Meal planning can be such a daunting task, especially for busy families with hectic schedules. However, with a little bit of organization and planning, you can make meal time a little more of a breeze.
So I’ve put together a few tips to help you stress less, and your busy family stay on track and enjoy more home-cooked meals. (But hey, if you need to eat out or order in… it’s all good!)
10 Easy Meal Planning Tips for Busy Families
1. Make a list of the meals and foods that your family enjoys. This will help you to quickly plan, shop, and prepare!
2. Make a weekly menu. Plan out your meals for the week ahead of time. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you have all the ingredients on hand.
3. Utilize your freezer. Cook double portions of meals and freeze the leftovers for busy nights.
4. Shop once a week. Make a grocery list and stick to it. This will save you time and money.
5. Use a crockpot. Slow cookers are great for busy families because they can be left to cook while you’re away at work or running errands.
6. Plan for leftovers. Make sure to plan for leftovers so that you can use them for lunch the next day.
7. Get the whole family involved. If everyone is old enough, assign each member of the family a night to cook, or let them choose a meal for the week. If they aren’t old enough to cook, but can help with a meal idea, allow them to be involved in that way.
8. Make use of shortcuts. Take advantage of pre-chopped vegetables, marinades, and other time-saving options. You can prep these items ahead of time during a prep-day, or purchase them. This could be a great task for any family member who is old enough to use a knife or a mandoline slicer to prep ahead of time.
9. Keep it simple. Stick to simple recipes that are easy to make and don’t require a lot of prep work. Save the bigger and more elaborate meals for a day of the week that you have more time to prepare.
10. Be flexible. Sometimes things come up and your meal plan may need to change. Be flexible and remember that it’s okay to order takeout or eat out every once in a while.
With a little bit of planning and organization, meal planning can be a breeze for busy families. By following these tips, you can enjoy home-cooked meals without the stress. Remember to keep it simple, involve the whole family, and be flexible. Happy cooking!