Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ensure a Home Cooked Dinner with Meal Planning

It IS possible to have a home cooked meal every night. One thing that I adopted in the past couple of years to help me with this is to plan out our week's meals. Just a few minutes a week has saved me a lot of headache on deciding what to have for dinner every night and saved on the pocketbook by buying only what I need for the week.

I come up with my list by picking a few meals that are family favorites and then I like to add in at least one new recipe a week if I can. I also check out the calendar to see what things are going on and if I need to plan a meal that can be prepped the day before if I know I won't have time to put it all together that night. Also while I am making one meal, I may double the batch and freeze part of it for another day.

With our meals, I try to balance out the types of foods we have eat week and if we eat something rich and saucy one night that we eat light and healthy the next. I also make sure that we are having at least 1-3 different kinds of fruits and/or vegetables with our meal.

Once I get meals planned I check my recipes and then our pantry cupboards to see what I have. Then I make my grocery list for what we need. When I go to the grocery store, I only buy what is on my list because it is easy to impulsively buy something you think you "might" need. It is also very important for me to get through the grocery store as quickly as possible because I tote around two little children with me who don't really like to shop.

To help with some ideas, I am going to post some of our weekly menus and grocery lists for those meals.

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