Around this time of year, things start to go back into place. Routines become normal again, schedules settle down, and…oh, yeah. I actually have to plan meals since we’re not out and about all the time!
That tends to be the most difficult part of post-holiday “get back to normal” time, at least for me. In the past, my strategy has revolved around learning some sort of new ethnic cuisine or kitchen appliance in order to get myself motivated.
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(Of course, learning all about my Instant Pot last year was totally worth it. I use that thing all the time! It saves the day even when I don’t plan.)
But, I’ll be honest. It all works out a lot more smoothly when I do plan. So, that’s part of my goal for this year: to be more intentional about planning meals for my family.
With my family, that’s really no easy task. My son and I are both celiac, so we’re strictly gluten free. There are times we both react to random allergens, just due to stress on our immune systems, so we have to occasionally cut out things like dairy or eggs.
There’s also the fact that my son is an elite martial artist and requires an athlete’s diet, while my husband is trying to cut back. I’m a work-at-home homeschool mom who tries to eat healthy but loves comfort food as well.
As you can see, planning is a necessity in my house. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one!
The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook: Easy and Wholesome Meals to Cook, Prep, Grab, and GoSmart Meal Prep for Beginners: Recipes and Weekly Plans for Healthy, Ready-to-Go MealsHealthy Meal Prep: Time-saving plans to prep and portion your weekly meals
Meal Planning Freebies!
I’ve created some free menu planning printables to help you. I’ve got several more in development, and they’ll be available soon!
You’ll find them in my store, along with lots of other resources and freebies. I’m constantly adding more to it, so be sure to check back!
There’s also a service I love: Menu Planning Central. It will do all the work for you!
Each month, you’ll get a new menu plan that’s family-friendly, allergy-friendly, and budget-friendly. (Works for me!) You’ll get shopping lists, recipes, and tips for making it all work. You can pick and choose whatever you like, but you won’t have to spend tons of time planning it all anymore!
You can download a free week’s worth of menu plans to see if Menu Planning Central will work for you. (There’s also a Clean Eating version!) If you like it, you can sign up for a quarterly or annual subscription. You’ll get a whole year’s worth of menu planning for about $4 per month!
I hope these resources help you with your menu planning – I know they’ve made a huge difference for me, both in time management and in budgeting!