As moms, we often feel like life is out of control and we will never get organized or have control of our life. But it does not have to be that way. We can have a healthy meal planned for every night, and feel like we are achieving each day a step or two closer to a well-organized home. Making a written plan is the key to lowering stress and making things happen.
Why Meal Planning will Save Time
It seems to not make any sense. You are going to sit down on a Saturday morning or Sunday night with your meal planning worksheet, recipes, your phone and plan out what to make. You have to check the fridge, the cupboards to see what you have and make a list. This is going to take at least 30 to 45 minutes and you are spent from the weekend.
But the reality is that this short amount of time before the week begins saves you tons of time during the week. Here is why:
When you go to the store you know exactly what you need to buy. And you do not overbuy (unless you want to get that great looking angel food cake for dessert). You will be astonished how much money you save, with a plan and list in hand. Not to say how much you will save not eating fast food.
When you go to cook each meal you know you have every item you need.
You will not be tempted to stop and get fast food as you have already stocked the house and spent the money on food at home.
You can review the plan with your family so everyone is on board with what is going to be for dinner and it stops some of the “I don’t want to eat that” talk at the dinner table.
Most important at the end of the day when you just do not want to think too much but just want to get dinner on the table and everyone feed a healthy meal, your plan is all set. The food in the house and you can just start cooking. And if you try some of my Instant Pot or slow cooker recipes you can set the food to cook, and spent the dinner time relaxing and enjoying your family.
Once you get into this habit of planning and executing the meal planning each week, you will find you are happier, less stressed, and less resentful that dinner always depends on you… Yes, I let the secret out as moms we all feel at one point or another what my friend blurted out to me one afternoon, “why do I always have to decide what everyone eats?”
We as moms mostly take on the responsibility of feeding the family. Planning the family meals in advance each week will help you get everyone involved. Get your husband or partner to plan out every other week. As the kids get older they may even start enjoying finding new recipes and helping cook. My kids have become greats cooks as they started early cooking with me at home.
Another advantage is you can start collecting all your family recipes in one place and after a few weeks, you can start to recycle recipes that everyone loves. This will not only cut down your cooking time but the planning and shopping time. You can stock up on staples that you know you will use in your repeated recipes.
Planning out the week allows you to make bigger batches and have plenty for packed lunches at work or lunches at home for all the blessed people that get to work at home.
Meal planning on paper gets all the ideas, and needs of your family out of your head and onto paper. If you are interrupted which we all are every day your plan is right there to remind you of where to go next.
How to Use the Meal Planning Worksheets
Not only will you get all the worksheets that you can print over and over again you will be signed up to get my emails with a simple easy family-friendly recipes each week. You can unsubscribe any time but I would love to have you as part of our “family”.
- Pick a time when you can have some time to yourself for 15 to 30 minutes. I know how hard that can be with little ones, but the time you take at nap time or after everyone is in bed will make the rest the week less stressful. You can even start by taking 10 minutes at a time and break up the process. Most of what we do as moms is broken up in little chunks of time we get to think.
Collect Your Recipes
- On the notes worksheet or brain dump page, jot down the recipes you like to make and love to eat.
- Now collect the recipe all in one place for the week. Print them out, find your recipe cards, or use an app like “paprika” is has been around for a while and is a favorite of our family.
Look at the Family Schedule for the Week
- Next, print out the time management worksheets or what I like to call them Time Blocking. Look at your week ahead. Fill out on the sheet all the commitments, school activities, volunteers appointment, and sports games. All the fun and sometimes just required time slots that take you away from home.
- Now fill in what meals fit with each day and when you will need to start cooking. Some days you will want to use your slow cooker as you have time in the morning to get everything prepared and set and go. Some days you will want to speed up dinner with an Instant Pot, as a fast slow cooker. These modern appliances can be used for your busiest days.
- Put it all together. Find the ingredients that you already have at home. Make your shopping list of what you need to get at the store. Plan out when you will go shopping.
- Remember there is always a time when you will want to go out to eat. However, with a well planned week, you can save money, eat healthier, and keep eating out to a special time.
What You Will Receive
2 different styles of weekly schedules for planning your family’s meals!
2 different styles of Shopping lists!
1 Weekly Schedule Sheet!
1 Daily Time Management Worksheet (time blocking)!
Notes Page for Brainstorming Ideas!