Sunday, January 15, 2012

meal planning made easy

meal planning is a huge aid i rely on in planning our monthly budget, managing my time, and feeding my family.  i have two methods that work well for us.  i tend devise a list of 30 meals, some more or less elaborate, and not all homemade.  frozen or take-out pizza, hot dogs, mac and cheese, and deli meat sandwiches usually make it on the list every month.  as every busy mom knows, while they aren't the most nutritious of meals, every child will eat every last morsel of these menu items.  sad, but true...  

at any rate, i develop my grocery list based on what i need to prepare the meals.  as the fresh mushrooms, peppers, carrots, broccoli, etcetera disappear, i make the switch to frozen, rarely canned.  as fruits disappear, i usually buy more or switch to frozen/canned, but only in 100% juice.  bread, milk, eggs, butter, and other perishables get purchased as needed as well; although, i have been known to make my own bread every once in a while...

the second method i use actually compliments the first and puts my list into an actual plan, organized by day, and for the weekends, by meals.  i have included a .jpg image of the template.  message me if you would like this template in .pdf, .doc, or .pages format if you are interested in adapting it to fit your needs.  i'd be happy to share!

there are a few other time saving methods i have used from time to time including make and freeze, crock pot, dump bags, one skillet recipes.  a quick google or pinterest search will yield many successful blogs, websites, and official sponsors that will help you incorporate these time saving efforts into your meal time organization methods.  look for my own adaptations to come in the weeks to come!

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