Meal planning can seem overwhelming and tedious at first. It does take time and energy, and it seems like too much in the beginning. I assure you, after you get into the groove of meal planning weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, you will find it to be a huge time and money saver.
Today's tips are about how to pick your meals.
- Start by determining if you are making your meal plan for one week, two weeks or a month.
- Next make a list of meals you and your family enjoy.
- Decide if you want to include any bulk cooking or freezer meals to your menu. Add those recipes to your list.
- Use a calendar to list the menu items you wish to make that week. Use my basic method, or check out Amanda's meal planning chart.
A great method for organizing meals is to make a list by category. I like to list my recipes under these categories:
- Slow Cooker Freezer Meals
- BBQ/Oven Freezer Meals
- Breakfast Meals
If I plan to do any baking (muffins, bread, etc...) I add that as a category as well. (Banana Muffins, Blueberry Muffins, Banana Blueberry Muffins, Rhubarb Muffins, Pancake Mix, Pizza Dough, Biscuits, etc..)
Once you have a list of recipes, the next step is to decide if you are going to batch cook and have some meals ready in the freezer. I usually batch cook based on what protein is on sale each week. Over the summer I have been living at my Mom's, helping her since her stroke. Because I have not been home, I have not been keeping up with stocking the freezer.
In the next few weeks, my plan is to start from scratch and begin batch cooking each Sunday for about 4-5 weeks. This will allow me to shop sales and restock my freezer with all of our favourite recipes.
Watch next week for the next step in the meal planning process: How To Plan A Shop.
Here are some of my favourite meal prep containers.
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