Organized meal planning can help you in many ways. You can save time and money by making fewer trips to the grocery store, and being able to easily access your recipes and ingredients. Dinner time is a particularly hectic time for most families. These tips and resources can help you streamline your meal planning process.
Declutter old cookbooks and recipes you dislike. Gather recipes in an organized way using a recipe rolodex, binders, folders or flagged cookbook pages. If you prefer digital recipes, scan your favorites, or set up organized digital folders or online bookmarks.
Use Digital Recipe Apps
Designate a Recipe Area
Create just one area to go to when you need a recipe. This can be in your kitchen, dining room, somewhere near the kitchen, or on your laptop or tablet.
Involve Your Family in Meal Planning
If you feel overwhelmed, you can delegate a part of meal planning to another family member as a chore. Some chores that children can help with are selecting recipes, searching the kitchen for ingredients, writing the grocery list, gathering coupons, checking the weekly grocery sales, assisting you with grocery shopping, or unloading the groceries. If you give other family members ownership in these activities, it can help build teamwork skills.
Use a Shared Calendar
Use a shared family wall calendar or a shared online calendar. This will help track your family’s schedule around dinner time to determine if there will be time to cook and eat a full meal. Knowing your family’s schedule can help you plan for days when you need to eat on the go, have a crockpot meal ready, or eat leftovers. Choosing nights for dinner out can also be a part of your meal planning.
Take an Inventory of Ingredients
Once meals are chosen, check your kitchen for the ingredient and add anything you do not have to your grocery list.
Monitor Grocery Store Sales
For more savings, plan your meals while looking at the current week’s grocery sales. Choose meals containing ingredients that are on sale that week.
Make a Grocery List
Have notepad or a dry erase board on the fridge or wall so you can easily add items to the grocery list.
Collect Paper Coupons
Clip coupons from your Sunday paper, and use a coupon organizer or a 3-ring binder with baseball card holder insert pages to organize your paper coupons.
Use Apps & Websites to Help with Grocery Shopping & Coupons
Apps such as Grocery IQ can help with your shopping, and websites such as coupons.com or southernsavers.com can provide you with printable coupons or details on grocery store discounts.
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