With your family being home more now is a great time to start focusing on easy ways to plan your meals. Meal planning is an effective method for ensuring that everyone in your home receives a healthy meal with little effort.
Whether you work from home or find yourself just plain exhausted after a day’s worth of work, then meal planning can completely change your life. Before you can start planning your meals, however, you need to have a few recipe ideas. To help ensure you get started the right way, here a few general recipe tips to keep in mind.
Organize and Store Recipes Easily
Let’s be honest, we’re all lazy people. Some of us can become burned out on an idea at even the smallest hint of extra effort. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing either. Work is difficult and exhausting. Add adult responsibilities on top of that and it’s no wonder you’re looking for minimal work. To ensure that your meal planning is successful, you need to store your recipes in an easily accessible place. More than that, they need to stay organized.
While downloading recipes to your phone or iPad is great, you don’t really want your device to get dirty while you meal prep.
I prefer to print out my favorite recipes and place them into a binder. This way they are easy to find, and they are all in one place. I actually insert mine into a plastic sleeve so they don’t get marked up with greasy fingers!
On top of that I love to add a Recipe Binder cover so I can personalize it for my family.
Planning Around Everyone’s Tastes
One of the worst things that you can do is cook a meal large enough to have leftovers that carry you through the week only to find that no one likes it. That’s time, money, and effort wasted. Before you start looking or creating a recipe, you should speak to your family about what they like to eat and what they don’t like to eat. Be sure to include yourself in this interview, too. Once you have a taste collection, you can then start to look for and create recipes according to those tastes.
I use a set of planning sheets for my family. I also have sheets for allergies, food preferences, school and work lunch box ideas and more. I then keep track of what everyone’s favorite foods are and can plan accordingly.
It’s also nice to let other family members help you plan your meals. Why not make one meal a week or month a kid’s choice? Then they can also help you prep and cook the meal too.
Stick with Food Themes
Another recipe idea is to stick with a theme for certain days. For example, Monday’s could be Meatless – a great opportunity to include more vegetables into your diet. Why not try out something like a black bean salad or soup. Tuesdays can be taco night or soup night. Friday could be make your own home made pizza night – use various types of bases such as using English Muffins, Tortillas, Pita Breads, fresh pizza dough and so on.
This can make creating recipes easy. It also allows your week to be broken up just enough to ensure that you don’t get bored with the same meal.
We often do batch cooking on a Sunday and cook up several items that can be used during the week. A roast chicken makes great leftovers, make salad in a jar that is ready to go, potato salad is another great option that keeps well.
Using Meal Planner Sheets
As I mentioned before I enjoy using meal planner sheets and here’s one that you can use to get you started.
Just click on the image to download it.