Chances are you've heard that meal planning can be a great way to save money and avoid fast food. However, you may have tried it and found that it didn't work for your family. Don't give up. There are secrets to successful meal planning you can use to make sure your meal planning efforts are almost foolproof.
Choose Meals Your Family Will Actually Eat
One of the best tips you can use is to make a meal plan with meals your family loves. This is especially important if you have small children in the house. If you want your meal plan to be successful, this is not the time to start breaking out recipes for veggie quiche or spinach soup (unless your kids love them).
Keep It Simple
You also want to make sure you choose simple to prepare recipes. After all, who wants to dirty every dish in the house after working all day? Choose recipes that have very few ingredients and are quick to cook. This will definitely make your meal plan much easier to stick to.
Shop for the Week
Another great tip is to do all your shopping once a week after you've chosen the meals you want to prepare. Many people create their meal plan and do their shopping on Saturday or Sunday. If you don't want to waste part of your weekend, make your meal plan on Thursday and do your shopping after work on Friday.
Embrace Your Slow Cooker
Don't want to cook after work? No problem. Choose slow cooker meals for your meal plan. The night before, fill your slow cooker insert with the ingredients and pop them in the fridge. The next morning, pop the insert in the slow cooker and go about your day. When you're ready for dinner, everything will be done. No more cooking after a long day.
If you want to cut down on the work needed to prepare meals throughout the week, prep ahead. You can prep vegetables to cut down on work quite a bit. You can even create meal kits for the meals you want to prepare. This will make your life much, much easier.
Stock Your Freezer
Last, but not least, you can also make a number of meals to place in your freezer. This allows you to come home, pop the meal in the oven, and have a great dinner without any work. You can easily stock your freezer with several great meals by simple doubling or tripling recipes. You can find so many great freezer meals on Pinterest. Another great reason to have these meals on hand is for when you're running short on time and don't have time to cook the meal you had planned.
There you have it. These secrets really can make meal planning much easier. Before you know it, you'll be having awesome meals each night and saving a lot of money.