Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Meal Planning to Save Time & Sanity

As SAHMs & WAHMs, our are days are jam packed with things to do so I'd like to offer some meal planning suggestions that could help you save time, money and reduce meal time stress.

1. Begin meal planning. If you aren't used to this start by planning just 2 dinners per week and work up to including a week's worth of dinners. You are creating a new routine so give yourself and your family time to practice.

2. Before you go grocery shopping make a list of all the ingredients you need to make the meals you've planned and check your cupboards and fridge to see what you already have on hand.

3. Plan meals that can do double duty. For example prepare extra roast chicken one night to make chicken and vegetable quesadillas the next night. Also, prepare extra portions of dinner recipes and take leftovers for lunch the next day.

4. Once you get into a good meal planning routine you'll need to grocery shop only once per week. When you shop get everything you need to prepare 5 complete meals. This should help to eliminate the last minute desperate dash to the store after work that is so stressful.

5. Involve your family in meal planning and preparation. Make note of favourite meals to make again soon. Teach children to help prepare meals, set the table and tidy up afterwards.

6. Make friends with your freezer. Double recipes of meals that freeze well and put them away for next month.

7. Consider having your groceries delivered if a store in your area offers this service. The fee is usually modest and you can save a lot of time and money by ordering online and scheduling the delivery. I know that I used to spend way more than the $7 delivery fee my store charges on 4 or 5 frantic shops during the week. When you take time to plan you make healthier, more economical choices.

For more information on how to reduce stress, save time, save money and feel great contact me about Epicure's new family wellness program A Healthier You Lifestyle Guide and Cookbook This beautiful, wipe-clean binder contains more than 120 delicious, family-friendly recipes with over 60 full-page, full-colour food photos. It includes Epicure’s Plan for Health Weekly Planner: Plan out your week’s complete menus and activity time, and create a to-go shopping list - saving you money, time and stress!

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