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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Meal Planning 101

It’s 7:00 pm and you just got home from picking your daughter up from dance and you just dropped your son off at basketball. The phone is ringing, the baby is crying and your husband wants to know what’s for dinner. You have nothing planned, the meat is frozen and you already had pancakes the night before. There is a fast food restaurant just around every corner so you decide that on the way back from basketball you will swing through the drive-thru and pick up some burgers, fries and drinks. For $26 you feed your family a meal full of nothing nutritious and you have spent ¼ of your grocery budget for the week.

With some simple planning this situation can easily be avoided. Meal planning is easily accomplished and can save you lots of money and feed your family healthy food.

There are several ways to plan your meals.

In my house I have a chart of the wall with each day listed and what I am planning for dinner each day. I make my plan based upon 2 things: what is on sale at the grocery store this week and what I have on hand.

Another idea is to make a rotating schedule based upon what your family likes. You can plan enough meals for a 2 week or 4 week rotation just by make a simple chart. Wouldn’t having a monthly plan help you at the grocery store? You would know exactly what you were eating and you would know exactly what to buy.

Have you ever thought of having “Taco Tuesdays?” Every Tuesday you can have tacos. I am sure you can come up with a few “theme nights” of your own.

By knowing (and having documented) what you are eating your spouse and children might be able to help you out AND one thing that really works in my house is that I can do some prep work earlier in the day, which really helps minimize the stress at what I call the “witching hour” when everyone is hungry and no one is in the mood to wait.



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