January is always regarded as the month for starting anew – kicking a bad habit, resetting healthy habits, starting something new, or making professionals goals. It also tends to be a month where holiday parties continue, making it even harder to leave those sweet treats behind. That’s where February comes in. It’s the new January – the month to activate those goals you had in mind for last month…like family menu planning. If you’ve been a menu rockstar and already swear by your planner, feel free to keep reading for some new ideas. But if menu planning is something that you’ve been wanting to do, we hope you’ll find some inspiration from the tips below that were inspired by The Kitchn’s 15 Tips for Better Meal Planning. We’ve also designed our own menu planner to help you get started.
5 Tips for Better Meal Planning:
- Designate a day of the week to look for new recipes and keep them in the same place like Yummly, Pinterest or in a binder of ideas.
- If you’re cooking for 2 or a family, take note of what everyone does and does not like as long as it fits into your healthy plan. Ask your kids for their favorites so that they feel like they have control over their dinner. There’s nothing worse than wasted food.
- Grab a pen or pencil and sketch out your menu for the week with our handy menu planner template. Then take that with you to the grocery store so you can avoid impulse shopping and stay focused.
- Create a system that includes regular theme nights (Taco Tuesday, Pizza Friday, Breakfast for Dinner), meals that provide leftovers to use as lunch or dinner, and components that can be prepared and stored ahead of time.
- Take advantage of the big 3: Use your freezer for making produce and meats last longer, keep your pantry well-stocked with regular items like olive oil and grains, and avoid overstuffing your fridge so you don’t forget about food or let it go bad.
How do you stay on track with your meal planning? Share your tips below and tell us some of your favorite recipes too!