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Tips for Mealtime Success

It can be challenging to make the time to sit down and create a meal plan. However, having a plan can mean the difference between eating something healthy vs junk or spending money vs saving money.

Some basic steps for creating a meal plan include:

1. Review your calendar for the time period you are planning. Note work schedules,

meetings, appointments, kids’/spouse’s activities (if applicable)

2. Decide what meals you:

a. can prepare around your mealtime (30 min),

b. need something quick & easy (10-15 minutes),

c. need to have something already prepared (ie crockpot, leftovers).

3. Select meals that fit the need for each day.

Additional Tips:

Prep for the Week

Meal prep is SO much easier when veggies are ready to be used. Even if you only have 30 minutes, prepping veggies is easy with a good mandolin or food processor. Keeping a container of freshly chopped veggies in the fridge, whether they're for meal prep or a quick and easy salad/topping bar, is so useful! Want to know a little secret? If you have a hungry crowd and dinner is running a bit late, pull out a bag of lettuce and your chopped veggies and start dinner with a salad. As a friend of mine once told me, who cares if anyone spoils their dinner - they've filled up on healthy foods and that's the ultimate goal.

Plan with Themes

Have you ever sat down to plan your meals for the week, looked at everything going on, and just drawn a blank? This is where theme nights are awesome! They help your brain focus in a particular direction. For example:

Sunday: Soups

Monday: Taco/Burrito Bar

Tuesdays: Pasta

Wednesdays: Slow/Quick Cooker

Thursdays: New Recipe Night

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: Sandwiches/Burgers

Make your Lists

Love this - shop at home first! This will save you time and money! Also, check to see if your grocery store has an app. Wegman’s and Target have great aps. Grocery store apps allow you to keep your list up to date as you need things because it's right there on your phone. Also, if you live with someone who may do some/all of the grocery shopping, they can be logged into the same account and access the same list when they do the grocery shopping.

Be Flexible

We all have those days when plans fall apart. That's when it's great to have some go-to quick and easy recipes with pantry staples ready to go. Dump and go pressure cooker recipes and meal mixes are great for days like these. And if you end up with carry-out, that's okay too. Those are the days when it’s great to support one of our many wonderful local restaurants.

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