It’s challenging to juggle the day-to-day tasks of running a household. As the summer winds down and back to school is here, family schedules are bound to grow even busier. So, between work, school and extra-curricular activities, the best way to keep up is to maintain a structured routine when it comes to the daily grind. One of the most important things you can do to ultimately make your week less crazy, is to plan out meals for the week ahead of time. It’s tough to ensure that you’re providing healthy meals while also factoring in the time constraints during the week. So, all of this is taken into consideration when planning.
Here are some meal planning tips to organize your weekly meals to ensure less stress and even save you money:
- Cut coupons – It’s worth it to look through coupons you have to help make decisions each week. If certain meats/fish or other items are on sale during a specific week, that can help you determine meals while cutting costs.
- Plan your meals – Figure out what obligations or activities you have each night and plan accordingly. Select less time-consuming options such as salads, sandwiches, homemade healthy pizzas, crockpot concoctions, or even breakfast for dinner, on the busier nights.
- Create your grocery list – As you set your weekly menu, jot down the items you will need to purchase at the store. Make sure to include your breakfast, snack, and lunch needs on your list.
- Shop and don’t stray – Typically there will be days and times during the week where the grocery shelves are freshly stocked. This is the best time to shop! Figure out which time works best for you and don’t stray from your list!
- Prepare meals ahead – Take some time during the weekend to go ahead and prep the meals (whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner) ahead of time. This makes it even easier to stick to your menu and avoid chaos at meal time.
- Get some help – If your spouse has some tasty recipes, try swapping off nights so that you are not stuck cooking dinner every night. You can also recruit your little helpers to assist with meal prep as well! They love to be involved and they may be more likely to eat it.
If you stray from meal planning, you are likely to end up eating out more frequently and spending more money! So, in the end, the system is a win-win. We found a site offering some great meal planning templates. Thanks Tip Junkie for sharing these great resources! If you prefer to do everything digital, we also found these ten meal planning apps for you to try.
Are you an avid meal planner? What techniques and strategies do you have to share?