For my family, meal planning is a necessity in order to not have chick fil A 3 times each week. When I don't meal plan, I feel lost when it comes to lunch and dinner. When I get home from work, I literally scramble to try and get something on the table. As a working mom of 2 little ones, getting a quick, semi-healthy, easy meal on the table is crucial in my house.
Meal planning also helps with your budget because it enables you to buy in bulk and plan your meals around whats on sale.
It can sometimes seem intimidating having to plan your meals, come up with ideas, etc. You may think it takes up too much time but I've come up with a system that helps you create a 2 week plan in 5 to 10 minutes. I've used this for years and it has helped me tremendously. Did I also mention, its ABSOLUTELY FREE?!? Yes Free. We love that word around here.
I created an excel template for 2 week and monthly meal planning. If you are new to meal planning I suggest you try a 2 week meal plan first. Then once you get comfortable with that, move up to monthly.
Like many of you, I go to Pinterest for food inspiration or ideas for meals. If I don't know how to make something and I don't ask my mom or even if I need to get motivated, Pinterest is the place to be.
Some of the things that I love about this template are:
- Its easy to read and follow.
- There is a place to save the link for the recipe for later use.
- Its printer friendly so that you can place in on the fridge.
If your kids are anything like mine, then you sometimes feel like a short order cook. My picky preschooler most definitely will NOT eat certain things that everyone else eats. This is why I created separate tabs to create a kids meal plan. Sure it takes a little more time but it ensures that your kids will have something that they will actually eat.