Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Meal Planning - Make Life a Little Less Stressful!

Recently, a friend of mine sent me a request to join a weekly meal planning group on FaceBook.  I had never heard of such a thing but was curious to see what it was about so I accepted the invitation.  To my surprise, it has become a very useful and engaging tool to make my life a little easier when it comes to the "What's for dinner?' dilemma.  Basically the group members set out to post their weekly dinner menus on the message boards to help eachother get ideas and also actually sit down and plan out the week's meals.  It has become such a great thing in my household.  Not only does it make life easier in the planning department but it also saves me money at the same time.  Now when I go to the store I actually have a list and know what I need to get before hand which causes me not to buy things I won't use.  I am amazed at how much money I was wasting on things that were not getting eaten or forgotten about.  I just love this idea and it is a great way to experiment in the kitchen and try new things.

Implementing a meal planning strategy into your life doesn't have to be a big chore.  You can go as big and elaborate as you want and plan out all your weekly meals or use it as a general guideline.  For my weekly dinner plan I just simply write down the title of seven dinner recipes I want to make for that week. I then write down which cookbook the recipe is located in and the page number it can be found on and thats it.  The day before I want to go shopping I go through my recipes to see what ingredients I need and viola.....I am set for the week.  Super simple...super easy and such a time and money saver.  One of the things I like about being a part of the FaceBook group is that it is a great place to get ideas and new recipes or even share some of your own.  The group is also a great way to help you stay motivated to keep up with meal planning.  It is easy to say you want to start meal planning, maintain it for a couple of weeks and than fall back into old habits.  With the group it makes it fun to stick with the meal plan and constantly have a fresh pool of ideas.

Does dinner time stress you out on a weekly basis?  Give meal planning a try and see how stress free dinner can be! Have any tips or tricks to share?  Leave a comment and let us know!      

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