“What’s for dinner?!”
Right?! At least that’s how I feel when I get asked that question.
What if you never had to stress about what to make for dinner ever again?!
Wouldn’t that be soooo cool?
Good news… Follow this super-simple Meal Planning System and Meal Planning Tips and that will actually become your reality!
IF YOU’RE ON THE RUN, LISTEN TO THE VIDEO!
Do you call it “supper” or “dinner”?
I’m super curious because this has been an ongoing debate between my fans on Facebook…
When you come home from work, you sit down with your family and you eat a nice meal together… Is it supper? Or is it dinner?
Comment with that below!
As for me? I’ve always called it supper, but that’s just how I grew up. “Dinner” in our neck of the woods actually refers to lunch.
Since I started my Fixing Supper Workshop, there are so many people who I’ve talked to who tell me,
“What is supper? I’ve never heard of that… We always call it dinner.”
So let me know what you think in the comments! 🙂
How will these Meal Planning Tips help you alleviate stress?
Well, one type of energy we often overlook is our mental energy.
Meal planning in general is going to save you so much mental energy because you won’t be wasting brain power every day – all throughout the day – trying to figure out what to make for dinner.
Meal planning WITH these tips and tricks, though? That’s going to help you alleviate even more stress because you won’t have a complicated meal planned on a busy night. Stay tuned on how to avoid that. 🙂
If you’re anything like me, the annoying-ness of having to come up with meal ideas is loud and clear in your world. BUT you never actually thought about how much brain power it takes up all throughout the day when you’re trying to think of what to make when you get home.
I didn’t realize any of that until I had a menu all planned out and then WHOA BABY did it make a difference!
3 Step Meal Planning System
Step #1: Look At Your Family’s Calendar
The first step of the Meal Planning System is to look at your family’s calendar.
Why? Let’s think about a couple scenarios:
One night next week, you have a meeting at 6pm. You’ll all be home to eat at the same time, but you need to be out the door by 5:30 to get to your meeting.
- What would work well: A meal that’s quick to prepare.
- What to avoid: A meal that takes a while to prepare won’t work on a night like that. Plus, if you DO try to make it work, you’ll be rushed and probably end up pretty crabby.
Another night next week, you and your husband are going to different places. Probably in completely opposite directions at different times, right?!
- What would work well: Those are the best nights to have a soup or a crockpot meal – any meal that’s hot and ready to eat whenever each person is home and ready to eat it. 🙂
- What to avoid: Having something that needs to be served right after it’s cooked wouldn’t be the best for nights when you can’t sit down and all eat at the same time.
So… Taking a look at your family’s calendar before you even start thinking of meals will set you up for so much more stress relief when those super-busy nights come.
Step #2: Pick Out Your Family’s 5 Favorite Meals
I know what you might be thinking after reading that…
“But I’m not going to be home for dinner all 5 days next week, so I’ll only plan for 3 instead.”
Nope! My best advice is to just stick with me and plan for 5. That way, when you have leftovers, you’ll have something to just grab on the weekends without having to cook. Relaxing weekend with no cooking?! YES PLEASE! 🙂
Step #3: Write Your 5 Meals In A Notebook or Spreadsheet
After you have your 5 meals picked out, then write them down in a dedicated notebook or a spreadsheet.
Why? I’m speaking from experience here. I was the queen of scrap paper…
Every week, I would write down our menu on a piece of scrap paper and I would be good to go for the week. Cool, right? Kind of, but not really.
After cooking meals for my family for YEARS, I had no log of what we had eaten and what my family thought of each meal.
When I would sit down to meal plan it’s like my brain would just go blank. Sure, we had our staple meals that always came to mind (spaghetti, tacos, pizza), but the whole sitting there for an eternity thinking, “Hmmmm… What should we have for dinner next week?” was so frustrating.
If I had written down all of my weekly menus in a notebook that was only used for my menus, over time I would have built an entire arsenal of meal ideas!
How much easier would that be if you had that to look at when you’re planning for the week ahead?
—> To help you build your own arsenal of meal ideas, I created today’s freebie!
🙂 Banish the brain fart! 🙂
Start building YOUR arsenal of meal ideas!
Grab your FREE “My Family’s Favorite Meals” PDF and you’ll be on your way to having an arsenal of your family’s favorite meals right at your fingertips!
You’ll get a simple printable spreadsheet that you can use to write down your families meals AND what they thought of each meal.
- It has space for 4 weeks, so that’s really nice because it’s not something that you have to try to remember to print every week. You can print one for the whole month!
- When you use it, you’ll have all your meal ideas in one spot instead of having all of those pieces of scrap paper all over.
- PLUS, after you print it and hang it up on the fridge, it’s a great visual reminder because every time you see it, you’ll think, “Oh yeah! Lacey said I should meal plan and I remember how much it helped last time I did it!”
I love giving you simple free tools that help you to actually implement what I’m teaching you!
So make sure you grab this freebie right away by clicking this image!
Meal Planning Tips!
MEAL PLANNING TIP #1:
Meal plan with your family.
I referenced this in the Create More TIME in Your Day post, but let’s dive a little deeper on WHY it’s helpful to meal plan at the table with your family.
- It saves you time. You don’t have to carve out extra time in your day to try to plan out your menu for the next week. I’m usually not a proponent of multi-tasking, but this is the good kind of multi-tasking! 🙂
- It also allows your family to voice their opinion and feel like they have a say in what they have for meals.
- The last thing… It helps them to understand how hard it is sometimes to come up with meal ideas. That compassion and understanding from your family helps because when they walk in the door and say, “Hey Mom! What’s for dinner?” And you give them the death stare and answer with, “I have no idea, okayyy?!” 😉 They can understand your frustration.
Related Post: Create More TIME in Your Day
MEAL PLANNING TIP #2:
Set a deadline for yourself.
The deadline that works best for me is Thursday. So, by the end of the night on Thursday, I want to have my entire menu planned for the next week of meals.
Why Thursday? I picked Thursday because I usually grocery shop on Friday or Saturday and then I can prep my meals throughout the weekend.
Coming Up Next in the
Working Moms Reduce Stress blog…
The next two blog posts are PURE FREAKIN GOLD!!! 🙂
I’m going to talk about
- How to Stop Throwing Your Money in the Garbage (my best grocery shopping tips)
- The Stressed-Out Mom’s Meal Prep System
As far as grocery shopping tips, I know you are probably thinking, “Lacey… I’ve been grocery shopping for years. Pretty sure I know how to grocery shop already.” BUT…
- Have you ever thrown away produce because you bought too much?
- Or had to run to the store in the middle of cooking because you didn’t have the right ingredients?
My tips are going to help both of those scenarios!
In the blog post about meal prep, I will teach you an awesome tip on how to keep your kitchen sink dishes-free all week long!
Make sure that you subscribe to my email list so I can send you a quick little email when those blog posts are published. I don’t want you to miss out on anything!
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PIN this post or TEXT it to a fellow stressed out mom.
We all need help with our stress level. As you now know, meal planning helps alleviate so much stress. It gives you back a whole lot of mental energy and brain power when you don’t have to worry about what’s for supper.
I can’t wait to hear all about your ENJOYABLE meals at home with your family!
~ Lacey ~
Hey Ladies! I’m Lacey Busse – a busy, working mom. I’ve got two kids and I created Working Moms Reduce Stress because I love teaching other moms how to alleviate stress. I want to teach you how to slow down, be able to enjoy your time with your family AND carve out time for yourself.
So… If you want to feel less stressed, have more mental energy and just feel that fog be lifted from your brain, make sure you drop your name & email by clicking below. I have so many tips and tricks that you were not going to want to miss. 🙂 I’ll send you a quick little email with the latest stress relief tips!