On average, Americans spend around 37 minutes on meal prep every day, which almost doubles for larger families.
Preparing meals can be stressful when you’ve got picky eaters, and you must adjust to everyone’s schedule. But there are easy tricks that can streamline the process for you. Perhaps you’re currently struggling to whip up dishes the entire family loves, and you’re looking for inspiration.
Sounds familiar? Don’t worry; you’ve come to the right place. Here are five meal planning tips to help you.
1. Plan Your Menu
One of the best meal planning tips is to plan your menu. Create a timetable and ask everyone what dishes they want to see, whether Meatless Monday or a Taco Tuesday. Make sure you bring this when you go grocery shopping to have the right ingredients for each dish.
If you’re lacking inspiration, then check out recipeworkbook.com for a fantastic selection of recipes.
2. Keep Favorite Recipes Handy
Meal planning for the family can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to. You don’t have to throw away your all-time favorite dishes, as learning new recipes takes time and energy.
Further, ask each family member for a suggestion and determine how to personalize a basic dish like pasta or meatloaf.
3. Buy and Cook in Bulk
Once you’ve brainstormed meal planning ideas, go to the grocery and buy the ingredients in bulk. This is especially useful for non-perishable items like brown rice, oats, and noodles. You should also load your freezer with frozen meat and bread, so there are always options.
Then, spend Sunday afternoon preparing your meals, so there’s less work during the week. For instance, whip up a pasta sauce or prepare pizza dough and freeze it for later on.
4. Keep It Simple
To make your meal planning checklist effective, keep it simple. Plan your dinners instead of stressing over every dish and let everyone choose a basic breakfast, like overnight oats or toast.
And on busy weeks, rotate between three of the same meals and prepare enough, so there are leftovers.
5. Have a Back-Up Plan
Sometimes, your weekly meal plan may not go as swimmingly. Whenever this happens, fall onto your back-up plan, so there aren’t any last-minute dashes to the grocery store. Ensure you have enough rice, pasta, and canned veggies for at least two meals.
You should also have an array of dried herbs and spices to keep dishes exciting. For instance, you could either whip up a red kidney bean Indian-style curry or chili con carne, using the same ingredients.
Enjoy Our Meal Planning Tips
Hopefully, these meal planning tips have inspired you to whip up delicious meals for your loved ones.
Make sure you plan your menus, always shop and cook in bulk, and rely on all-time favorite recipes. You should also avoid making recipes too complicated and have a back-up plan. Good luck!
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