Getting started on meal planning can be intimidating at first, but after a while, the benefits become clear, and spending a little bit of time each week making a plan saves a lot of time in the long run!
Begin by looking over your pantry, fridge, and freezer to see what you have available.
Now look at your calendar for the week and see if there are any special events coming up where you’ll be out for dinner, and take note of days where you will be very busy and need something make-ahead or extra fast to make.
Now you can go shopping, knowing that you won’t be buying anything that will go to waste. Write the meals for the week on the bulletin board so everyone knows what to expect for the week, and you’re all set!
A note on shopping: I like to go to the warehouse store for my meat and nonperishable items, because their meat is very high quality, and the cheapest I have found per ounce. I will portion and freeze the meat, allowing me to have a good variety in stock all the time. I buy the large package of ground beef, and split it into freezer bags. I buy the 2 packs of whole chickens, and the 2 packs of pork tenderloins, cut those apart and freeze them. I buy a large pack of fish, cut it into fillets, and put them in freezer bags. I buy the beef chuck roast pack, cut the roasts in half, and place them in freezer bags. Last, I buy the 6 pack of fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut them apart, and freeze them. When I use my last portion of any meat, I put it on the bulletin board and add it to my shopping list for the upcoming week.