Plant-based family meal planning tips! Looking to be more efficient with your weekly menu or want to create a plant-based family meal plan? Here are 5 tips for success.
Meal prep is one thing, but learning to meal plan well is a key component of saving time, money, and energy during your busy weeks.
Here 5 tips for approaching meal planning successfully.
1. Look at the big picture
Every week is different, but if you generally have an idea of what the week ahead looks like, use this to your advantage.
If you’re a visual person, take out your calendar and take some notes.
How many dinners do you need to prep this week? Are you having company over or going out of town? Do you have any events planned that will take place of a family meal? Do your kids have soccer games and need quick dinners?
This will help you determine just how much prep is needed – and wanted – during the week.
For instance, maybe you need to come up with ideas for 3 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 6 dinners, or perhaps you’ll make larger dinners and use leftovers for lunch.
2. Choose (and save) your recipes
Now that you know how many meals you need to prepare for the week, it’s time to fill in the blanks.
It’s so easy to write down ideas for later and then forget about them. Instead, if you know you need to make 4 family dinners, choose the recipes now.
This will help you make your grocery list. It also prevents mindlessly wandering from fridge to pantry when it’s meal time and you’re without a plan.
If you make a 5-star family meal everyone loved, be sure to save it for later use!
3. Make a grocery list (and stick to it!)
Everyone has heard the rule about not grocery shopping when you’re hungry, but what about grocery shopping when you’re unprepared?
We’ve certainly experienced our share of trips to the store without a list and let’s just say, more money is spent than was planned and we usually miss some key items we find we needed later.
Use your meal plan to create your grocery list. While you make it, be sure to check your pantry, fridge, and freezer for items you may already have for a recipe. This will help prevent overspending and buying more than you actually needed.
4. Stay flexible
Meal planning is meant to help reduce stress as well as save time and money on food for your week ahead, but of course, it doesn’t take away all of the unpredictability of life.
Rest in the meal planning work you did, but stay open if plans change. For most recipes, you can freeze ingredients or move them to another meal or day.
If you prefer to have more flexibility, on the other hand, try batch prepping ingredients like rice, pasta, roasted tofu cubes, beans, or chopped fruits and veggies,
5. Get new inspiration
It’s normal to find your meal ideas in the same places, but don’t forget to change it up a little sometimes.
Here are some places to look for new ideas:
- Recipe blogs
- Recipe swaps
- Food magazines
- Your friends and family
When you come across something that looks amazing but maybe won’t work for this week – save it for later! Create a little folder on your phone or a binder if you’re a print-out person, and file these away when you need new ideas.
Plant-based family meal planning tips can help save you time, energy, and even money each week. We hope these tips help you create a plant-based family meal plan that works for your family.
Chime In: Do you create meal plans for your family? What other tips do you have for busy households?
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