Simple meal planning for busy moms
Are you overwhelmed whenever it comes to dinner time and you have no idea of what to cook for your family? Or perhaps you are looking for tips to staying on budget for your grocery shopping. Maybe both? Well then, I am glad you are here! This crazy simple meal planning guide will help you stay on track and get more organized so you have more time for the more important things in life!
Over the years I have looked for things that will help me run my household smoother and more efficiently. Especially after Little Mister was born, I need to reduce the time in the kitchen and going to the store. I started meal planning and it has slowly become a habit. I am not going to sit here and say that it wasn’t dang hard to get into the habit, but it is now just what I do.
Every month, I sit down to a pad of paper, my favorite cookbooks, my computer (with Pinterest pulled up of course!), and I get to planning my dinners for the month. Yes, I said for the month. I started off planning for each week, but over time it became more time consuming and I just became more efficient to plan monthly. You can get there too!
Simple meal planning tips
For this particular season of life, easy dishes are on the menu during the week and freezer meal prep and more intensive meals are reserved for the weekend. Seasons change in life and your meal planning and choices must change with it. It is okay to eat meals from the crock pot every night if you need to simplify!
Having a meal prep day is a really good idea especially if you have little kids. You can take the more intensive work and group it into one day like a weekend day and have less prep during the week. Be sure to make your meal plan in such a way that this will work. Such as if you prep veggies on Sunday, be sure to cook them by Wednesday.
One thing that has helped me a ton is having a “Dish List” or a list of our favorite meals that are proven that the whole family loves. I have categorized my meals like “chicken”, “beef”, “soups”, “salads”, etc. It makes it a bit easier for me to diversify our meals for the week.
Ideas for families
Create your own Favorite Meals list with my FREE printable. Print that guide out and start filling it out with meals that your family likes. Now, your family may have their very favorites or some that they just tolerate because one member really loves it. I like to use a star system to show how popular each dish is to my family.
Cooking every night can get exhausting though, right? I think it is perfectly acceptable to offer “snack plates” during the week (lunch meat, cut up veggies, cut up fruit, crackers). Kids especially love these dinners and they are super easy to clean up, so why not?
The other thing that families with kids tend to really like are breakfasts for dinner! Most of the time these meals are fairly easy to clean up which is a plus. You can also look into casseroles which can be made ahead or even doubled for freezing. If you are new to freezer meal planning, you definitely need to check out “Don’t Panic- Dinners in the Freezer”. It is a great resource and one that I use:)
Create your own Dish List
What are some meals that you cook a lot of right now? Does your family have a go to dinner for quick meals? These are definitely what you want to be putting on your list. Don’t be afraid to put some more intensive dinners on there too, just reserve them for weekends or special occasions. Be sure to put a good variety on the list so that you don’t get stuck in a dinner rut! And as your month goes on, just add new dinners to the list. Over time, your list will become bigger and it will be a breeze to create your meal plan every week.
If you are really at a loss for idea, have no fear, I have you covered mama! When you subscribe to my email list I will send you this free Meal Planning: Favorite Meals printable AND a list of my own family’s favorite meals…just to get some ideas.
Get the meal planning guide
Bonus!!! I will also send you a list of family friendly meal ideas!
What are some of your go to meals? Share some here so that others can get ideas too!
And don’t forget to get your free Meal Planning Guide and as a bonus, you will get a list of over 50 of my own family’s most loved meals to get your ideas flowing!