Have you ever left the grocery store after spending a lot of money on food, still unsure what meals you’ll put together? Or, perhaps you’ve found yourself at 6 p.m. in your kitchen with a hungry family, wondering what on earth you’re going to throw together. It’s no secret that meal planning can save the day, but what are the best tips and tricks? In short, it’s the method that works best for you. From pinning recipes on Pinterest to printing out recipes and pinning them on an actual board, the ideal method is whichever one is easiest for you to implement in your daily life so that you can be sure to stick with it. Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas from the kitchn.
Find and Save Recipes
Seems obvious, but have you ever spent a lot of time preparing a meal for someone to later find out they don’t care for a key ingredient (perhaps your children?). Make a list of the go-to meals your household enjoys and always have the ingredients for one or two of them on hand. If you find yourself in a pinch, you can throw something together that is sure to please. If you found a winner that everyone loved, be sure to note that.
Start a Calendar
Once you’ve found the meals you plan to make, schedule them on a calendar for the week or even the month. Maybe this means you create a Google calendar and share it with your family members or just jot down the menu on a calendar that’s posted on the refrigerator – whatever works for your household, the important thing is to write it down. When selecting recipes, consider what ingredients you’ll need to purchase and how they might stretch into other recipes. For example, left over grilled chicken can be used for pasta night the following day.
Making a list ensures you don’t miss a key ingredient and find yourself having to make a last-minute run to the store. By doing a little bit of prep in advance, you can make your list and just go to the store once, saving time and money by avoiding any unnecessary purchases.
Make Enough for Leftovers
If you’re going through the work to plan, shop and prepare a meal, it’s a good idea to make enough for leftovers. Even if you don’t want it for lunch the following day, things like casseroles are easy to freeze and re-heat when you need an easy meal.
Prep all the Food at Once
Make meal prep part of your shopping day and get all of your veggie chopping and food prep out of the way to save you time when everyone is hungry and asking when dinner will be ready!
What other tips do you have up your sleeve when it comes to making meal time easier for your household? Share with us below!