Meal planning is a weekly task of many households and for good reason! As the kids head back to school and extracurricular activities enter the agenda, weeknights become all the more hectic. Planning daily meals in advance offers a great way to save time and money, especially when backed by the great value and quality of Foodtown grocery stores. Plus, kid-friendly meal planning offers a great way to add some versatility into the diet of picky eaters, while introducing them to the fun of cooking. Though meal planning can seem overwhelming, it’s actually very easy. Here’s how to get started…
How to Meal Plan for Beginners
Before even starting to plan your week, compile a list of your family’s favorite breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas and recipes and label them by how easily they are to prepare. For example, you might consider a bowl of cereal a no-fuss breakfast, while scrambled eggs and toast would be a leisurely weekend recipe. Get your kids involved by having them help you pick out meals or search for recipes together. Chances are, they’ll love helping you plan their weekly meals!
Once you have an “arsenal” of recipes, take an hour on Sunday (or whatever day works best for you) to plan for the upcoming week. Make note of the following:
- How many meals need to be planned? Does your child order school lunch once a week? Will dinner be provided at the birthday party next weekend? Think about how many meals you will actually have to prepare for the week.
- How much time do you have? One day might be packed with school, work, soccer practice, and a doctor’s appointment. The next day might be totally open. Make note of any days you may have to rely on leftovers or an easy slow cooker recipe.
- What’s your budget? If you’re tight one week, look for recipes that incorporate ingredients you already have or look for those made from affordable seasonal ingredients. You might also browse Foodtown’s weekly circular and plan your meals around what ingredients are currently on sale.
Once you have an idea of your weekly schedule and budget, it’s time to get planning. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to plan your meals each week:
- Make a “calendar” for the week by writing the days of the week along the left side of a piece of paper and “breakfast,” “lunch,” and “dinner” along the top. For example:
- Plan each day’s meals by filling in each box with a meal idea or recipe.
- With your “calendar” in hand, go through your kitchen and make a list of any ingredients you may need. When you do head to the grocery store, bring your little one along! You can even make it fun by having them pick out the brightest vegetables they can find in our product department or, make it educational by having them look for the lowest prices.
Meal Planning on a Budget with Foodtown
Thanks to the affordable prices and attentive staff of Foodtown, kid-friendly meal planning has never been easier—even when you’re dealing with some seriously picky eaters! If you’re really on a time crunch, online grocery shopping makes meal planning even more efficient. Simply find the nearest Foodtown On the Go provider and opt for home grocery delivery or in-store pickup.