The summer into fall is such a busy time of year that if you can make meal time easier you can focus on the new school schedule and the sports. Having some prepped snacks, pre-game bagel pizzas, and after game treats make military mom life easier. Are you as resistant as I was? I am telling you to give meal planning a second try!! I did and I am so happy.
I know people who plan out seven days of breakfast, lunch, and dinner with matching shopping lists. They’re incredibly impressive, but honestly, this kind of intensive planning just doesn’t work with my lifestyle. I’m better off running to the grocery store a few times a week and going with the flow rather than doing one big shopping trip over the weekend.
Figure out what works best for you and your family—look at what you spend in a month’s time and try to assess what improvements you can make to your meal plans. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but having just one planned meal a week can make a huge difference.
For example, my meal plan includes three scheduled days with the option to fluctuate on other nights—with either a staple meal, leftovers, or a cheat night out. My husband and I have discovered that we don’t like reheated chicken, so I use leftover baked chicken in chicken salad or just make enough for one meal. Only you can know your own tastes and preferences!
Even if your meal plan isn’t perfect, just having one in place will help you feel like you’re in the driver’s seat. Coming home to a healthy dinner versus defaulting to overpriced, salty fast food will make you feel like a healthier, wealthier, and happier parent.
Share Your Tips!
For additional tips to get your meal planning started, check out my friend Jennifer Reese’s Make the Bread, Buy the Butter. She does a fabulous job outlining what foods are worth making by hand and which are best purchased pre-made—a lifesaver for the working parent!
I’m fairly new to meal planning myself, so please share your favorite recipes and meal planning secrets with the rest of us! I’d love to hear what works best for your families in the comment section of my blog and how you’ve adapted these ideas to meet your own unique needs.
Plated-add my affiliate link – A great service for moms who need extra support with meal planning!