4 Ways to Make Meal Planning Easier
It takes many steps to shop, cook, and feed a family. And it can be hard at times. There are things you can try that may ease your stress and save you time and money. Planning ahead can help.
Here are 4 ways to get ready:
- Decide on meals. Make a simple weekly menu of meals your family enjoys. Some people like to make a large dish, like a casserole or soup that can feed the family for a few days. Other people prefer variety and don’t mind cooking more often. Try different ways to see what works best for you and your family.
- Check for ingredients at home. See what you already have in your pantry or fridge. Basics — like beans, frozen vegetables, rice, and pasta — can give you a headstart. Use these items in your meals. Leftovers are also a great place to begin. You can reheat them later in the week or include them in new meals. That way, you won’t have to buy as much at the store.
- Set aside time to shop and cook. Write it on your calendar or set a reminder on your phone. When you block time, it’s easier to follow through. And it may make your shopping trip go faster.
- Make a shopping list with your budget in mind. To save money, look for sales and store-brand items. Store-brand items are often cheaper than name brands. Check your store’s weekly ad for foods on sale. And stay flexible. For example, if you plan to cook a meal with broccoli, but asparagus is on sale, use asparagus in your recipe instead.
Date reviewed: September 2023