How a meal plan will save your money and sanity

meal plan

It’s 4:00 p.m… You’ve been running ragged all day and it just finally dawned on you that you need to start making dinner soon.

Aiy yi yi.

You really want to suggest to the kids that you have popcorn and cut up raw veggies, but they’re not entirely enthusiastic.

Plus, that’s what you had for dinner last night.

You really want to order in some pizza, but money’s tight. You barely had enough to pay for all the groceries you bought earlier this afternoon, let alone to pay for pizza.

Here’s what you do:

You begrudgingly scroll through Pinterest until you find a recipe that looks easy enough to make. Well, look at that. You don’t have all the ingredients. Back to the drawing board. You repeat step 1 again until you find something that you do have all the ingredients for.

By now it’s 5:30 and you’ve entered into “Hangry Hour”. You’re trying to read this new recipe while warding off tired, hungry kids. The situation is not good.

You burn dinner because you had to tend to two of your children trying to kill each other in the next room. You physically bring everyone to the dinner table, slap some blackened goop onto their plates, and glare at your child when they begin to even think about complaining about what you’ve made. Your eye is twitching and they know shit’s for real. Everyone eats their dinner in silence.

Here’s what you should do

how a meal plan will save your money and sanity

Picture this:

It’s 4:00 p.m… You’ve been running ragged all day and it just finally dawned on you that you need to start making dinner soon.

Aiy yi yi.

You refer to your plan that you made earlier this week and see that you’re having Homemade Mac n’ Cheese tonight. You’re prepared for it because you got your groceries earlier today. You knew what you would be making all week and were able to form a detailed grocery list to ensure your full preparedness.

Your children play lovingly while you create a flawless meal. You all sit at the table while you laugh and joke. Your children and partner sing praises to you. You’re pretty sure you saw Goddess give you a big ol’ thumbs up.

What do you have to thank? Your meal plan.

How to meal plan

1.First things first, download this lovely FREE meal planner that I created especially for you lovely Moms.


You can either print out multiple copies and use one a week, or you can put it in a frame. I found one at the thrift store. This way, you can reuse the same sheet. I just draw on the glass with a whiteboard marker or Sharpie.

2. Write down a master list of all the meals that you like to make and everyone likes to eat. Put the meals that cause the least whining at the top and gradually make your way down to refusal to eat and “would rather starve”.  If you’re having a hard time finding recipes check out this board on Pinterest. You may find something that makes everyone happy.

3. Designate a meal for each day of the week. Take note of what’s going on each day and base the complexity level of your recipe on that.

4. Take note of the ingredients you will need. Write them down on your grocery list.

5. Put your weekly meal planner somewhere you can see it. This will allow you to get into the right frame of mind for making dinner. It will also remind you of what’s in store for the rest of the week. Life is funny and you may need to make some adaptations.

 

Having a meal plan will save you money. You won’t waste time and energy on trying to figure out something for dinner, give up hope, and order pizza. It will allow you to buy exactly what you need from the grocery store-which means you’ll likely waste less food!

A meal plan will also save your sanity. You read the first scenario. It wasn’t pretty. Scenario 2 seems way more appealing, yes?

 

How about you? What is your experience with meal planning? Has it saved you money? Has it saved you sanity? What are your pros and cons for having a meal plan? Share in the comments below to help others decide if having a meal plan is right for them!

 

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