appointments we have going on during that week. This will make a difference in what you will cook each night. This is also the time to determine what your complete meal will consist of for the week. If you don’t know exactly what you want you put the category down. For example if you know that you want Chicken, but you don’t know if it is going to be grilled, sautéed, or fried then just put chicken until you figure out the details.
3. Write your grocery list for the meals you will be cooking for the upcoming week. This will save you so much time and money when you go to the grocery store, because you are ONLY going in to get the specific items on your list. You are not just grocery shopping just to get some overall food for the refrigerator. You are shopping according to your plan for the week. You should also make sure that you clip coupons that match your needs for the food that you plan to purchase. You can get the coupons from online from various coupon printing sites and you can check with your local grocery store for ads or your favorite grocery store will have ads online, and the Sunday newspaper for coupons.
***THIS SHOULD BE COMPLETED RIGHT ON THE PRINTABLE CALENDAR THAT IS ATTACHED. IT IS A PRINTABLE AND CUSTOMIZABLE CALENDAR.
#3. Preparing and freezing meals. This recommendation is for really busy people that don’t have the time to prepare any meals daily. You could take one day a month where you would prepare all of the meals your family will eat for a month, and freeze them. Then you would simply select the meal that you will provide to your family. Put the meat in the oven and dinner is prepared.
4. Post the meal calendar. I recommend posting the calendar on the refrigerator for your family to view. This allows your family to know what will be for dinner each day.
Meal Plan Sample for the Jacobs Household:
Monday: Salmon, baked potatoes, green beans
Tuesday: Spaghetti (homemade), dinner rolls, salad
Wednesday: Meat loaf, brussel sprouts, Mac & cheese
Thursday: leftovers or sandwich
Friday: baked tilapia, baked potatoes, salad, peas
Saturday: Baked chicken wings with BBQ sauce, hot sauce, and plain,
Mashed potatoes, and broccoli
Sunday: Going out to Dinner!
In order for the meal planning to really work you have to do the following:
#5 Be consistent. You have to remember that the only way the meal planning will work is if you actually do the plan consistently. It has to become a new habit that you automatically do as a part of your new routine.
#6. Be Flexible. There will be times that you were planning to have a specific meal and something unexpected comes up. In those instances, you can have soup and sandwich meat on hand and other simple healthy items that can still serve as a meal for the evening.
Please visit www.dailybalancewithkim.tv for information about Daily Balance with Kim Jacobs.