Meal planning from a busy mom

I take pride in my meal planning and preparations for my family. I love to cook, and since I am still working, I never get time to prepare the meals that I would really like. Sometimes I find it really difficult to be inspired to create meals for my family of four. Generally, I am incredibly lucky that they are just fine eating the same things the entire week.

This allows me for prepping most of our meals on Sundays and grab and go during the week. My process is fairly simple: look for store ads for sales and coupons, (Thank you BOGOs!!) then build my meals around those items.

A few things that I have to keep in mind: I am a busy mom, so casseroles and crock pot meals are my best friends. My eight-year-old has soccer at least two nights during the week, so at least two dinners need to be portable for him.

I have a toddler in the house, so soft finger foods are her whole deal right now. Lastly, the husband also cannot cook during the week, everything must be heat and eat style.

1. Take an inventory of everything that you currently have in your pantry and freezer.

I think a bunch of people miss this part and constantly clearing pantry of old items they haven’t used. I let this step be the start of my meal plan and helps me save dollars by using up my current stock. This week, my husband is smoking a giant pork loin we got on sale a while back. I also have two pounds of beef in the freezer, from when I bought three pounds at a sale price last week. So I know there will be a spaghetti day and a taco day (I know I am boring right now, but it’s so fast.) I have also take inventory of my self-canned foods and dry goods, I just keep a running list from week to week and mark off as I use them.

2. Download and use your local grocery store app.

My local grocery store has an amazing app that lets your put together a shopping list. I use it to remind me which aisles and brands are having the BOGOs. This also gives me online coupons, since I am far too lazy to buy a paper and clip coupons by hand.

3. Put pen to paper and start to formulate your plan for that week.

I do keep the grocery store app stuff electronic, but it just helps me to think to be able to write it out the old fashioned way. I take my simple template and spell it all out, this is to prevent impulse buys and make sure I get everything. I also keep my meals in a column on the page, so I don’t forget what my focus is.

How do you all keep it together and make sure your family and loved ones get fed every day? Share in the comments below!

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