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5 Meal Planning Tips For Busy Parents Made Easy

Kiarra is a stay-at-home wife and mother of two and a half-time student. She is going for her bachelor's degree in Nutrition.

Meal planning has always been my go-to for my family and me. However, I never planned meals because I was usually on the go. Now that I’ve found a strategy that works for me, I’d like to provide some pointers for meal planning for busy parents with hectic schedules.

Here are my five meal planning tips for busy parents:

1. Inventory

Before creating a list, always check your inventory to see what you have on hand. When I first started meal planning, I made a few errors because I assumed we didn’t have it.

2. Inspiration

When I first started meal planning, I couldn’t think of anything to add to the list, so I looked for inspiration on Pinterest, TikTok, Facebook groups, and cookbooks. When I start jotting down what my family and I would love, I put it in a binder and go through it to plan out what I’m going to cook for the week.

3. Menus (Recipes)

When you start creating a list, make sure that all of the recipes you use have similar ingredients since this can help you save a lot of money.

4. Make a list

I used to use notepads, but now I use my iPhone’s Notes app. My husband goes shopping on his days off, and the Notes app is an excellent tool for us to use. We always discuss what we need, and I keep track of it in our notes. He’s been added to the list so he can look over what to get. It’s pretty useful.

Here’s an example:

5. Choose a prep day

My husband goes to the grocery store on Saturdays. I like to prep our meals on that day, so I don't have to stress it every day. For example, we purchase Ziplock bags to cook and freeze in, and we have a large number of glass containers for chopping produce, meats, and so on. It makes things easier. For example, choose a day when you are not busy and shop and prep for that day. And consider purchasing an air fryer, instapot, or other simple cooking equipment, so you don't have to spend hours cooking.

Please don’t overdo it and have fun with it. Keep recipes and rotate them on various days or weeks to avoid boredom. Hopefully, you’ll be able to incorporate these suggestions into your hectic schedules.

© 2021 Kiarra Cotton

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