Simplify your Life- Meal Plan

7 10 2012

The other day I had one of my friends over and we were talking about ways to minimize stress.  As we were brainstorming she was telling me about her methods to meal planning, and as seen in the previous post, this is one area I would really like to improve upon.  As a health conscious mother, I pride myself in feeding my children nutritious meals but often time slack when it comes to planning ahead.  Taking the skills I learned from my friends and tweaking them to match my crazy busy schedule I was able to come up with a solution to every busy mom’s meal planning needs.  I have created a step by step guide to meal planning and have also attached a printable copy of the Weekly Menu Plan  in hopes to help moms like myself, take back their kitchen.

Step One – Look and see what you have.  This is crucial.  By seeing what is in your cabinets and freezer you can get a feel as to what you may need for the upcoming week.

Step Two– Plan the big course for each Dinner meal for the following week; utilize the ingredients that are already readily available in your kitchen.  Begin to write each Dinner Meal with sides on the provided Weekly Menu Planner.  Make sure all older items and meals that could be used as left overs are always planned for the beginning of the week.  Also, be very cautious of the amount of prep time for each meal and as well as prescheduled activities.

Step Three– Plan the side dishes and lunch menu filling in any gapes you may have.  List all necessary items in the grocery list section of the Weekly Menu Planner.  Think about extra ingredients that may need to accompany a meal and make certain these are either in the kitchen or on the grocery list.

Step Four– Make one trip. Whether it is to multiple stores or just once, make certain that you make only one trip per week to shop.  This is probably the hardest step, but can save the most time in the long run.

Step Five– Stick to the plan.  It is very easy to get off track and go and pick up some unhealthy convenience food, but it is much easier to stick to the menu when you already have it written down and all the ingredients sitting in the fridge.

It is amazing what these five steps have done for me in the past few weeks.  Not only have I been able to stick to healthy habits, minimized my stress concerning dinner preparations, but I have also been able to use the forgotten foods in my cabinets and freezer and have even seen a reduction in my budget for food.  All in all it really pays off to plan a Weekly Menu.

Menu Plan

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3 responses

9 10 2012
arianawoodall

I love this! I make meal plans all the time, it definitely does simplify your life and helps me eat a lot healthier. Great Post!

20 10 2012
Simplify Your Life- Make a Schedule « Teresa Chalmers

[…] Laundry, Meal Planning and Grocery […]

9 11 2012
Simplify Your Life- Responsibility Charts « Teresa Chalmers

[…] all of the demands in my busy schedule.  I started by making a weekly schedule and have also been meal planning.  While both of these have helped tremendously, I am still in dire need of more […]

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