If you’re like us, your evenings can be hectic a few times a week. Heck maybe it’s more than that. The kids are running amuck or busy with after school sports/activities, you’re trying to get dinner ready, phone ringing, or just lots of distractions. Look, I totally get it. We’re all worried about time because it’s so valuable. The kids need to eat, get showered, and ready for bed and afterwards you’re hoping for a little “me time”. That’s the reason for this post. Menu planning tips for busy families. Menu planning has helped us a lot. We know what were eating for the week which cuts down on eating out last minute and the stress of trying to figure out what to eat.
- Creating a weekly menu. Sit down figure out what kinds of meals and look for recipes. This can be time consuming at first. I say that only because if you haven’t built up your recipe list it will take a few extra minutes to figure this out. Start scouring the internet for recipes. Food Network, Pinterest, health & fitness websites, magazines, etc. Once yo this part it’s all down hill from here. If you want variety just keep searching and adding.
- Grocery list. Once you’re with your menu, it’s time create the grocery list. If you don’t shop with you list then you will add random things to your cart and waste a lot of time cruising up and down the aisles. Remember time is valuable for us. Especially if you want to spend it with your kids. Shopping with a list is fast and less stressful. One more thing, STICK TO THE LIST. Yes, don’t forget the essentials you need each week like bread, milk, eggs, etc. The essentials and what you need for your menu belong on the list.
- Precut. That’s right cut all vegetables and fruits ahead of time on the weekend or when you have some of that valuable time to kill watching television. This is a no brainer because we know this can be a pain in the butt during a hectic week. If it’s in your budget you can even go as far as buying precut produce, if your grocery store sells them.
- Use the weekend to cook. This is my struggle right now because we’re inconsistent with it. But, when we do it, it’s the greatest time saver ever. What I mean by this you can cook all or some of your meals all on day. Time consuming, yes it can be depending on the time of meal you’re preparing. You can cook and freeze the food if you like. You can pack lunches for the week as well. What we do is save the more complicated or elaborate meals for the weekend and keep the easy stuff for the week.
- Get a rice cooker. I know it’s crazy but this thing is awesome. It saves us so much time. You put the rice and water in then hit cook and bam you just wait. No need to wait for boiling water or the need keep checking it.
- Frozen items. We like to use frozen vegetables a lot. They are flash frozen when picked. All you need to do is season to taste. This is what we use a lot during the week. The weekends are a little different we may pick some fresh unfrozen produce for the grill. Nothing wrong with frozen vegetables or fruit. Remember it’s about saving time and stress.
I hope you enjoyed my menu planning tips for busy families. If you have any other tips or maybe I forgot something feel free to comment below. Here is a example of a weekly menu calendar. It’s a pdf so feel free to download it. It has all meals listed os if you want to plan out your entire you can as well. Or maybe you want to edit it. Your choice.