The following is a guest post from Jennifer Dempsey, Food Expert, from The 29 Minute Mom. Meal planning is one of those things that I personally want to get better at so I am SUPER excited that Jennifer is going to be my new personal meal planner! Why not let her be yours too? All we have to do is check in with her every Sunday and she will do all the work for us. I am so in on this one!
If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to get better with menu planning then we’re here to help! Every Sunday starting January 1st we’ll be featuring family friendly meal plans that are easy, healthy and ready in 29 minutes or less! What we love about our meal plans is they feature delicious recipes from around the web that are not only easy to prepare but everyone will love! Each week we will feature 5 recipes including links to the recipes so you can easily print and save. All you need to do is print the recipe and decide what day you want to make it!
So you might be thinking why are we only featuring 5 recipes instead of 7? Good question! After years of meal planning and thinking I had to plan a meal every single day I realized I was wasting food, primarily leftovers because I felt I needed to cook a new meal everyday. I quickly learned that you don’t have to have every day planned. I like a little flexibility in my schedule because let’s face it schedules change, things come up and most importantly leftovers happen. If I can get two meals out of one I’ll take it! It’s a total timesaver!
So you definitely have to have room in your meal plan for change. That’s why the meal plans I design are not based on the day of the week but just a meal for that week. Make it on Monday, Wednesday or Sunday. You choose. The point is to have 5 recipes ready to go for the week and the ingredients on hand so you can prepare them any night of the week. And if leftovers do happen, try not to recycle it the next day on the menu. Wait a day so there isn’t burnout.
Also, consider freezing leftovers. If you make a big pot of chili instead of eating it five days in a row freeze some so you have it on hand to incorporate in another weekly menu on one of those off nights. Plus, it totally saves you time in the kitchen from making dinner! Casseroles are perfect freezer meals too. When possible I’ll make one and freeze one to pop in the oven on a busy weeknight. Typically I know ahead of time if I’m going to incorporate a freezer meal in my menu planning so it helps with planning. I also usually use them within a month, two at the latest.
I know meal planning can be a daunting task but honestly you should spend no more than 29 minutes a week planning your weekly menu. And that’s why we’re hear to help!
For tips to help you with your meal planning and to listen to the podcast about meal planning click on the image below: