Meal planning can ensure that you and your family eat healthy, yummy meals every day of the week

Most days, we’re on-the-go right up until just before dinner time.

There are children who need to be cared for, a to-do list that needs to be completed – and, for working moms, a full day of making sure that we meet the expectations of our employers.

Once the evening rolls around, the last thing we want to worry about is what to make for dinner, or whether or not we have all the ingredients to even throw something together.

That’s where meal planning comes in.

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More calm, less chaos

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I think of meal planning; I imagine millions of tiny tupperwares packed with pre-made food… The kind of thing that you see fitness fanatics do.

But, meal planning is so much more – and is a must for busy moms!

Planning ahead not only slashes the time spent preparing dinner in half, but ensures that you and your family eat yummy meals every day of the week.

Plus, having a well-stocked fridge and pantry means you’ll spend less time (and money!) in the grocery store and your kids will have healthy snacks to choose from, should they develop the munchies.

Here are four tips to get you started:

Meal planning tips for busy moms

Plan your week

As moms, we need to be smart about our time – and planning our week helps us do that.

Set aside five to 10 minutes on a Sunday to think about your week, the recipes you’d like to try, and the family-favourites you would like to repeat.

Plan to make use of your slow cooker or pressure cooker on the days when you know you’ll be home a little later than usual, leave the more adventurous recipes for the days that you know you’ll have a bit more time to spend in the kitchen, and double up on freezer-friendly meals for those days that you only have time to heat and serve!

Keep a grocery list…

Keep a running grocery list of items in your fridge and pantry. This will enable you to keep track of ingredients and tweak planned meals if need be.

Having a list on hand at the grocery store, will also hold you accountable to buy only what you need, and not what you think you need, thus saving you money.

… and a well-stocked pantry

Even the most well-thought out plans fizzle due to unforeseen circumstances.

But, keeping a well-stocked pantry is one way of ensuring that you have simple ingredients on hand to throw anything together.

Make doubles and freeze!

If you’re making spaghetti – and you know that it’s your kids’ favourite, then why not double up on the recipe and freeze – for a snack, or for an evening where you don’t have enough time to whip something up from scratch.