September 13, 2011

Tips on Tuesday

Meal Planning.  We all think it's a good idea but most of us don't put it into action.  Why not?  Does it seem like too much work?  One more thing added to a list that is already overwhelming you? 

Let's take away some of that stress and break it down into steps you can manage. 

Inventory.  Do you ever find yourself standing in front of open cupboards, gazing like a deer in headlights, wondering what to pull out of your hat for supper?  In order to make great meals, you need to know what's in your pantry.  Before everything else, take a pencil and paper to do an inventory of what you already have in stock.  I like to break the page into categories familiar to a shopping list:  dairy, meat, grains, fruit/veg, misc. canned...  Do all cupboards, fridges, freezers and storage spaces.  You might be surprised to find that you are hoarding canned chickpeas and have no fruit whatsoever in the house, like I did.

Basic Supplies.  Start to make a shopping list based on your inventory to fill in your lack of basic supplies.  Remember all the food groups or better yet, remember all meals and snacks for each person in the house.  These will be items that you need all the time to make the most basic meals.

Meal Selection.  A new list includes favorite meals, go-to meals, quick meals, frozen meals, crock pot meals etc....   Any meal that you regularly make and those that you would like to add to your repertoire. Ask the family members what they would like to have or if they would like to help out in the kitchen one evening a week to help with this family chore.   Everyone needs to learn to be proficient in the kitchen. 

Meal Planning.  With a calendar in hand as well as your shopping list, start to fill in what meals go where.  It's like a puzzle.  What meals will you eat on nights that you don't have much time?  What meals will be slow and simmered to make the house smell good when you get home?  Once the calendar is filled in, top up your shopping list to include any items that are not in your inventory or basic supplies. 

We have done meal planning and we have flown by the seat of our pants.  I much prefer the meal planning.  It takes away that extra stress during the witching hours and lets me enjoy the family instead of the kitchen.  The children like that they get a say in what is going on the table too.

Do you meal plan?  Do you go to any websites or blogs to get help? 

2 comments:

  1. Ok this entry has made me want to get started on meal planing..I have been just floating for the last few weeks, thanks for giving me the tools to get started!

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  2. When I was off work with my kids, I had read that you can save approximately 25% on your grocery bill if you plan your meals in advance. It WORKED and I have tried to continue planning my meals to this day (usually a week at a time). I find that not only can I save money, but I'm more relaxed when I return home at the end of the day, I spend less time at the grocery store, we eat healthier meals and we dine out less.

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