It’s a common scenario in many households come dinner time. The reason that most meal times don’t always go smoothly may because dinner the last thing on your mind and when it’s time to get food on the table, everything else goes haywire in your house. We have all been there, but with a little bit of meal-planning, you can be serving up delicious meals the family will be glad to gather around the table for.
Meal planning can make it easy to get dinner on the table in no time on a busy night. Not only do you save time, but it’s economical too. You buy only what you need, avoid the drive-through line up, and you can concentrate on using fresh ingredients – instead of prepackaged items from the grocery store. Every mother should have a set way to plan all of their meals in advance for the week…it’s a true life-saver.
The first step to successful meal planning is to sit down before you head out to the grocery store for the week (or sign up for the affordable Dine Without Whine Menu Planning Service & they’ll make that plan for you). It is best to plan what food you will need to have on had before you head to the grocery store, when planning the week’s meals. Meal planning will make good use of a well stocked pantry and will only need a regular amount of grocery shopping.
By having your meals for the week planned out, you will be able to write a grocery list that you can stick to (Dine Without Whine actually puts your grocery list together for you too). This will help you to save money by keeping you from not buying extra food that you will not use.
As you plan your week’s meals, make sure that you think about ways you can cook once and make two meals out of it. It’s easy to do a lot of cooking on the weekends so that you can do minimum cooking on busy week days. You can grill up chicken breasts on Sunday and use them in pasta on one night and then in fajitas another night. There are many ways that you can reuse the cooking from one night to make the next meal that much easier.
Meal planning can also help to cut down on your prep time in the kitchen when you are cooking. By knowing the meals that you are going to cook in advance, you can wash and cut vegetables when you bring them home from the grocery store. The simple act of pre-measuring the vegetables that you would need for a meal will cut out a lot of additional cooking time.
To be successful with your meal planning, you will want to take into account a lot of factors when you plan your meals for the week. One of the most important things to keep in mind is your weekly schedule of evening activities. The nights when your family has many activities planned are not the evenings to make meals that take along time to prepare. It will be those nights that you will want to use the meals that use the food that you already prepared on the weekends.
Meal planning is a skill that will take some getting used to. The first couple of times that you attempt to plan out your meals for the week, you will have some missteps along the way. After awhile it will become second nature to plan all of your meals in advance and you will wonder why you did not start to do it sooner.
To make your meal planning a whole lot easier, sign up for your 1 ¢ no-risk trial at Dine Without Whine. You and your hungry family will be glad you did.
*Photos Courtesy of FlickR
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