With the school year starting next week and the kids getting back into their extracurricular activities, dinnertime gets nuts around here fast.
Some nights we only have a few minutes to eat as a family before we're off to practice or a game, but I love-love having dinnertime together – so I'm determined to make it happen as often as possible.
And, I've found we're way more likely to succeed at getting dinner on the table if I actually sit down and make a menu plan for the week.
It makes life easier.
It makes me less stressed.
And it takes away so many extra unnecessary trips to the grocery store.
Don't believe me?
Here's proof. 🙂
5 Reasons You Need a Menu Plan
1 . Menu Planning Saves Time
When you have a plan for the week, you can shop ahead for everything you need and avoid those daily last-minute grocery runs.
I can't tell you how many times I've been ready to start cooking when I realized I was missing one important thing (gr!) Those last minute trips to grab just a couple things are so frustrating and eat up my time when I don't start with a menu plan in place.
2 . You'll Save Money
One great thing about menu planning is that you can look at the sales paper and plan around what's on sale that week.
If chicken is $1.49 lb it might be a great week to do a few chicken dishes, then pair with pasta or taco fixin's depending on what's most cost efficient.
3 . You'll Eat Healthier Meals.
We're working hard to eat healthier at our house especially after what the last six months have brought, and it is so much harder when I don't have a menu plan in place.
When you're in last-minute mode, your brain doesn't immediately jump to something like Bruschetta Chicken or Spicy Asian Lettuce Wraps ~ if your family is like ours instead you may end up eating way too many pb&js or cereal for dinner.
(Or driving through the drive thru – eek!)
4 . You Won't Waste Leftovers.
When you've planned out a menu for the week, you can see right away if the leftovers from one dish will be able to contribute to another meal.
For instance, you might find a way to cook several chicken breasts at once and use it for two separate meals – like this Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken recipe here – which can do double duty for Chicken Tortilla Soup here. Love that!
5 . You'll reduce stress.
One of the main reasons I menu plan is to avoid the stress that comes with not knowing what to fix and scrambling around at the last minute.
Knowing that dinner hour is taken care of, the recipes are chosen, and the ingredients are already in my fridge (woohoo!) – makes it so much easier to relax and enjoy my family during that time.
Wouldn't you love to make your life a little easier too? 🙂
If you're thinking you might need a little help starting a menu plan, you're so not alone. Lots of people use a menu planning service (at least for a little while) to get new meal ideas, match recipes with local sales and have it all in an easy printable format.
I absolutely love Eat at Home's menu plan created by my friend Tiffany. I've use this menu plan myself and plan on starting back at next week.
And, through next Tuesday (8/16/16) you can choose any of her menu plans for as little as as little as $4.08 per month when you use the code SUMMERSALE at checkout.
I’ve made many of Tiffany’s recipes and loved them – plus she includes easy lists and simple instructions to make grocery shopping and menu planning so much simpler.
There are lots of different recipes types so you can find the ones that fit your family – and your time.
For instance, one week I chose the Whole Food menu plan and it was great, but you can select ANY of the menu plans she has, including a traditional recipe plan and even a slow cooker option. The best part is that once you sign up you have access to all of the menu plans, so you can try out different recipes to see what your family loves!
Here's how to get started . . .
Head on over HERE to download yours, and if you’ve tried Eat at Home menus in the past I’d love to hear your thoughts. Go HERE and be sure to use the code SUMMERSALE at checkout to get the best price. Remember this ends August 16 (and won't be offered again until December) so order soon if you're interested!
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