At this time of year, I spend more time at home thinking about delicious and healthy meals to feed my family.
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 ironically, 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’s for dinner?”
- Make a master list of meals
Sit down with your family and a piece of paper, 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 the kids are coming home late from school or going to games, so you can schedule in easy meals for those nights. Also, I always give myself at least one night off for pizza or some other type of takeout food. Because self-care.
- Make your shopping list, buy ingredients, and you’re ready for the week.
Go grocery shopping on Sunday, before the week begins. Some people like to chop their veggies and wash their lettuce on Sundays too. I don’t take it that far, but if it works for you, go for it! Or be like me, and buy pre-chopped and pre-washed veggies.
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. 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!