What’s for dinner?
Killer question because it’s something that is asked every stinkin’ day!
Meal planning is a super important part of being organized.
I have a simple strategy for organizing this sometimes stressful time of the day by doing one thing: planning!
Why plan your meals?
Meal Planning saves your sanity
There’s nothing worse at the end of the day being hungry and not knowing what to have for dinner.
Or waking up and not knowing what to eat either.
Planning meals saves money
Without a plan for dinner, one of two things happen – you scrounge around for something that can be made quickly, or head out to eat.
And it’s much more expensive to eat out than it is to cook at home.
Meal planning helps structure your day
No joke, but I plan the second half of my day around dinner.
Not the eating part of it, but the preparation part of it.
Some dishes take longer to prepare.
With a meal plan, you’ll know how much time to devote to being in the kitchen for meal prep.
And this means you’ll have to make sure you have time to make the meal that you’ve planned!
Meal Planning Helps Kids
Kids need to be exposed to new foods something like 15 times before they start to like it.
This can be exhausting for parents!
So instead, outsmart them by getting strategic with your meal planning.
Meal planning ensures that you can spread out the new meals to avoid challenging picky palates too much!
How I Meal Plan
The two most important things I consider when meal planning are the family calendar of the next week and the weather.
Kinda weird things to base food choices on, huh?
Let me explain!
The calendar of family activities and my work schedule completely rule my life. I’m a pretty busy lady – I volunteer for two PTAs, my local alumnae Delta Zeta chapter, and my church and am involved with a few entrepreneur groups, in addition to meeting with clients and making rocking products to help people get organized.
The kids have their sports and activities and my husband plays volleyball and sports and also volunteers at church.
It would have been much easier if I’d just said we were really busy (aka just like everyone else!).
If we have early activities, then I know I’ll need a meal that is not as objectionable to those picky palates and usually one that has easy prep too.
Meal Plan Taking Weather into Consideration
And the weather?
Turning on the oven when temps are over 80 degrees is an unappealing option.
Likewise, a cold salad isn’t ideal on a 45 degree day.
So pull up your weather app on your phone and make note of the forecast to begin your meal planning process.
Meal Planning Resources
With these two factors in mind, I have designed many calendars and meal planning printables that I have available in my shop.
These printables are so helpful for staying organized while meal planning!
After figuring out what type of meals I’ll need for each day, then I pull out my phone and check out the recipes saved in my Paprika app, one of the 5 best organizing apps.
Depending on what my mood is, I’ll try to find a few new meals to try or I will look some tried and true meals that everyone likes.
I then fill in the meal planning chart and shopping list that I’ve printed off and I’m off onto the next activity on my schedule.
When I’m focused, I can get a full week of meal plans and the companion shopping list together in about 15 minutes.
It’s a pretty small amount of time to devote to making a huge step towards staying organized for the coming week.
Have you decided to give meal planning a try?
My Meal Planning Bundle has everything you’ll need to get started.
The printable planning page help you organize recipes and create lists of favorite meals and restaurants so you’re never left wondering what’s for dinner again!
Over to you!
Is meal planning something you struggle with?