Family Meal Planning Tips

5 tips I use to make meal planning easier:

1) To save money and time, keep breakfast as simple as possible. Mornings are already crazy enough, so use this time to make delicious and healthy meals that take less than 10 minutes. You can serve oatmeal, grits, tempeh bacon with fresh fruit, smoothies, and much more.

2) Take a main food and plan a few meals around that ingredient- Google the ingredient with the tag “vegan recipes” and many options will be available to plan your meal around that item. Black beans are a great example of a main food to plan meals around.  One night you can make black bean burritos, and the next spicy black beans and rice. Save money by picking up dried beans opposed to the canned option. You can make your beans on the weekends and serve later in the week.

 

3) Put a spin on favorites and make enough for leftovers-Spaghetti is one of those meals that is very easy to change up.  You can literally serve spaghetti every week with a new spin.  One week try adding in sautéed mushrooms and the next lentil balls.

 

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4) Keep a food journal- I use a journal to write down recipes the family enjoyed, sources for each recipe (so I can refer back to it once it’s time to cook again), and to keep a running list of items I am low on. Using a food journal reduces my meal planning and time spent in the grocery store.

 

5) Enlist help from others: I ask my family what they want to eat for the week and usually it’s something that I’ve already made.  If I get a dinner idea from each person in the house (there’s 5 of us) dinner will be taken care of for the work week.  This method is important for the family since their ideas are being valued and as a result, they’re likely to try new foods on a later date.

 

Don’t feel like you have to be a gourmet chef each night. Instead, focus on fast and tasty meals. Contrary to what food companies push, homemade meals take less time than you think. :-)


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