As a stay-at-home mom to two toddlers, meal planning has been a game changer for me! Planning and preparing meals ahead of time, has saved my sanity many times over, so I wanted to help you out by letting you know everything I’ve learned about meal prep for busy moms.
If you are a mom, you know what it’s like. You’ve spent the day working or taking care of the kids and running errands. Six o’clock rolls around and you haven’t even started preparing for dinner. The kids are tired, hungry, and needy. Now preparing a small meal for your family seems like an insurmountable task. You start to wonder why you didn’t just grab dinner on the way home.
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Let me tell you, you’re not alone. This is one of those tasks we all know we have coming each and every day. We must feed our families. Yet dinner always seems to pop up out of the blue, unplanned and unprepared! Why do we do this to ourselves?
Don’t let a routine task become a daily emergency.
So many times, we skip the meal planning and preparation because it does take a good chunk of time. However, once it is done the rest of the week goes much more smoothly. If you’re running late to get dinner started, it is much easier to grab a prepared meal than have to start from scratch. This is where meal prep for busy moms can really help.
Plan your meals.
You might search Pinterest or your favorite cookbook to find your meals for the week. I recommend writing down 5 dinners, 3 breakfast options, 2-3 lunch ideas, and 2-3 snack ideas.
Make a grocery list.
Once you have your meals in place, transfer them to a grocery list. Don’t forget to add your household items before you head to the store!
Go grocery shopping.
If you are prepared with a grocery list and meals for the week, grocery shopping should be a breeze.
Prepare your meals.
Once you’ve gotten all of your food it’s time to prepare your meals for the week. I like to cut up any meat, vegetables, or fruit for the week. Even if it is just for a snack, having your food pre-cut saves a ton of time during the week when you need it the most!
Organize your meals.
After you’ve cut up all of your produce, divide it up by meal and store them in containers or baggies. I like to store the snacks in a small bin in the refrigerator. My husband’s lunches go in another bin. Once it is all organized, it is much easier to just grab what you need. You won’t waste any time cutting or packaging your meals during the week.
It may seem like a big daunting task, but once all is said and done, it is so nice to have healthy meals ready at your fingertips.
Break it up.
There are several steps involved in meal planning. Break them up into smaller tasks to get done when you have time. You may choose to plan your meals and grocery list on Friday, grocery shop on Saturday, and prepare the meals on Sunday.
Pick a day and time each week that you can plan and prepare your meals. However you choose to do it, make sure it is something that will work for your schedule consistently. The more often you meal plan, the more of a routine it will become. Once you have it down to a science, it will also become more enjoyable!
Combine it with something you enjoy.
If you enjoy listening to music, play music while you prepare your meals for the week. If you enjoy wine, have a glass while you work! If you combine meal planning with something you enjoy, it can become therapeutic!
For a more in depth look at meal prep for busy moms, including free meal planning printables, check out my blog post on Meal Plan and Prep for Busy Moms.
***This is a guest post from Brittany Cooper. She is a wife, stay-at-home mom to two toddlers, and owner of the blog Imperfectly Perfect Mama. Imperfectly Perfect Mama is a blog for moms with young children. It is all about making life as a mom easier and even more enjoyable! You can find Brittany on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.