The new way to meal plan in 2013


Meal planning has many a benefits…save money, save time, save sanity, save inches. But what if you don’t know where to start, or you’re bored with what you’re already doing in the meal planning department? So…not just one new way, but a few options for you to try in the new year. Here they are:

  1. They plan, you cook — Pass off the planning part to your family. Have them create a list of favorite meals, then they choose 5 or 6 meals that they want to have that week. You make the grocery list and then cook up the meals. (Encourage them to pick 1-2 slow cooker meals for those really busy weeknights.)
  2. Themed Nights — Set up a schedule of themed nights and post it somewhere in the kitchen. This way everyone knows that it’s “Pasta night” or “Pizza night” and you can add creativity around the themes.
  3. Rotating Menus — Write out 4 specific meal plans based on meals your family loves and ingredients that are commonly on sale. Rotate those meal plans each month. This way you get to enjoy the meals your family loves, the structure is there, but loose…and you can take advantage of sales too. Adjust for the seasons as necessary.

What about you…Which of these methods might help kick your meal planning efforts into high gear?

Erin Chase is the founder of $5 and author of The $5 Dinner Mom’s One-Dish Dinners Cookbook.


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