It seems like a never-ending cycle, “What’s for dinner?” or “When are you going grocery shopping?”. Maybe it’s your inner voice stressing about what to cook next or if you do know what you want to cook, do you even have the ingredients. It’s a busy world we live in daily, and we have to find ways to calm whatever chaos we can. The good news is meal planning is one of those daily roadblocks we can remove.
I found this solution a while back, and it has remained a staple in my approach to managing our household. When you give yourself some perimeters and break it down it doesn’t seem so overwhelming. You can put together a plan to feed your family and the best news; this can be done easily, no matter what your budget. Let’s face it; there is nothing more budget-unfriendly than walking into the grocery store and winging it!
When you are done, you will know what you are cooking and have the peace of mind that you have what you need to get the job done!
So the only question now is “How?”
- I take a calendar (here’s a pretty calendar with a matching grocery list) and define the time period I want to plan out. I like to plan for one of two approaches:
One week at a time or Two weeks at a time. This depends on how often I want to shop and how busy the coming weeks look.
I don’t suggest planning for more than two weeks at a time. It just gets hard to nail down specifics and what unexpected curveballs life is going to throw at you. I tend to go rogue on plans when they get to binding, so I steer clear of planning too far out! To determine this, you want to think about whether you want to pick all items up at once or shop a couple of times a week (weekend & midweek).
Follow these steps:
- Mark on the calendar anything you have going on during the planning period.
- Pick out any recipes you have that you would like to use.
- Start placing meals on the calendar as they fit your time and schedule until you have filled your designated time period.
- Make a grocery list of all of the ingredients you will need to complete the meals on your plan. Pay close attention to ingredients that may ruin quickly where freshness is a concern. You will want to either cook those meals early on, soon after shopping or perhaps schedule them later in the planning and make additional quick trips to the grocery store. (Click here and grab the calendar and grocery list.)
You did it! You just earned yourself a little more peace amidst the crazy.
- Don’t stop at taming the dinner crazy, plan it all out! If you stay at home or have someone who does, they need lunch too. Follow the same steps to planning out time conscious meals throughout the day. Best of all you have it all arranged out daily on your calendar.
- Save your plans and rotate them.
- Post that baby somewhere everyone can see it, and (in an ideal world 😉 no one will ask you what’s for dinner again! (Hey, a girl can dream!)
Meal planning is a tool any busy mom should have to tackle each crazy week.
Don’t forget the coordinating calendar and grocery list printable here! It makes it all so simple!
Now go get it done and enjoy your new found peace. ♥