Introduction to Meal Planning: Time-Saving, Easy-to-Use and Practical

Meal-Planning: This system is NOT overwhelming!

If you saw our previous article, Help Me! Meal Planning Basics and panicked, relax! We put a lot of information in that article about meal planning to get you thinking long-term rather than the day-to-day survival mode. Long-term thinking will help you as are meal planning in a healthier way, prevent impulse buying, and save you time and money.

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In this article we give you a week’s worth of meal ideas and the shopping list to go with it.  It is nice to have 2 or 3  weeks worth of menus that your family likes, but this will at least get you started. Click the link below to see my menu for the week.

Click here for Menu Planning, Week 1

Meal Planning: Prevent Impulse Buying, Save Time and Money

Note:  You can substitute one protein (meat, fish, veggie crumbles) for another.  So if you don’t eat chicken, but you love ham, just substitute ham where I have chicken.  If every day you have protein, 2 vegetables, fruit,  and maybe some kind of starch (rice, potatoes, bread, pasta, cereal), you will be doing well.

Meal Planning: Read through the list before you go shopping!

You probably already have many of these ingredients in your house.  Do not re-buy them!  Take a few minutes to search through the cabinets and then CROSS OFF any ingredients that you do not need to purchase.  I am not trying to make you spend more money, so please take the time to do this.

Click here for the  Grocery List, Week 1

Meal Planning:  Adjust as Necessary

If you are going to make a double batch of chocolate chip cookies instead of making one batch of chocolate chip cookies and one batch of molasses crinkle cookies, then you do not need to purchase the items for the molasses crinkle recipe. (On the grocery list, these items have asterisks next to them.)   If you are going to buy pre-made cookies instead of baking them, make sure you write “Buy cookies” on the list.

See our recipes for  Old Fashioned Beef Stew, Cheesy Shrimp and Grits and  the Molasses Crinkles.

Meal planning: Fresh out-of-the-oven cookies on a cutting board cooling
You should plan to make these Molasses Cookies!

Meal Planning: Eat better and save money

Putting the initial work into planning ahead can be time-consuming at first but the benefits will reward your efforts. When I stopped shopping on a last-minute basis or buying pre-made meals I ended up saving $100 a month! Our food waste went down significantly as well because I was managing my leftovers better. (See the bottom paragraph in Help Me! Meal Planning Basics for leftover helps.)

So here’s to a week of thought-out meals, purposeful shopping and less stress!

I post recipes that our family actually eats! Why? Because no matter how good a homeschooling day you have, you (usually) still have to make something for dinner! I hope you enjoy this recipe.

You might also like: Rich Tomato Vegetable Soup to Keep You Warm and Keep Away the Munchies

Warm and Comforting Spinach Artichoke Dip

No More Repetitions with 3 Sanity-Saving Tips to help your homeschool day go better!

I am Elizabeth Estelle, Homeschool Christian Mom, providing timely  access to homeschooling answers for moms who have an “I’m stuck” moment during the day.

Homeschool Christian Mom Elizabeth Estelle is ready to help you!

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Do you need some extra homeschooling help? Use this link to get on my calendar and let’s chat! Move from being a hesitant homeschool mom to a happy homeschool family. Let’s chat!

There are very good boxed all-in-one curriculums out there. I used mainly one curriculum: BJU Press Homeschool curriculum for all my kids K thru 12. It is a Christian curriculum. I knew some people that worked there and we really liked it.

It is a curriculum where the subjects are integrated (like the spelling words are in the reading and science lessons.) You can do parent led where you teach or purchase the DVD’s or get the same material through the computer.

For any of those ways, there are recommendations for grading or they do it for you. I love the BJU curriculum because they have thought of everything. Subjects are well put together, they list tons of extra resources if you need it and all the prep work is done. On day one, you teach lesson one, etc. So the value of that kind of complete curriculum was worth every penny to me.

You can see their curriculum here: https://www.bjupresshomeschooling.com/site/include.php?id=35_21

3 Replies to “Introduction to Meal Planning: Time-Saving, Easy-to-Use and Practical”

  1. It’s so important to check cabinets before shopping. Sometimes you find something in the back of the cupboard that can save you money at the store!

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