How to write a meal plan

Are you someone who says "I don't understand or I can't write a meal plan"? Do you wonder how others "stay organized"?

I find that this is something I am really good at. I can make lists, plan parties and organize spaces quickly, efficiently and (usually) get it done inexpensive. Here are a few of the tips I have for getting started on writing a meal plan of your own.

1. Make a list of things your family likes to eat.
If no one likes beef, don't include beef in your meal plan. You'll end up buying, cooking and storing leftovers of a food that will not be consumed and will go to waste. That's not beneficial.

2. Pull some recipes or look through some books or the internet for things you'd like to try.
Have you been pulling recipes from magazines and printing them off the internet because they sound good? Let's make a couple of them!

3. Get out your calendar!
Intuitively we know it is a bad idea to plan a 4 course meal on a night when all of your children have 15 things to do in 14 different places. But without our calendar, we might not know how our meals and our plans, line up.

4. Take it slow. 
Maybe just plan 2-3 meals and leave the other nights up to chance. See how it goes. I recommend that you write the meal on the calendar and put the title of the recipe next to it in your calendar. This helps you remember what comes each night and reminds you that you have an appointment with your kitchen. Going forward it may help that you have been recording this in case you are out running errands and need to get something for dinner that night or there is a change in the schedule.

5. Pick a day for grocery shopping.
The more consistent you get with meal planning, the easier it will get. The best way to be successful, is to have all of your needed ingredients when it's time to cook. It's frustrating if it is time to cook dinner and you need to run to the grocery for butter. In fact, it may make you not want to continue on the meal planning journey.

What other successes or suggestions do you have?

What other "How-To's" would be helpful to you?

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