Putting food on the table is a huge part of what we do, and we’ll be doing it in some capacity for the rest of our lives, so it’s important to get a great meal planning system in place for cutting out as much stress, and time consumption as possible.
As we discussed yesterday, creating a simple recipe binder is a huge step in that process, and rather than going back over that here, if you missed it, just go back and watch yesterday’s video, Why You Need a Recipe Binder.
Below, you can watch today’s video: How to Simplify Meal Planning with a “Quick Win” List
Resources in this video: Meal Planning Binder.
Here’s what I mean:
Grab a calendar template, or just a sheet of paper with about 30 lines on it, and start righting down the meals you know you can serve your family any time with no complaints.
The recipes everybody likes.
The pizza, spaghetti, tostadas, chicken piccata, …it’s different for every family of course, but just start writing them down.
The reason you want about 30 of them, is so you can have 1 every day to choose from, so that if you want to, you can create a rotating monthly meal plan.
This is a great way to do your meal planning, because when you have that month-to-month predictability, you can start stocking up on ingredients you know you’re going to use when they go on sale, or possibly buy in bulk, and use a lot of strategies to save money.
But for our purposes with simplifying meal planning, it’s a key strategy to cut the workload of getting food on the table.
You’re just doing a little bit of work up front, so You’ll have list to pick from when you make your meal plans, without putting any time, and very little thought into it.
And since these are recipes you know well, making your grocery list is that much easier.
Now 30 meals may seem like a lot, and a lot of people tell me they don’t even know that many recipes, so just know that there’s no rule saying you have to complete this exercise in 5 minutes – this isn’t a timed test.
The odds are you do know that many recipes, you just can’t think of them off the top of your head.
So take your list and put it on the fridge, or somewhere you’ll be able to access it easily, and write down your recipes as you think of them.
One of the benefits to having a 30 day list of meals is that it makes you more flexible with your meal planning.
See, when you have a whole month’s worth of dinner recipes to work with, you can stock those ingredients and make them any time. That means if you have a slow cooker recipe planned for Thursday, but it turns out Tuesday is going to be your busy day after all, you can just make the switch.
So it helps you plan, be flexible, and in command of your homemaking.
So that’s it for lesson 2, and I’ll see you back here tomorrow for our third and final tip to simplify meal planning.