Does the thought of dinner make you cringe? Do you look in your fridge and wonder what you can make? Have you ever considered meal planning but felt overwhelmed once you sat down to start? Well fret no more, today I am posting about the 6 steps I use for meal planning at my house.
1. LOOK THROUGH AND WRITE IT DOWN!
Get a notebook and pencil and write it down. Go through your pantry, fridge and freezer. Make a list of everything you want to or need to use up. Sometimes we forget about the chicken and ribs we got two weeks ago because life got too busy! Write all your potential ingredients down.
There is a free app available that seems like a good app for keeping inventory of whats in your fridge. Check it out here.
2. CATEGORIZE YOUR INGREDIENTS.
Remember the list you just made? Well it’s time to put things under the right category. Proteins, veggies, fruits, condiments, frozen items, snacks, breakfast, etc. Lisa has a great printable here that you can use for this purpose.
3. GET THE FAMILY INVOLVED.
Sit down with the family and ask everyone to write down their favorite food/meal. Decide together on what type of food you should try. Involving your family with meal planning might help them be more inclined to trying new things. Some examples…tacos, spaghetti, fajitas, loco moco, burgers, beef broccoli, sandwiches.
4. FIND RECIPES
With your list of ingredients, write out potential recipes you know you can use. If you feel stuck, get inspired through browsing your Pinterest boards, googling meal plans, All-recipes or cookbooks. These are great ways to try new recipes and bring back old ones you might have forgotten.
5. WRITE OUT INGREDIENTS YOU NEED & SHOP ONCE FOR THE WEEK.
When making your meals look at what is on sale at your local grocery store to save on money, and make sure you are getting fruits and veggies that are on season. Eggs, chicken, ground beef and shrimp are staples in our house. All four proteins are easy to cook and you can find recipes easily for them. So stock up on these when you can.
6. GET CREATIVE, BE FLEXIBLE AND KEEP AN OPEN MIND!
Sometimes life gets in the way and we run out of time for cooking. We forget to start the crock-pot or even just plain had a long day at work. Look at what you already have and maybe an omelet or a quick stir fry can save the day.
Thanks to kitchen stewardship for the awesome reminder above. I hope this helps you in starting to plan your meals. Save yourself some money and frustration by planning ahead! Stay tuned for meal plans I have used for my family. Do you have tips you would like to share about meal planning? Comment below. In the mean time, I hope you make it a great day and happy meal planning!