One thing that I am super passionate about is cooking healthy well-balanced meals for my family. The kitchen has become my safe haven after a productive day of work, school, and play. I find myself evolving into a kitchen architect, as I design and create memorable home cooked meals for my growing family. I really enjoy experimenting with different ingredients, spices, recipes, and flavor combinations to satisfy everyone’s diverse taste buds at dinnertime.
However, one important aspect of cooking is meal planning. I do love cooking and all the great rewards of giving love through food. I am very new to the meal planning process. I have discovered that meal planning is a must to allow myself to slow down from the overwhelm of everyday!
I plan my meals Monday-Thursday with Friday being my off day. Friday is the day where I usually do breakdown and order a pizza and have family movie night. I have found meal planning to be absolutely essential to provide more healthy meals for my family. If I do not have a strategic game plan, the temptation of eating unhealthy before the end of the week is very clear and very real!
If I plan ahead and have all the ingredients to cook prior in the house, preparing a healthy meal becomes more of a reality and not a dream. That doesn’t mean meal planning is effortless, but I have a few tricks to help you plan like a boss!
Pinterest is my go-to for almost everything dealing with cooking, awesome recipes, and meal planning. I have actually created two boards on my Pinterest page totally dedicated to recipes and meal planning.
My first board is Recipes that are Awesome. This is the board that houses all of my favorite recipes, sometimes I will pin a recipe and go back later to add it into my meal for the week.
The next board on my page is Meal Planning for the family. On this particular board I have pins of meal plans from breakfast through dinner. This board has great ideas for lunches to take to school and work too.
Get the whole family involved
Get the children busy with discussing their favorite meals that they enjoy eating during the week. The children can write down or draw some of their all time awesome foods from cookbooks and recipe cards. This teaches children life skills too.
Schedule meal planning time
For our family meal planning time happens on Sunday evening. We gather together to discuss the plan for the week. This is the time when I prep for the entire week including laundry duty, lay out my children’s clothes, and we go grocery shopping on Sunday.
Post a list of your favorite recipes
I have a list of my favorite recipes in my business notebook. We have a running list of the basics for our household that we purchase without fail!
Saving coupons is key for meal planning, some of the foods that I utilize for cooking signature meals can be found in my Sunday coupons or coupons that I receive from our local grocery stores.
My hubby and I both have a coupons that we save, he keeps his share in his wallet and I keep mine in my purse and kitchen drawer.
Use your best judgement
I have learned that everyone has a different meal planning strategy that works for you and your family. The way that I meal plan may not work for a family of three. In contrast to when I am serving a family of four.
Make the best choices that work with your lifestyle and meal planning choices. Creating an effective meal plan is one of the best ways to improve the quality of life for my family. It has become a wonderful experience and family bonding time, and can save money!
What meal planning strategies do you use for your family?