Managing a busy house with a busy life is made easier and less stressful for me by always having several fresh meal options for the week. I couldn't do this without planning ahead and this "What to Eat" pad is my go-to organizer. Our 5 keys to success are:
1. Write it down: I plan + list at least 5 meals/week that I know or hope my family will enjoy. Some are trusted favorites and a couple are usually new recipes. 5 meals keeps us fed without food being wasted.
2. Try to shop once-a-week: I feel less motivated when I need to make multiple trips to the store. Planning meals ahead helps me save time and money with a single shopping trip. (Mid-week farm stand stops excluded.)
3. Keep it simple: I usually include one healthy breakfast-for-dinner meal (think: pancakes, whole grain waffles or muffins, omelets) and one "gourmet sandwich/panini" for the nights we have less time to prepare.
4. Stay flexible: If I no longer have time for the soup on Thursday or I didn't think ahead for the slow-cooked chicken on Saturday, I know I can always switch the meals around for a better fit.
5. List the foods we've run out of: I use the "grab bag" section to always list the ingredients or snacks I must pick up on my next trip to the grocery store. This way I always stay topped up and don't find myself in a bind.
Do you meal plan?
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