Not everyone is a full-on Marie Kondo/Home Edit champion organizer and even fewer of us are that way when it comes to meal planning. But!! Some of us are! Each person "do you" and don't judge the others! Here are 3 ways to fit any personality.
Meal planning can help save time and money as well as lots of frustration. Meal planning helps us create more nutritious meals more consistently and helps us have our act together better during the week.
First, find a calm moment to make a menu and gather recipes. I like to take Saturday morning, still in my jammies and with a cup of coffee, and Make my menu. It usually takes me 10-30 minutes depending on how adventurous I feel.
Second, dive in!
Some of my favorites sources are:
Plus I have some great recipe E-books, magazines, and cookbooks. Each month I have new recipes available at https://bringingbackdinner.com.
3 Ways to Meal Plan and Prep
Everyone find time to sit down and find 3-5 recipes that you'd like to make next week.
Everyone make a grocery list and go to the store
Pick your prep style and get ready for the week based on your style
Meal Plan and Shop- That's it! Some people do very well by making a menu for the week and going to the grocery and stopping there. This type of meal planner feels pretty confident knowing that they have all the ingredients on hand and can pull the meals together pretty easily.
Make the Menu (Menu sheets are at the bottom of the post)
Prepare meals each night by gathering the items from the pantry, fridge, etc. knowing that you have everything on hand that you need!
The DIY Meal Kit - This is me, I like this method the best, but sometimes use the other methods too depending on my mood.
Make the menu
Create "Meal Kits"
DIY Meal Kit:
Have you ever ordered a Meal Kit? Something like Blue Apron, Purple Carrot, or Hello Fresh? The meals come separated into bags. 1 bag per meal. Each bag contains everything you need for the recipe, including pre-measured spices.
To DIY this, do the same thing. Use a bin or bag and place all of the items you will need for a recipe in the bin. Tip: Put the recipe in too and anyone can start dinner!
You don't need to chop and prep until time to use the "kit".
Full Meal Plan and Prep - This includes the steps above, but you will add the step of chopping and prepping.
Chop all of the onions, peppers, etc. for the recipes for the week
Batch cook items. For example, if you are having rice 2 times this week cook all of the rice at once and keep it in the refrigerator or freezer until you are ready to use it.
Roast, grill, etc. all of your veggies
Consider cooking chicken breasts ahead of time, especially if they will be chopped in a recipe like tacos. Or cook ground beef ahead.
Create casseroles ahead and put them in the freezer for a quick cook-and-go meal
This method depends on you and your family. You can pick one day to do all of the prepping and do as much ahead as you need to for your schedule.
Email me at email@example.com for some sample meal plans.
Whatever your style, start with your menu, head to the store, and may your week of meals be easy and quick!
Meal Plan Sheet - Blank
Meal Plan Sheet - Detailed
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