Ultimate Guide to Meal Planning for Busy Home Cooks and Homemakers

Meal planning_Couple preparing meal

Gosh, I have been so busy this past week that I almost forgot to go to the supermarket and replenish our groceries! Times like these, I am thankful that I always stay on top of meal planning.  Remember, at the beginning of this year, I shared with you a blog article on meal planning? Well, to supplement it further, here are more meal prep tips and life hacks especially for busy cooks and homemakers.

Tips and Life Hacks for Meal Planning

Every busy cook or busy mom will know this for a fact.  Planning and prepping are essentially necessary because these contribute to making home-cooking simpler and easier.  If done right, home cooks have a lot more “me” time, right?  Here’s how:

  1. For each day of every week, write down a list of dishes for each meal for the day such as breakfast, lunch, dinner including desserts and snacks.
  2. Make sure that you have the recipes for each dish in your collection for easy access.
  3. Take an inventory of ingredients in your fridge and pantry.
  4. Make a shopping list of any ingredients you may be missing.
  5. On Saturdays, make sure to buy those items to stock up.

Every Sunday

  1. Prepare ingredients ahead of time and store properly in the fridge to retain freshness.
  2. Cook one or two simple and easy proteins in large batches
  3. Cook a meal or two in large batches that can be reheated and eaten several times
  4. Make different side dishes and store properly in the fridge

During the Week

  1. Cook leftovers from proteins into several different dishes
  2. Reheat leftovers and serve several times together with side dishes

At least once a week

  1. Eat or order out at least once a week

Sample Meal Plan for a Week

Cooking baking_Mother and children cooking

To prove how easy food planning and prepping is, I have created a simple but tasty sample meal plan for a week.  You can even add your own favorite dishes to make it more appealing and exciting. Don’t forget the coffee and bacon!

Breakfast

  • Pancakes prepared the night before, fresh fruits and scrambled eggs
  • Cereals with milk, fresh fruits
  • Overnight oatmeal with bananas, almonds, and chia seeds
  • Avocado toasts
  • Toasts, bacon, and sunny-side up

Lunch

  • Grilled cheese and pulled chicken sandwich (from a leftover roast chicken)
  • Kale and Quinoa Salad
  • Beef tacos (from leftover beef pot roast)
  • Chicken tacos (from leftover grilled chicken breasts)
  • Creamy chicken soup with bread (from leftover grilled/roasted chicken)
  • Fish tacos
  • Beef stroganoff (from left-over beef pot roast)

Dinner

  • Beef pot roast
  • Roasted chicken with baked potatoes and onions
  • Slow-cooked chicken casserole
  • Grilled chicken breasts with roasted vegetables such as zucchini, eggplant, broccoli, asparagus, and brussels sprouts
  • Beef stew (from leftover beef pot roast)
  • Cheesy chicken and broccoli casserole (from leftover roasted/grilled chicken)
  • Baked fish with roasted vegetables

Snacks

  • Fresh fruit- apple, or banana
  • Taco Lettuce cups
  • Vegetable stick such as julienned carrots, celery, and cucumbers
  • String cheese and fresh fruit- grapes or apple
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • Mixed fresh fruits

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