Hey friends! School will be starting back up for some of us real soon while others are already back. I know that it takes my family some time to acclimate to the school routine/schedule and this year might be a little more chaotic as I will be going back to work as well.
I'm anticipating some tired and cranky people the first few weeks of the school year. I know when I'm tired and cranky one of the last things I want to do is wonder what to make for dinner. I've been really consistent with my meal planning this year. I have a few tips that I have found to be (and I hope will continue to be) really helpful for me to stay on track and I'd love to share them with you here.
Please note- I meal plan dinners only. We are a family of 4 (2 adults, a teenager, and a pre-teen) with no dietary restrictions. Your meal planning journey might be a little easier or a little more difficult depending on your family's tastes and needs.
1. Themed Days- This is pretty easy for my crew. Tuesdays are almost always "taco days" because my oldest enjoys them so much. My youngest gets Thursdays and we alternate between hot dog night and nuggets night. Fridays are usually pizza night, which is typically homemade or picked up from the grocery store to keep it budget friendly.
2. Leftover Nights Are a Must- I try to include 1 or 2 leftover nights a week. This helps cut down on food waste and is a sanity saver sometimes.
3. Weekend Specific Dinners- If you want to try a new recipe, but there are quite a few steps, don't be discouraged. Add it to the plan on a Saturday or Sunday.
4. It's a Guide, Not Set in Stone- I usually stick to what is planned, but there have been nights where I have forgotten to take meat out of the freezer or I just don't feel like cooking. Those nights I either swap for a leftover night or we have an impromptu "breakfast for dinner" night. Remember, your meal plan is a guide to help you out, not something to make life more difficult.
Is meal planning a part of your routine? I'd love to learn any of the tips you'd be willing to share!