As a family with two full time working parents, we do our very best to plan our weeks ahead of time. This means we plan everything from after school activity drop offs and homework time… to snacks and meals. Snacks and meals can seem overwhelming when you’ve had a full day already. Planning and executing meals can seem daunting. I have written about this before but had a few people ask for more details.
We try our best to make this process as easy as possible. We meal plan… Yes, I know you’ve heard that word so many times before and just the word seems daunting. But, I promise, it’s not so bad! And it saves time and money. So here goes… here is how we meal plan.
The first step is to write down all snacks and meals for the week. This is how I do it… Meal Prepping
Following the list I use my recipes to create a grocery list. I use my notes section in my iphone to create my list (super easy and convenient). I create the list in the order I find the products in the store because this makes my trip faster and easier as well. I cut any coupons I may need and head to the store (preferably without children haha).
Some of my favorite recipes I find on Pinterest (don’t we all) But I also absolutely love using traditional cook books. Here are some of my favorites.
Good ole Betty Crocker never steers me wrong and has helped me to learn recipes from scratch. It’s amazing ! Click Betty Crocker Cookbook, to get your copy!!
My absolute new favorite is Magnolia Table! If you did not grab a copy yet, click here!! This book is full of awesome recipes. It has so so so many options and just about everything is also kid friendly!! Click Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering, to get your copy!!
Something else that we do to save time and money is we organize the pantry and refrigerator to pack school lunches and snacks. I use bins to organize the pantry. To pack lunches I grab a sandwich or cheese & crackers or thermos of something hot, grab a water or juice box, a fruit, and two snack items. I try to keep fresh fruit all week but sometimes use a fruit cup to substitute in lunches. I try to cut up fruit in advance to make it easier to pack in Tupperware containers for lunches. The snack items can be anything from veggie straws to fruit snacks.
Using this system has helped us not only save so much time but it also keeps the kids in a great routine and helps us budget appropriately for weekly grocery store trips.