A Guide to Meal Planning

Meal planning can save you time and stress in the kitchen. Working parents have so much to juggle that oftentimes the health of our family gets put on the back burner in favor of convenience. Pre-made foods from the market are full of sodium and other undesirable ingredients that can affect long term health. Setting aside just a few hours each week to plan your meals and prepare your ingredients will change your life!

I sat down and wrote out everything I would need to prepare my dinners, keeping in mind that one night would be leftovers. I didn’t want to over-prepare and end up throwing away food! I already have glass containers to hold my food in but if you do not, or need more, make sure to add that to your list. At this time I called my local markets and asked about grocery delivery service because, yes, I am having my groceries delivered to my front door in the name of saving time that can be better spent. Do it!

You will want to plan for seven meals but keeping in mind that your main meats/proteins can be used for more than one meal in different ways.

For example, my list included: 2 lbs. ground beef and 2 whole chickens, chili beans, spiral pasta, hamburger buns, tortillas, French bread, tomatoes, carrots, celery, chili peppers, fresh spinach, tossed salad, fingerling potatoes, sour cream, salsa, cheddar cheese. With these ingredients I plan to make:

  1. Hamburgers with fingerling potatoes and tossed salad

  2. Baked tortilla topped with chicken, peppers, spinach, salsa, sour cream, cheddar cheese

  3. Beef, bean, and rice chili with assorted veggies, fixings, and French bread

  4. Chicken noodle soup with leftover chicken and carrots, celery, potato, with French bread.

  5. Leftover chili wrapped in tortillas with all the fixings, for burritos

  6. Grilled cheddar sandwiches with spinach and tomato, steamed broccoli with rice.

  7. Leftovers! You will have them!

Now this is just an example of my plan for one week. You can follow it exactly for your first go round or modify to your preference. Once you find the best grocery delivery service and have your groceries delivered, it’s time to start cooking! Cook the chickens, chop all the vegetables and store in separate containers, cook the rice, cook the pasta, slice the cheese, soak the beans, shape the hamburger into patties and go ahead and brown the other beef for the chili.

You can have this all done in one afternoon! For the rest of the week you will hardly even have to think about dinner! Everything is ready to be heated and mixed. Now, you just have to find someone to do the dishes! http://thegroceryrunners.com

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