Meal Planning Tips From the Jarvis kitchen
Lisa Jarvis has four boys and a husband who always keep her on her toes. There's never a dull moment or time to waste at the Jarvis house! That's why meal planning has become such an important part of Lisa's weekly routine.
Not only does she serve her family healthy meals, but she also saves money simply by making a grocery list and a meal plan.
"Meal planning can seem like a daunting task every week if you're not used to doing it," Lisa says. "But once you make it a habit it becomes like second nature. It can make your home life more calm, healthier and more economical."
Lisa likes to keep things simple. Here are some simple meal planning tips that she shared with us that you can use, too.
smart Meal Planning Tips
Don't be afraid to branch out and try new recipes. Lots of great ideas are available online, in magazines or on cooking shows.
Make sure to store recipes in a safe place so you can use them again and again.
Ask your family for some ideas on what they would like to eat each week.
- Then set aside one day each week when you can plan out your meals. Don't forget to include breakfast and lunch!
- After you've laid out your meals for the week, make a list of the ingredients you need to purchase. I like to organize my list according to how the grocery store is laid out - produce, meats, dairy, etc.
- Always keep a variety of spices and seasonings on hand.
- I set a day each week to do my grocery shopping. This has saved me countless trips to the store and always saves me money.
- Post your meals for the week in your kitchen so that your family knows what to look forward to each week.
- If your house is like mine, then some nights will be busier than others. So give yourself permission to be flexible in your meal schedule. You don't have to make the meals in any particular order. I also like to use crockpot recipes for those extra busy weekdays.
- Keep it simple! I use as many whole foods as I can, eliminating processed foods as much as possible. I usually prepare a lean meat or fish, two fresh veggies, maybe a salad and a healthy grain.
- Prepare for your meal by washing and chopping items in advance. This will save you loads of time.
Occasionally I will double a casserole recipe so that I can freeze half of it to be reheated on a busy night in the future.
Use leftovers wisely! I prepare plates from the leftovers from dinner and my family eats them for lunch the next day. You can also freeze leftovers such as lasagna in individual containers so they can be easily thawed and re-heated.
“Think of cooking for yourself and your family as an art,” Lisa says. “Have fun and show your love through preparing home cooked, healthy meals instead of unhealthy, fast food or processed foods.”
Now have fun planning and cooking!