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It’s no secret that times are tough. The economy is on a downward spiral and families are experiencing the worst of it.
For many families, going out to eat is expensive. Families in states like California and New York spend a lot of money on dining out.
Families can save money on food by meal planning. Families can even eat healthier by doing so.
Busy families can do this by using the meal planning tips in this guide. Read on to learn about five meal planning ideas you can use to make delicious food for your loved ones.
1. Start Small
If you’re new to family meal planning, you have to start small. Instead of planning a meal for every day of the week, focus on planning one day a week. As you become more comfortable, you can work yourself up to more days a week.
It’s about finding the system that’s right for you. Find what works best for your family and stick with it.
You can base your weekly meal plan on themes. Monday can be meatless Monday and Tuesday can be Taco Tuesday. At the end of the week, you can have Fish Friday.
2. Map Out Your Menu and Make a Grocery List
Put your plan in writing. It’s a great way to increase the likelihood of following it. You can use a meal planning pad or the notes section on your phone for this.
Think of this as the process of mapping your menu. Doing this will also help you when it comes time to go to the supermarket to buy groceries. It’ll help you stick to a grocery budget.
3. Meal Preparation
Meal preparation involves figuring out what you’ll do with every ingredient. Let’s say that Tuesday you’re going to cook chicken for your family. On Monday you’ll have to defrost the chicken and organize your seasoning.
If you’re going to serve vegetables, you’ll have to wash them. You can choose to go with broccoli. It’s a good idea to semi-prep it, so you can then steam it or sauté it.
Consider cooking in bulk. This is an easy meal planning choice. You can make extra and have enough for leftovers for the next day or you store it in the freezer for a busy week.
4. Check Your Pantry
Next on the list of meal planning tips is cooking with foods you have in your pantry. Cook based on what you have in your pantry. Don’t let that food go to waste.
Do you have whole-grain pasta and a jar of tomato sauce? You can cook a pantry meal that your family will love.
5. Involve the Kids
Involving your children in the meal planning process is a good call. They can take part in healthy meal planning by helping you cook a good nutritious meal.
This also gives them some autonomy. If your children love almond butter, let them cook with it. There are so many types of almond butters they can choose from.
Follow These Five Meal Planning Tips
These are five meal planning tips that even the busiest families can use. Use these tips to help you prepare delicious meals. Your family will be happy with your new meals.
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