Making a 7-day meal plan for your family can prove to ease a lot of stress off of you when trying to plan meals on a day-to-day basis. Furthermore, it lets you know exactly what you need to buy at the grocery and how to prepare your meals. Continue reading below for tips on making this plan.
1. Make a List
Consider making a list of 15 to 20 meals that you know your family enjoys. Use this list to pull meal ideas from for your meal plan. Consider even having separate master lists for each meal of the day, such as a list for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Make sure you have all of the recipes you need as well.
2. Write Out the Plan
Writing out the 7-day plan allows for everyone to see it. You could hang it up somewhere, so spouses, children, and other family members know what for mealtime without having to ask. You could also utilize this written list when going to the grocery store to get the necessary ingredients and supplies for your plan.
3. Use What You Have
You can plan many meals based on what is already in your pantry or refrigerator. Use what you already have when making plans to not waste money and not have to purchase duplicates. Make sure you organize your pantry and fridge to find out what you have as well, while considering taking an inventory of what you have.
4. Rely on Sales
If you are looking to make a 7-day meal plan on a budget, make sure you take advantage of your favorite grocery stores’ sales. Check newspapers on Sunday for the weekly sales papers, some of which even contain coupons. Use ingredients that are on sale if they fit into what your family enjoys eating to save money and suit everyone.
5. Use In-Season Fruits and Vegetables
Another important consideration if you are making your 7-day meal plan is to only use fruits and vegetables that are in season. Produce items that are not in season typically cost a lot of extra money.
When fruits and vegetables are abundant due to the season you are currently in, the price generally is less pricey, saving you a lot of money.
6. Think of the Season
When considering seasons, choose meals that are good for the seasons. Some foods are just better for colder months, such as soups and chilis. Other meals are better for summer months such as salads and grilled food. Try to avoid oven usage in warmer months as well to keep your house cool even in the hottest of temperatures.
7. Use Leftovers
Do not be afraid to use your leftovers. Any leftover that you can salvage should immediately go into the refrigerator. Dedicate one night a week for eating leftovers, while offering a smorgasbord of the leftovers from the meals that were eaten throughout the week. This will help to ensure that no food, no money, and no time was wasted in the preparation of these meals.
8. Make Double
If there are certain meals on your meal plans that your family especially enjoys, consider making double batches. You can eat one batch, and freeze the rest. Freezing the rest will supply you with an already prepared meal for days that you just do not feel like cooking. You will just simply have to re-heat the meal in the microwave or oven.
9. Try New Foods
Do not be afraid to try new recipes when creating a 7-day meal plan. If there are certain ingredients that your family tends to really enjoy, try new recipes that contain similar ingredients. You may just fall in love with new dishes that you would have never thought of trying before creating your weekly meal plan for you and your family.
10. Analyze Your Plan
It is essential to assess your meal plan daily. You can start checking it in the morning to get everything you need for your meals throughout the day prepared or defrosted. You can also make any changes that need to be made. Checking your meal plan every day will also assist you in wanting to continue to follow the routine without giving up on it too soon.
Making a 7-day meal plan is a great way to save you time, money, and stress. It can provide new flavors and new methods of cooking for your family as well. Make sure to always monitor your plan to see the best results.