If you want some meal ideas, check out Courtney’s menu for the week! If this whole concept of meal planning is still a little intimidating here’s a couple of ideas that help me in the planning process:
- Look at your calendar for the week and take note of activities planned. Make sure dinners are something easy and fast for those busy nights where you’re running kids off to lessons or church programs. An easy meal, like a crock pot meal you can make ahead or freezer meal that has the prep work all ready done would be a good option!
- Check the freezer and cupboards to see what you have on hand and need to use up as you plan meals and grocery lists. You can find some meal inspiration in your own kitchen and save a few bucks by not buying unnecessary items!
- Use websites like allrecipes.com and enter an ingredient and search all the different recipes listed, or use their menu planner. You might find a new family favorite!
- Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, also recommends a program called e-meals where for a small fee they send you affordable meal plans that can be customized for special diets and take away the stress of planning. I haven’t used it, but it’s another option out there!
- Have a “theme” for each night of the week. For instance I usually have a crock pot meal on Mondays (our lesson nights), a Mexican flavor meal on Tuesdays, pasta or Italian dish which is usually fast on Wednesday (church night), stir fry or Asian food on Thursdays, and pizza is our usual Friday night meal. Weekends I get my husband’s input since he likes to grill or cook fish when he’s home. Other options would be a Soup night or having a meatless meal night every week.
- Ask kids! As my kids get older and want to help more in the kitchen, I envision letting them help plan and cook a meal one night a week too. (I stopped doing this after our big move but need to get back into the habit!) It’s a good skill to pass on and they’ll be more likely to eat the food they help plan and prepare!
Where do you find meal inspiration?
Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!