We all live very busy, hectic lives, which means it is very hard to find the time to eat a healthy meal with the family. Between school and work, and hundreds of other errands, finding time to cook homemade meals and sitting around the dinner table is an ongoing challenge. Here are some meal planning tips for you to help make meal prepping and cooking a breeze for healthy and delicious meals.
Use Pinterest and Instagram as fast resources for ideas
Since meal preparation is the key to having well-planned, healthy meals, you should allocate one day a week to browse for ideas. You will see tons of simple, cheap and fast menus and recipes that you can prepare for your family.
Grab pre-pared proteins at the supermarket
Look for semi-prepped meats from the grocery store like shredded chicken. You can keep them in the fridge to grab and cook whenever you have a busy week. Just chop some veggies to make quick dinners.
One-pot meals are your best friend
This is the most prepared meal on a busy week, as it only requires one pot and little cleanup. Just leave them in the crock-pot and they will be ready when you come home. Plus, if you have the crock-pot liners, cleanup will be a breeze!
Always make it a habit to have a one-week meal plan
The best tip is to plan what you want to cook for the entire week during the weekend. It will also save you money and prep time, if you shop ahead of time. The online Walmart grocery store pickup is a very helpful resource. Keep your list running all week, and go!
Think about how to repurpose bulk items
When you buy bulk product and protein that are on sale, you have to use these items two-three times during the week. If you have a bag full of kale, you can cook them with beans for soup and make kale Caesar salad on other days.
Prepare your grocery list
By listing your groceries, you can save time doing the grocery shopping! Some grocery stores offers a lower price for meat and poultry, while you can buy fresh produce cheaper at the farmer's market.
Skip brand names and pre-cut foods to save money
This is the best advice especially if you want to save money. Ignore brand names as you can get the same product at a lesser price point. You can also save further buying whole fruits and vegetables, then dedicate at least 2-3 hours preparing them for the week. You can also buy bone-in meat and do the same. You will see a big difference in grocery budget when you start practicing this.
Make your own baked goods
Baking can be therapeutic, if you have time during the weekends, you can make your own cookies, muffins, etc. for your family. This also allows quality time with the kiddos. Make it a family activity!
When juggling a busy schedule, we usually take for granted the most important thing for our family, getting healthy food on the table. With the tips and tricks above, you can save time, plan your meals, shop and cook a healthy family meal. Enjoy!