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I am not a planner. I’m a go-with-where-the-wind-takes-me type of person. I love to head to the grocery story as I start feeling hungry and get an idea of something I want to eat NOW. Sadly, my personality style does not jive well with the demands of motherhood. I can’t just waltz into the store at any given time. I also have to haul three kids in with me, leaving barely any room in the cart for the actual groceries. I KNOW I need to get better at meal planning, and so this year, I am working on that. I don’t want to walk around in circles at the grocery store with a baby on my hip, a child in the cart and another running through the aisles. I just can’t do it anymore. I need to go as LITTLE AS POSSIBLE with a PLAN! I wasn’t sure where to start, and so I thought I’d write this post for other mamas like me. The one’s who don’t have a clue how to plan meals. Do we write down every meal for 7 days??? Seriously do people do that?? Apparently happy and health moms do, so that’s what I am going to strive for.
I need shopping lists, a plan, to get control and more, so this bundle idea is right up my alley! I was actually super impressed with the bundle, if buying everything in one appeals to you. I will go over more details on the bundle in a bit. Here’s the first step to start meal planning:
Step 1: Start with Dinner
Starting with dinner works for me because for some reason working backwards makes more sense for our family. Breakfast is usually quick, either eggs, pancakes or french toast. That’s just what my boys all like to eat, so I alternate those. Not a lot of shopping necessary there. Lunch can be on the quick side too, with left-overs from dinner, turkey or peanut butter and jelly, grilled cheese and lots of fruit. Dinner is the hardest meal, so I started by writing down lots of meals to shop for. Some of our favorites are Spaghetti, Lasagna, Baked Chicken with green beans and mashed potatoes, Steak and potatoes and cheese burgers and french fries. When I think about all these meals at the store, I get overwhelmed, but planning the ingredients with a list helps a lot. Start making a list of each dinner, then all the ingredients you need underneath each one. You can also grab one of these free templates from Daily Burn. I love a free printable to spark me to get going and planning!
Step 2: Don’t Set Days For Meals
Something about being locked in for Tuesday cheese burgers doesn’t sit well with me. I need flexibility. I also am not sure what will pop up, and spaghetti might be easier. Who knows right? So I actually don’t set days, I just have all the ingredients for each dinner. Having less pressure on what days we are eating which meal really seems to help me.
Step 3: Freeze Left Overs
Rather than using a lot of left overs for other meals, I freeze them. That way if I am in a bind, or forgot something like usual, It’s not such a big deal. And, because I have little toddlers, sometimes they eat and sometimes they don’t. On the days I can’t get them to eat much, I freeze their food for another day. It saves me trying to force feed it to them the next day, or my husband from getting too tired of it.
Step 4: Get a White Board/Note Pad in Kitchen
- Do you know how many times I’ve thought of something for dinner, went to go write it down, but something happened and I never thought of it again?? Always keep a note pad, or whiteboard on your fridge, or cute calendar/planning white board on the wall in your kitchen. You can write as you go, and it will help you remember what you need. You can always come back to it before you head out and transfer what you wrote onto your note pad in your purse. Better yet, just take a picture of your list on your phone! To be honest, I don’t even always remember to check my list, which is why I love the Healthy Meal Planning Bundle. I just print it all and keep it in the car haha! Meal plans and shopping lists ready to go!
I felt like as a mom, meal planning should be easy. Like we just know how to do it innately. Well, I don’t. I don’t plan things like that, and I am okay with learning some tricks from those who’ve been doing it longer. That’s why the Healthy Meal Planning Bundle really appealed to me. There’s an ecourse included with the books and printables. The meal plans and shopping lists are ready to go. Unfortunately, I do well for like a week, then I fall into the busyness of life, and I am running to the store every other day and pulling my hair out with the kids.
The Bundle includes recipes for all healthy eating styles:
Vegan (includes dairy & egg free)
Quick & Healthy
Instant Pot & Slow Cooker
Freezer & Batch Cooking
Meal Planning How-To (my favorite part!)
This bundle is a collection of 101 eBooks, 3 printables, and even an eCourse. Inside this bundle, you will find resources with thousands of recipes, ready-made meal plans, planning tips, and printables to help you.
These are good quality products and not just a bunch of “throw-away” eBooks. The Ultimate Bundles team spends months reviewing potential contributors, approaches only the best for inclusion, and then only accepts the finest products of those. They are highly selective and it shows, so I know you won’t be disapointed. It’s only available until Jan. 5th, so make sure to grab it to help you rock your meals this year!
No matter how you start, remember to go simple and healthy. Add veggies where you can, I sneak in veggies all the time!! Try yellow squash in eggs :). Look at what your family loves for dinner and start there. You’ll get used to grabbing the same items or buying in bulk for those. Amazon Fresh is something I’ve been dying to try, but they don’t offer it here yet. Sad face. But, if they have it near you, DO IT!! Unlimited grocery delivery for $14.99 a month. Please try it and let me know your thoughts. I am chomping at the bit to start it here!