I’d be lost without my meal plan.
Cheesy, yes…I know. But so so so true.
My meal plan is like the life preserver for my sanity. It keeps me from feeling like I’m drowning every afternoon. It keeps me from worrying about dinner throughout the day, and whether or not I need to stop in for ingredients we need. (Because the thought of having to run into the store with all my kids for just 1-2 ingredients makes me want to cry…like, curl up in a ball and cry.)
In addition to keeping me and my sanity afloat, meal plans also help you write a great shopping list, help you stay focused throughout the week when it comes to the dinner meal, and helps you save lots of money too!
Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
Meal planning is such an important part of the grocery savings game…so much so that I devote 3 weeks during my Grocery Budget Makeover class. (Registration will be open soon!)
With summer coming up, my meal planning changes a little bit. I still plan each week, but the meals included in the plan change and it’s a little more flexible as our evening schedule is more flexible. (Or day time and afternoon schedule is usually pretty packed between work, camps and pool time!)
Here are a few ideas and tips for your meal planning efforts!
1. Set up Theme Nights. This is my plan for this summer…to help me spend less time worrying about dinner and making the meal plan writing just a smidge easier. I’m sure we’ll eat out at the pool about once a week, as the hot dogs are super cheap and I can get a great salad for $5. For about half as much as fast food, we can eat at the pool. Knowing this, I can build that into the meal plan and grocery/restaurant budget. (Note: the popsicles from the pool grill are paid for by the boys from their chore earnings!)
- Mondays and Tuesdays – summer slow cooker days.
- Wednesdays – sandwich/panini night.
- Thursday – OR hot dogs and salad at the pool grill.
- Fridays and Saturdays – grill nights at home, including ‘grilled pizza and a movie night.’
- Sundays – dinner with family or leftovers.
2. Pantry Clean-out. I’m planning to dedicate a week in June to get some food we have hanging out in the pantry fixed and eaten! You should do the same!
3. Commit to Simple. Don’t cook. Or at least, don’t cook much. Do fruit smoothies, sandwiches and popcorn. Make up a large chilled pasta salad and serve it two or three times throughout the week. Roll up some wraps with turkey, cheese and avocado. Veggies and dip make for a nice, light but simple weeknight meal. Keep it simple and fresh.
So here’s my question for you…
Are you a Type A, Type B or Type None Meal Planner?
Drop you email below, then tell me which of type of meal planner you are and I’ll send you a couple of free printable meal plan templates that will work for you and you’re current meal planning “type.” These printables will help you get organized, stay organized and hopefully will help make getting dinner on the table smoother and easier!