This post contains affiliate links and is sponsored by Perdue Farms. I’m excited to tell you about the new Perdue Farms direct-to-consumer bundles, along with 15 meal planning tips and a weekly meal planning printable. The Perdue Farms Curated Bundles include a variety of premium meats that are delivered right to your doorstep. I’ve discovered that it is super easy and convenient to do my meal planning around the proteins included in the Perdue Farms Curated Bundles.
One area you may want to get organized in the new year is the kitchen. If you are a busy mom/wife, you no doubt get asked, “What’s for dinner?” by at least one family member every single day. Your family looks to you for nourishment, which can be a stressful responsibility if you aren’t prepared. Meal planning is something I do to keep the stress out of dinnertime. The little bit of time I spend planning out a week’s worth of dinners saves me time in the long run. Meal planning also saves me money on my grocery bill by reducing waste.
For example, I might cook some extra rice one evening and a little more chicken than is needed the next night, so I can make chicken fried rice with the leftovers.
Meal planning is easy if you stay organized and work at it efficiently. No longer do you have to stand in front of the fridge wondering what to prepare, and you won’t be making 453 extra trips by the supermarket for that one ingredient you forgot.
Read on to discover 15 easy meal planning tips for busy families!
1. Use this weekly meal planing printable.
I’ve made a weekly meal plan printable. It’s the one that I use and am sharing it with you. The format is simple with a place to jot down your meals for each day of the week. Plus, there’s a spot for notes and a shopping list. I mostly only plan only our dinners and one week in advance, and this works perfectly for that.
Download and print the Weekly Meal Planner Printable.
2. Always check your fridge.
As you are meal planning for a new week, see what ingredients you still have on hand. This makes shopping easier and keeps you from wasting food – and therefore your hard-earned money.
3. Save time with shopping online, store pick-up, delivery service and Perdue Farms Curated Bundles.
One of the main reasons I do a weekly meal plans is to save time, so it only makes sense for me to take advantage of time-savers like online shopping, store pick-up and grocery delivery service. I’ve now added Perdue Farms direct-to-consumer bundles to my time-saving arsenal.
The idea of having a bundle of Perdue Farms quality proteins delivered right to my door is very appealing to me as a busy mom. Plus, you save when you buy bundled products! The bundles are packed full of protein sourced from small family farms that take pride and great care in raising the animals and providing quality meat. Perdue Farms is more than chicken! They offer a variety of premium protein products from brands that include Niman Ranch, Coleman Natural, Perdue Chicken, Perdue Harvestland, Panorama Meats, Spot Farms, Full Moon and more. They are the number one supplier of organic chicken in the United States and a leader in premium beef, pork, and lamb that is pasture raised, grass-fed, heritage bred, antibiotic free, non-GMO and much more you can feel good about when feeding your family. Perdue Farms has also taken steps to reduce their ecological footprint and protect Mother Earth.
Perdue Farms recently sent me the Medium Family Bundle which has a wonderful selection of meats, including some breakfast meats that I incorporated into my dinner meal plan. Don’t you just love having pancakes and sausage for dinner?! It is such a treat at my house when we have breakfast for dinner.
The Medium Family Bundle includes:
- One 13-oz. package Niman Ranch Bacon-Wrapped Pork Chop With Rosemary (contains 2 chops)
- One 2.25-lb. box Perdue Harvestland Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Tenderloins (contains 4 to 5 packs, each filled with 4 wrapped tenders)
- One 12-oz. package Niman Ranch Applewood Uncured Bacon
- One 1.68-lb. bag Perdue Panko-Breaded Dino Nuggets
- One 12-oz. package Niman Ranch Breakfast Sausage (contains 12 fully cooked sausages)
4. Consider portion sizes.
You don’t want to run out of a meal when you are feeding a hungry family. When browsing recipes, think about how many people you are feeding and how much they may want to eat. If you can, use portion controlled plates or containers so there’s always plenty of food to go around.
5. Prep as soon as you get home.
Another idea is to plan on weekends so you also have time to prepare the meals for the week. Vegetables can be cooked and bagged for a salad or other recipe. Meats can be browned and stored until you are ready to add a sauce for a meal.
6. Keep it simple.
You don’t need expensive cookbooks, a thick binder, or boxes full of recipe cards to plan meals for your family! Instead, invest in an efficient fridge calendar that you can update each week so everyone can see what’s for dinner. Everything else can be stored digitally to make life easier.
7. Technology is your friend.
While you can certainly start your meal planning with your tried and true recipes, the Internet is there for when you need something new—or something that will work for an eater with dietary restrictions. Additionally, your phone’s notepad feature is great for making your shopping list to reduce your wastes!
8. A meal journal is a gold mine.
As you are trying new recipes, keep track of what your family likes/loves/dislikes with a meal journal. This can also be used to track receipts if you are meal planning on a budget.
9. Ask family members for their input.
Meal planning doesn’t have to be a one-person task. Get everyone involved finding recipes for the family to try, or set a specific day for each person to pick a meal. Make the planning fun so it doesn’t feel like a chore. I let my daughter choose our meal for one night a week. Of course, it is usually something like chicken nuggets or pizza, but I’m totally OK with that. It makes her feel good to be a part of the meal planning process, and it is usually a simple meal for me to prepare.
10. Always consult your calendar.
Never blindly plan your meals without considering what your family has going on for the week. You don’t want to make a 45-minute recipe on the night of a soccer game or ballet practice. Save those for nights you have the time, and opt for a quicker meal when you have lots to do.
11. Also, check out the weather.
Most people may not think about this tip, but efficient meal planning can depend on the outside temperature. You may not feel like a body-warming soup in Autumn when it’s still 65 degrees outside, but a cooler night may lend its way to a hearty chili.
12. Save leftovers for future meals.
Busy nights may give way to drive-thrus or unhealthy boxed dinners if you don’t plan ahead. Thankfully, with efficient meal planning you can make more than you need on a given night so you have plenty left over. Bonus – leftover also make great lunches, just store them promptly in a plastic container that you can slip into your lunch box.
13. Create shortcuts where you can.
Consider kitchen hacks and tools that make it easier on you to feed your family during a busy week. You can freeze a casserole until you are ready to pop into the oven. Plus, a slow cooker can make a wealth of great meals if you plan ahead!
14. Buy in bulk when possible.
Shopping and meal planning can both be made easier if you plan your dinners around bulk purchases. Grabbing a 10lb pack of chicken on sale? Plan out 3-4 chicken meals for the week or plan to freeze it for future weeks as soon as you get home. This not only saves time but it can save your wallet too!
15. Keep your pantry stocked.
Preparing your meals can be a headache when you realize you don’t have the right stock on hand. Don’t forget to check for vegetable oil and other kitchen essentials before you shop each week.
Efficient meal planning in 2020 doesn’t have to be overwhelming or stressful. In fact, it should be quite the opposite! Hopefully these tips make you life a bit easier when it comes to feeding your family.
Don’t forget to save 10% off + get free Perdue Harvestland Diced Chicken Breasts on your first Perdue Farms Curated Bundle order!
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