Feeding Your Family - Meal Planning Tips

Aimlessly wandering the aisles at your local grocery store letting hunger pangs dictate your purchases may not be the best way to go about the process of planning meals for your family—besides, impulsive buying makes it hard to keep a frugal wallet! Find a planning system that works for you and make it happen! There are several ways to go about this. You can:

1. Plan your meals around the sales of the week.

2. Plan your meals around the coupon deals at your preferred store or two.

3. When you make a meal, double it and freeze one.

4. Try once a month cooking with a friend and get a lot of the work done in one day!

5. Join a produce co-op where you get a box of seasonal produce to use for the week.

6. If time is short, consider the store you get the best deals on and stick with that one, if not, use store ads to compare the best deals and take an afternoon to go store to store.

7. Take advantage of weekly farmers markets! Buy into half a cow. Meet a meat truck at a local delivery site and stock up for the month. Be creative!

8. If your family is mega-sized you might cost-analyze the big box store membership with the benefits of buying in bulk.

9. Plan a days-of-the-week recurring theme. By selecting certain foods for certain days of the week, you will cut down on wondering what you’re going to eat, as well as quickly think through what to plan each week: Italian Monday, Taco Tuesday, Thursday Pizza, Fish Friday, etc.

10. Try to keep in mind if you are eating out during the week and work that into your food purchases for the week to keep costs down.

Each family is unique and different. Some husbands prefer that the pantry is always stocked and they never run out of their favorites. Other husbands like to see just enough in the cupboard for the week and empty shelves by the end of the week. As well, if you have picky children it may be beneficial to bring them into the kitchen early to help assist with vegetable prep as it may help them have more interests in trying the foods. Take time to consider how to minister to your unique family and ask older women for wise counsel in this area.

Proper planning, organizing, shopping, and even perfecting your skills in food preparation not only blesses your family, but it allows you to open up the doors of your home in the godly duty of hospitality. Improper planning can cause hospitality, meal delivery for others, or potluck donations to break your bank, but they don’t have to. Planning simple, filling and delicious meals is all that’s truly needed and allows you to stay within budget, focus on the people, and not just the preparation