Meal planning is one of the best strategies to getting a homemade dinner on the table quickly. It may seem like a complicated process, but it’s really quite easy – especially if you use these hacks.
Conagra Brands sponsored this post, but the opinions are my own.
If meal times always seem hectic and stress you out, you’re not alone. So many families struggle with getting dinner on the table. That’s why meal planning is so important.
Meal planning is a simple process of pre-planning your meals ahead of time. This allows you to easily shop for ingredients, prep ahead when you can and arrange for everyone (even the picky eaters) to have a meal they enjoy. All without stressing you out.
My son is very active and involved in a number of after-school activities, like BMX, baseball, basketball and Boy Scouts. Meal planning is my saving grace. It keeps my family on track, even during the busiest weeks. I do it every single week and it makes dinner-time run much more smoothly.
All you need to start your meal plan is a pen and paper. You could use a dedicated meal planning printable or planner, but you can also keep it super simple. It’s completely up to you. Once you get the hang of it, the process gets faster and easier.
These hacks will also help you get your meal plan done fast!
Meal Planning Hacks
- Get inspired. Search Pinterest and your favorite blogger’s websites for easy meal ideas that your family will love. I have hundreds of easy recipes here on IAK.
- Have the right containers. Meal planning allows you to prep some (or all) of your meals ahead of time. Make sure you have plenty of containers on hand to stash pre-chopped and prepped ingredients.
- Use your slow cooker. My slow cooker is one of my meal time secret weapons. I use it all the time.
- Use someone else’s plan. There are so many free meal plans with recipes available online. Most of them even include side dishes, desserts and other options.
- Don’t forget about leftovers. One of my best meal-planning tips is to plan for a leftovers night. In our house, it’s Thursday nights. I usually set up a buffet night where we eat up everything that wasn’t finished.
- Stock your freezer. Keep your freezer stocked with easy options – like prepare pastas and make ahead meals like this.
All I need to do is add it to a skillet and in 15 minutes, dinner is done. It’s the perfect solution for busy days when we are on the go.
It’s a delicious combination of chicken, carrots, water chestnuts and edamame, simmered in a sweet, orange infused sauce. My family absolutely loves it.