Meal planning to save time and money

We all have to eat. Whether meals are for nourishment, enjoyment or a little of both, someone has to do the cooking. In order to save money and your sanity, try to plan ahead and have some meals ready to go at a moment’s notice. Going to the grocery store multiple times each week uses up a lot of valuable time and energy. Try to go just once a week and plan ahead for a week’s worth of meals. It is not easy to change old ways, but it is possible if you are willing to try.

Coming home from work and having no idea about what to make for dinner causes a stressful, anxious time. Planning ahead and having options, can make all the difference in the world. You will feel reduced stress levels, be more relaxed and less likely to snap at the husband or kids. You will find that your meal will be calm and not apt to cause indigestion.

Choose menu items that go with daily activities like when the kids have sports or music lessons, you might not want to have a large, filling meal. Something light and quick to prepare, would be better on those days. Breakfast on weekdays before school will be a lot faster than on Sunday mornings.

Usually family favorites are better than experimental or new-fangled ideas. While it is always good to try new things, serve the favorites regularly. If the kids love spaghetti with meatballs, keep it in the plan. Get the children involved. Ask for their input about new ideas and classics.

Staple foods should be in stock at all times for those spontaneous cooking moments. Even though you are planning ahead, you still need to stay flexible in order for everyone in the family to be happy at meal time. In the beginning, just plan a few days ahead. As you get better, you can plan further in advance.

Make the most of the prime real estate that is your pantry. Buying food in the bulk aisle can save money, but always make sure it is something you use in large quantities. If you do not use the huge container of food, you are wasting money and space.

Get a list together and think about what you might want for the next week. Chart out what meals will be served each day on a calendar and plan your grocery list accordingly. If you order pizza on Tuesdays, add that to your calendar. This is a great way to start organizing your life by organizing your family’s meals.

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