I find that at this time of year, with the cold weather settling in, I spend more time at home thinking about delicious and healthy meals to feed my family (and myself).
As a busy mom, you’re probably overwhelmed with stuff to do, and the last thing you want is to add to your already stuffed to-do list. But what you’ll find is that meal planning actually makes your life easier.
Meal planning doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. Take these 3 easy steps and you’ll be amazed at how much less time you spend thinking about that eternal question, “What should we have for dinner?”
- Make a master list of meals
Sit down with your family and make a list of the meals everyone likes. In my house, with 4 kids, there is a huge diversity in food likes/dislikes, so there are a variety of different kinds of meals on our list. That’s ok! Just do a brain dump of every meal that makes your family happy.
- Every Sunday, spend a few minutes with your day planner, penciling in meals for the week.
Simply pull out your master list and pick 5 meals for the week. Take into account which nights you’ll be picking up kids late from school or going to games, so you can schedule in easy meals for those nights. Oh, and I always give myself at least one night off for pizza or some other type of takeout food. Because I like to treat myself.
- Make your shopping list, buy ingredients, and you’re ready for the week.
Get the grocery shopping over with on Sunday, before the busy week begins. Some people like to chop their veggies and wash their lettuce on Sundays. I don’t take it that far, but if that works for you, go for it! Get any prep work out of the way so that your weeknights are easy.
Trust me, you’ll be amazed at how much energy you free up when you remove the “What’s for dinner” question from your list of things to think about. Try it, and let me know in the comments below how it’s working for you.
p.s. Try our Meal Planner Pad as an easy tool to help you get started!