“Mom, what’s for dinner tonight?”
I cringed every time my kids asked me this question. My response was usually an impatient, “I don’t know yet – stop asking me!” It shouldn’t have surprised me – inconvenient as it was – my family seemed to need to eat every single day, multiple times a day! Simple meal planning has been the answer.
In Fall of 2015 I decided to start a simple meal planning routine for newbies (like me). These posts are how I got started meal planning by just putting down on paper what we were already doing for our daily dinners.
There is nothing extravagant or elaborate about our meal planning process. Our meals are also simple and repeated weekly or biweekly. That’s okay with our family in the stage that we are in. We are all about uncomplicated and full bellies.
The Benefits of Meal Planning
We’ve found that this simple meal planning process HAS actually benefited us. Here are the benefits we’ve experienced:
- We have stopped eating out.
- We have saved money (see above! )
- We are more peaceful.
Meal Planning for Beginners (like me) Series:
- Meal Planning for Beginners
- Stress Free Meal Planning for Beginners: Finding What Works for You
- Stress Free Meal Planning for the Busy Family
- Meal Planning Ideas: One Chicken, Three Meals
- Free Menu Planning Printables
Meal Planning and Your pantry staples
Something I didn’t know before we started meal planning is how important it is to actually know what your family’s essential pantry staples are. When you know your pantry staples, you can whip up a quick dinner in a stress free jiffy.
Knowing your family’s pantry staples also helps make grocery shopping easy and stress free as well.
- 3 Steps to Know Your Essential Pantry Staples
- Our 10 Essential Pantry Staples (with a Free Printable!)
- Meal Planning from the Pantry
Give it a Try!
Using the simple process outlined above, meal planning doesn’t have to take longer than 5 minutes if you’re planning weekly like I usually do.
If you are not meal planning at all, try planning 2 meals for the week. If you’re already planning for 2-3 meals a week, try planning for the weekdays only (which are always more hectic around here). Take it in small steps as you’re building the habit of planning your meals.
The benefit of meal planning is that when 5pm rolls around and my kids want to know what’s for dinner, they don’t ask me anymore. They look up on the refrigerator and read from our weekly meal planner. Ahhh…
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Meal Planning Printables
To help you get started meal planning, sign up for these FREE printables!