Do you find yourself completely caught off guard some nights?

The five o’clock hour rolls around and you think to yourself, “oh my, what are we having for dinner?” Then you scramble through the kitchen in search of something quick to prepare. Believe me, I have done this more than I want to admit is true.

Whether you are work at home mom, work full time outside of the house, or have little ones to care for all day, you are busy. As busy moms, meal planning can be a daunting task, you’re right! It is!

It’s one of those things that no one wants to do. It is not fun. But it’s ok with a little practice and good habit forming, you’ll be a meal planning champ in no time. If you want to continue scrambling at dinnertime, then click away now.

You’re still reading… Great! There are many reasons why meal planning is essential to successfully running your household. You are the CEO of your home and you need systems in place to help you manage it. Meal planning is one of those systems. Here are my top 7 reasons meal planning is essential to any mom.

Save Money

By setting up a good meal planning system and preparing ahead of time for those meals, you will save yourself a ton of money. That alone is a good enough reason for me to go ahead and plan. You won’t be ordering take out. You won’t be wondering aimlessly at the grocery store, buying more than you need. You will know exactly what you need and how much money you need to prepare it.

Save Time

Because you will have a strategic grocery list and you’ll be prepared ahead of time, you will save time both at the store and in the kitchen.

You’ll actually save time by putting in the time up front. You’ll sit down for may a half an hour each week to plan out your meals and you’ll know exactly what you need while you are at the store and you’ll know exactly what to thaw and prep each night. It makes grocery shopping much easier.

Healthier meals

When it comes to planning meals, you take control of what your family is eating. It is easier to order take out, but it certainly is not healthier. When you are planning your meals, you take into account your family’s dietary needs, allergies, and health. By planning your meals, you have the ability to plan healthier meals.

Avoid the 5 o’clock scramble

Has this ever happened to you? You are working on your biz or playing with your kids and all of sudden your belly yells at you that its hungry. You think to yourself, yeah it’s 5, I need to go cook. So you enter the kitchen and ‘BAM’ there’s nothing to cook. Well, I’m sure there is, but it will take an hour to prep and cook, so you try to take out.

By planning out your meals each week, you’ll avoid what I call ‘the 5 o’clock scramble’ where you have some hangry kids on your hands while you try to scrounge about and find something to prepare for them.

Makes you happier and more confident in the kitchen

I am pretty sure that you enjoy cooking, but at times it can feel daunting, especially when you have so much you want to go do for your business or home. So by planning quick meals on certain days, you allow that time and space for you to those other things that you want to do.

You also open up the ‘happy gate’ for you to enjoy the meal prep and cooking process. I know I enjoy it better when I know ahead of time what I will be making and to know that I have everything I need.

Plan meals with like ingredients 

This one goes along with both saving money and saving time. When you plan meals around like ingredients, you are being strategic with your time and effort. If you need half an onion for this meal and half an onion for that meal and plan those two meals back to back, BAM you are cutting that onion all at one time.

Track and determine family favorites

By implementing meal plans each week, you are taking control of what your family eats. You can easily plan meals they love and incorporate new foods to try. It is especially important as the children are growing to try new foods. Their little taste buds are forever changing when they are little and this will help develop good eating habits as they grow and mature.

Try new healthy meals often and incorporate it into your weekly meal plans.

So if it is so important, why not plan out your meals? Because it takes time and is a process, err. But with a little practice you can make meal planning part of your weekly routine, just like laundry and grocery shopping. I made this meal planning guide to help you create an epic meal plan for your family. The guide is complete with a weekly meal plan worksheet and grocery list page for you to print to get you started. To find out more about the Meal planning Guide, click here!

Some quick tips as you get started with meal planning:

  1. Don’t stress. You’ll get the hang of it (it takes 66 days to form a habit)
  2. Don’t worry about the fine details of each meal as you plan. Simply jot down the ingredients and where to find the recipe.
  3. Choose what works best for you (try several methods until you hit gold)
  4. Plan meals around your families favorites and needs
  5. Track meals to see which ones become favorites and which ones become loathed
  6. Mix it up and try new foods/ recipes every so often
  7. Use Pinterest for inspiration and reference

Please share in the comments what some of your go to meals are. What do you always have on hand that is quick and easy and loved by all.

 

Meal Planning For The Busy Mom

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