Planning weekly meals can relieve a huge burden on your budget, not to mention on yourself when you do not need to scramble around the kitchen trying to come up with last-minute dinner ideas. Meal planning also allows you to utilize your leftovers so you have less waste and are therefore maximizing your food budget.
But sometimes, meal planning can be a drag. For example, what if your husband and kids want something else on Meatloaf Night? Do you just scrap your meal plan? If you are wondering how to make this meal plan thing work, here are some tips to make it more successful not to mention enjoyable.
1. Keep reminders of why you are meal planning
Some people use meal planning as a way to save money. Others do it to stay organized in their busy schedules. Some do it to prevent the wasting of food, along with saving money. And still, others do it to take control over the family’s eating habits.
Whatever your reason for meal planning is, think about the goal you had in mind for creating your meal plan. So if the goal was to save more money so the family could go on a vacation this year, focus on that to keep you motivated.
2. Allow room for flexibility
Even the most delicious meals that everyone in the family gobbles up can become tedious after several weeks. Allow for variances in your meal planning schedule, and always have a backup idea on hand.
This way, when the squad tells you they are tired of chicken and rice, you can switch it up to something else and make your chicken another time.
3. Shake things up now and then
If your family tells the days of the week by the meals they eat, then meal planning has lost it is fun. True that meal planning has a purpose you have set, it should not be seen as some sort of punishment for anyone in the family.
If you are tired of the same things, set aside some time to research some new recipes to try or look for other meal plans online. There are lots of free ideas to work with that should give you some newfound inspiration for sticking to your meal plan.
4. Allow for nights off
Cooking every day is exhausting for anyone. Give yourself a break by arranging something that the family can assemble on their own like slider sandwiches with their favorite fillings and a prepared side dish from the supermarket.
Or take something you have made and froze and heat that up. Plus, life is meant to be enjoyed. Use those nights off from cooking to order pizza and have a family game night or get together with friends.
5. Shop as little as possible
Unexpected trips to the store will have you spending more and buying food you do not need. When you plan ahead with your meals, you will have all the food you need right at home. It takes some time to get used to a meal plan but once you do, you will reap all the marvelous benefits of sticking to it.
Do not forget to treat yourself and the family for sticking to your meal plan. What do you do to keep on with your meal planning?