Use pinterest.com or create an online recipe book through such sites as food.com and allrecipes.com to get a running list of your families favorites. Believe it or not, you can also use pen and paper! Simply make a list of foods by main ingredients: chicken, beef, seafood, vegetarian, etc and start listing all of your families favorites. This will give you a starting point when you sit down to make your menu for the week, as well as your corresponding grocery list.
Don’t wait until the night before! I typically go grocery shopping on Saturday. So, without fail, I find myself making out my menu for the following week on Friday night. Give yourself TWO days. I know this sounds like a huge commitment, but hear me out. If you shop on Saturday, start planning on Thursday. This gives you TIME – plain and simple. If I wait until the night before, I ALWAYS forget things on my list. You’re simply giving your brain time to process, because let’s face it, if you wait until the night before to check out pinterest for recipes, after 3 hours, you will have completely re-designed your home, your future child’s nursery, and you’ll have made a “sewing board” – and you don’t sew. And you will have very few recipes to show for it.
Look at your schedule for the week. Don’t plan elaborate meals that take hours of prep work if Kamren has soccer every night this week and little Kaddie has dance rehearsal Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Remember, this is all about being strategic, so budget your TIME as well as your money. Have a crazy week? Then plug in that crockpot and check out recipes that can be made ahead. (see above for freezer meals this is the idea..
Pick your Plan, Simple Solutions and Create your Family time. Yes, this is time consuming. In the beginning of any NEW routine its tough. Yet, after 21 days anything becomes HABIT. No, it’s not glamorous. But in a weird way, it is kinda fun Meal planning is like an enormous jig saw puzzle, and it’s all about making the right ingredients fit on the right evenings, within a really tiny conservative budget. Whether it’s up to mom or dad to plan the meals and do the grocery shopping, it’s time to buckle down and find what works!