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Hey! Come on in, dinner’s almost ready!
Tonight we are having our favorite, spaghetti and French bread! Mmm! I’ve been looking forward to this all day!
Before we sit down to eat, let me hit you with a quick scenario!
You’re just getting off work and you get this text:
Hubby: “I’m starving! What’s for dinner tonight?”
You: “Ummmm… maybe something quick like Chick Fil A or Chipolte? I’m tired and don’t have anything planned.”
Hubby: “Again? Have you seen our bank account? :/”
Doesn’t this sound a little nicer after a long day at work:
Hubby: “Hey, babe! I’m headed home. What’s for dinner tonight?”
You: “Grilled chicken and vegetables! Can’t wait to see you!”
Yes! You read this great blog post about meal planning, you put the steps into action, and now you are a meal planning boss! Then, you made your weekly meal plan Sunday afternoon and got all your groceries. And then, you put the chicken in the fridge to thaw overnight, and you have everything ready to put on the stove when you get home.
Go, you! You are a boss!
Oh! Here is that blog post you read about meal planning that has helped you save time at the grocery store, save money by only buying what you need, waste less because you are using what you already have, and has helped you get dinner on the table faster.
5 Easy Steps to Meal Planning: Save Time, Save Money, Waste Less
1. Check your calendar.
Check your calendar or planner and see if you have anything going on this week that you need to plan around. Birthdays, events, nights you will be really busy, etc.
2. Check your pantry, fridge, and freezer.
Check and see what you already have on hand and what needs to be eaten up. This will save you from wasting leftovers and buying something you already have.
3. Check the sales ad.
Find deals for items you need to complete meals and to finish out your menu plan.
4. Make your menu for the week.
Write down what you will be making for dinner each night. I would suggest writing your entrée and sides down, so you know you have everything to finish the meal. I use a simple chalkboard in my kitchen. You could use a calendar, planner, your phone, etc. Just make sure it’s something you will see every day.
Try some of these $2 per person meal ideas.
5. Make your grocery list.
Make your list based on what you need to complete meals and great deals on food you know you will eat.
That’s it! See, it’s not so bad!
And here are two great bonus tips!
Bonus Tip #1. While you are making dinner for tonight, go ahead and pull your meat out of the freezer to thaw in the fridge overnight. No defrosting tomorrow!
Freezer cooking makes this even easier!
Bonus Tip #2. Already in the kitchen? Go ahead and make lunches for tomorrow while you wait on dinner.
See, you can be that super awesome wife that has dinner planned out ahead of time! I’m sure your husband will be so appreciative of your hard work and saving money that he will do all the dishes, laundry, etc. while you relax for the evening. Right? Maybe? Dream world?
Ok back to reality…
Now you know how to be a meal planning mastermind if you follow these 5 simple steps: Check your calendar for commitments, check your pantry/fridge/freezer, check the sales ad, make your weekly menu, and finally, make your grocery list.
I think you will find meal planning to help you save time at the grocery store, save money on groceries, waste less food, and get dinner on the table faster.
Keep at this for a few weeks and eventually, it will become a part of your routine and you’ll forget what the drive thru life looked like!
Here is a free printable to keep up with your menu!
P.S. Be sure to check out the MyFreezEasy program if you are interested in learning more about meal planning. You’ll find customizable meal plans to get 10 meals into your freezer in about an hour! There are 5 different meals plans each month, with something for everyone. Meal plans come in a printable download with recipes, shopping lists, assembly instructions, videos, and printable labels. These plans are designed for beginner cookers and more experienced cooks – really anyone who wants to skip the overwhelm of feeding their family delicious and healthful meals every night. Check it out!