We have all been there before. It’s finally the evening after a long day at work, taking care of kids, just trying to live life and adult, when the dreaded question is asked, “What’s for dinner?” Shoot. You forgot about that detail among the millions of other things you have to do, it’s frustrating, annoying, and if you also forgot to thaw anything out in preparation, it’s expensive. You contemplate all of this while in line at the drive thru… again.
Been there, done that, and I can tell you two things for certain; Number one: It’s not as daunting as you might be thinking to meal plan. Number two: while it’s expensive and frustrating, it in no way makes you a bad mom. You’re kids will survive, even if you fumble now and then. But don’t click away just yet, I have an easy solution to help you feel like a better mom, and save your money right along with saving your sanity!
Meal planning is easy to do, and worth the time it takes to do it. It doesn’t matter if you meal plan weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. They will all save you time, effort, and it becomes one less thing to think and worry about every day, one less ball to drop! In today’s world where moms especially juggle multiple balls and wear all. the. hats. one less thing to drop gets you that much closer to feeling like a rock star! And man, you ARE a rock star, mom!
So, now that I have you convinced to give this a try, you probably want to know how the heck to meal plan? How do you successfully meal plan? How can it work for you? So, I will take you step by step today and show you how I meal plan and save my sanity each day. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s go!
First, it helps to have something pretty to write your plan on. A piece of paper will work just fine, all that really matters is that it’s written down! I don’t suggest notes in your phone for this. I dunno about you, but I skip past things on my phone screen, and then when I get home I’m disappointed to see I missed something important. Also, you can then hang your meal plan your fridge and your family can see what’s on the menu each day. Just not being asked what’s for dinner all the time is sanity saving enough! For a free meal planner, click here! After you print it out, just write the dates in the upper left corner for each day. If you use a plain piece of paper, just list the days of the week that you want to plan for.
After you have it dated, look at your calendar. What do you have going on that might keep you busy around dinner time? What days are completely crazy? Think about what types of meals you can make on those days. Freezer meals, crock pot meals, prepping the meal earlier in the day or asking a family member to help out are all good options! Write just above each box what you have going on during dinner time that day, so when you fill in the meals you remember what commitments your family already has.
Next, fill in all the usual meals. Does your family do Taco Tuesday? Pizza Fridays? Fill all of those in now! If you don’t do anything like that and might be interested, here’s some ideas that I have used in the past:
- Soupy Sundays
- Meatless Mondays
- Taco Tuesdays
- Crock Pot Wednesdays
- Italian Thursdays
- Pizza Fridays
- Special Saturdays
Okay, that was the easy part! Now comes the hard stuff. You’re bound to have some days left that you need ideas for. If you find the time, ask your family to give you ideas, or list out all of your favorite meals to reference later. Places like Pinterest, or meal planning groups on Facebook can be useful tools to help you fill in the extras. I prefer to make a lot of homemade meals, but here is where I will sometimes fill in meals like Hamburger Helper or something from the freezer section if I can’t come up with any other ideas. Message a fellow mom friend and see what she’s making for dinner, or putting a status on Facebook will be super helpful in finding easy new meals also!
Now you have your plan! On the side of my printable meal planner, I have a place for a list, go through each meal and see what you need to buy, remember to shop your kitchen first! And voila! You just adulted. It might have taken a few minutes today, but you saved yourself from the drive thru, from your family giving you that look every evening, and most importantly, your sanity!
Plans may change through your meal plan period, but that’s okay momma! That’s why you have it on paper and on the fridge, take a pen and use arrows to switch things up, reference it every night before bed to see if you need to thaw anything out, and you’re good to go! The first few plans might not stick. That’s okay too! Learn from it, see where it went wrong, and use that information to help you plan in a better way for your family next time! Don’t expect perfection from yourself mom! Just know you’re trying and learning and planning to do a little better every day! Feel free to follow me on Instagram to get bi-weekly updates on what I’m planning for dinner!
Now, take what you learned, feel free to use my free printable, or just use paper, and know you are better equipped to take on this meal planning journey, if I can do it, you can do it!
Until next time friends!