Being a working or busy mom can frequently leave you exhausted and with limited time for food planning and preparation. Your everyday to-do list is never-ending: work, picking up and dropping off your children from school or sports, running errands, cleaning the house, and worrying about what to make for lunch. We feel you because we know how hard it is. On that note, we’ll share with you some tips on how to plan your family’s meals weekly so you can save time and effort, so keep reading.
Use the same ingredients twice
Use similar components over a couple of meals to save time and money. Use carrots, zucchini, onions, potatoes, etc. to create sautéed vegetables one night and vegetable soup the next. By doing this, you may save food waste and ensure that you only need to cut the items once.
Make double batches whenever you can
Make a double batch if you have the supplies and the room in your pot or pan, then store the extras for an upcoming, super-quick meal. You can do this with soup. Try to make more food than your family needs and freeze some of it to utilize as a quick supper during those hectic weeks!
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Plan tomorrow’s lunch while making today’s meal
Plan for tomorrow's meal while cooking tonight—this may be the best advice for busy moms when it comes to food planning. Prepare for tomorrow's dinner while you are preparing dinner for tonight. Simply said, this implies that you must remove any frozen meat from the freezer, wash grains, create bread dish dough, etc. Typically, there are only a few quick chores you can complete while you wait for anything to cook.
Stick to an organized plan
After selecting the main genre, choose 7 subcategories (one every single day of the week).
First genre: Meat-based; examples include chicken, seafood, red meat, hamburger, ground beef, etc.
Second genre: Grain-based foods include pasta, rice, bread, potatoes, corn, beans, and lentils.
Third genre: Comfort, Italian, vegetarian, soup, Mexican, pizza, grill, slow cooker, or different cuisines.
This plan will make it easier for you when it comes to grocery shopping or meal planning. Try to print it and hang it on the fridge or a place where you can always see it.
Write down the ingredients of every meal of the week
On a sheet of paper, list all seven of these categories along with every dish you can think of that matches each one. For example, this could be your week’s lunches:
Sunday: molokhia, rice, chicken, salad
Tuesday: bechamel pasta, salad
Friday: burger sandwiches, fries
Saturday: seafood pasta
What you need to do is to write down all the ingredients of every meal beforehand so you can shop for them. Writing down the ingredients will help you a lot while grocery shopping. This way, you won’t forget anything and ensure that the week’s meals are all covered.
Fill out weekly and monthly calendars
Sit down and write down your weekly and monthly weekly meal plans one day per week. Fill down your schedule for the week, making notes of any side dishes you might want to include or prepare. It's a terrific idea to shop items on sale and choose your sides depending on what's discounted right now. If you're preparing anything in addition to the main course, make a note of it. Create a weekly shopping list and schedule a shopping day. You can arrange to do some dinner preparation when you return home to make your nights even simpler.
Plan breakfast too
Every week, the same breakfast can be arranged according to the day of the week. You can follow this plan if you like:
Pancakes or waffles on Sunday (make two batches and reheat on Thursday)
oatmeal on Monday
Eggs on Tuesday
Oatmeal on Wednesday
Waffles or pancakes on Thursday
Eggs for Friday
On Saturday, have yogurt and cold cereal or granola.
Meal planning is a lifesaver, and we're here to help if you've never done it before or have fallen out of the habit. You should schedule your meals as a working or busy mom to make your life easier.
Main image credit: @honeywhatscooking