As a busy mom of three, creating a family meal planner is essential for me. Although it is a chore, I actually really enjoy creating meal plans once I get started. One of my favorite past-times is to sit down with a cup of coffee, open a cookbook and just browse. Let me share with you some of my tips and techniques to meal planning.
No matter if you love or hate meal planning, the fact is we all have to eat – 3 times a day actually!
Reasons for making a family meal planner.
Meal planning is better for your waistline.
The frequency of eating at home is directly related to lower BMI (Body Mass Index) and normal percentage of body fat, according to NIH. Meaning, the more meals cooked at home, the less you’ll likely weigh. I can get behind that!
And your health…
Yes, people who eat more meals at home tend to have better overall health. Eating at home is associated with higher intake of vegetables and fruit and a better diet quality in general.
Better for you budget, too.
Surely I’m not the only one on a budget here? I’m continually shocked at the cost of dining out. Creating a family meal planner and eating in can cost considerably less than eating on the town. In fact, a recent report from Forbes suggests eating at home could lead to a $20 per serving savings!
Tips on creating a family meal planner.
Tip 1. Determine how often you really need to shop.
My problem? If I don’t sit down and plan, I end up mindlessly walking the aisles of the store several times a week. I end up wasting time and spending more money than if I’d just had a basic outline of meals for the week. I’ve come to find that I do best shopping once a week. When you are creating a family meal planner for your family determine what day and time works for you.
Tip 2. Try and grocery shop the same day each week.
As you move forward, this starts to become a habit. I tend to grocery shop either Friday afternoon or Saturday because I love a slow Sunday at home. If I go during the week it feels so rushed to me, and I just don’t love it. I create meal plans from recipes books and websites then add them to my grocery list.
Tip 3. Try something new.
When creating a family meal planner, try something new! As in, don’t eat the same things over and over. I do think it is important to have a handful of “go-to” recipes. However, there is something so rewarding and challenging to trying to cook new things. Or even trying to cook at all. I’ve often had clients who come to me and say “I can’t cook.” When, in fact, they are skilled at several dishes, but haven’t tried much new recently. We can all cook, kids, we just have to do it. Need some inspiration? Head over to the recipe section to get some creative family friendly meals!
Tip 4. For goodness sake, use the pickup/delivery services!
As I said, I like to cook, I like to meal plan, and, since I am confessing, I LOVE a long trip to the grocery store (in the right conditions, of course: no kids, no timeframe, and plenty of money- ha!). But, dang do I love the grocery pick up! When I sit and create my family meal planner, I’m often doing it with my grocer’s website open and adding ingredients as I go. It simply makes life much easier. If this isn’t a habit, start now!
Tip 5. Just do it.
My all time favorite quote by a guy named Will Rogers- “Even if you are on the right path, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” Some days you just have to make yourself sit down and get started. I am famous for trying to associate things I don’t love with things I do love (for example, I almost always have a glass of wine while I’m doing the dishes; it makes the task less loathing). So, if meal planning and grocery shopping are one of your “challenges,” create a little reward for completion and start TODAY!
No matter what your family looks like- meal planning will be advantageous. Click below to download my printable family meal planner.