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Meal Planning 101

 

 

Cooking at home as opposed to eating out, can be a healthier and more economical option.  If your like me you may eat out for various reason.  However one of the top reasons we eat out in my family, is because I have not planned dinner.  When I plan my meals in advance, I don’t have to think of a meal idea quickly.  I write it down, post the menu schedule on the fridge and shop accordingly.  It is a lot easier to cook when I know the meal I am making and I already have all of the ingredients.

Planning ahead cuts down on multiple trips to the grocery store.  Often times when I plan something last minute, I don’t have all the ingredients and that causes an extra trip, where more impulse items can be picked up.

Another Fantastic plus for planning meals and eating at home is leftovers.  Leftovers can make a great lunch the next day!

When making a meal plan I recommend writing it all out. When I don’t do this, I get halfway through the week and then can’t remember what I had planned. LOL

Since my husband and I both work I try to plan simple meals during the week and save the more complex meals for the weekend, when we have more time.

Are you tired of your meal ideas and need something new.  There are many great resources.  Ask friends.  With social media it just takes a minute to get ideas.  Pinterest and Allrecipes are other great websites. Nomoretogo is a fun website that sends you not only recipes but the grocery list as well.  They run a groupon periodically making it cost under two dollars a month.  It even lets you swap out meals in case you have an allergy or just don’t think your family would eat a particular meal.

Another great way to help stay in your budget is to plan your meals according to what’s in season.  In the summer we eat a lot of watermelon and corn on the cob.  We eat fewer strawberries and raspberries in the winter as their prices rise.

Adding in a vegetarian meal or two a week can help cut down on costs.

Need a few meal ideas to get you started?  Here are a few that frequent our table.

Spaghetti– with Meatballs, Meatsauce, Mushrooms, or sometimes just a little bit of butter garlic and veggies.

Tacos – shredded pork, chicken, ground beef, steak

Nachos – we eat these weekly.  You can throw anything on them.

Pot Roast

Pork Roast – this can be cooked and made with gravy, or put in a crockpot and shredded with some bbq sauce.

Soup & Grilled Cheese

Hamburgers

Wraps -fresh veggies, ranch dressing, chicken

Breakfast for dinner

Meatball subs

Taco Salad

Bean burritos

Tostadas

Enchiladas