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5 Meal Planning Tips for Busy Working Moms



If you’re a busy mom who would still rather feed her kids something homemade than frozen, you know how hard can it be to whip up something every day. However, with meal planning, you can figure out what you’re going to eat (roughly) throughout the week, and just follow the schedule when it’s time to cook. This seems like a lot of planning, but once you get a hang of it and learn all the ingredients you need by heart (makes shopping very fast) you will enjoy this method a lot. Here’s how to do it:

Start slow

You might be eager to start meal planning for the entire week, but in the beginning, this can equal a lot of wasted food. Instead, start slow and go for four or five days tops. For instance, start by planning meals for Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (it’s always easier on the weekends because you have more time to cook). As you get more familiar with the process, add one more day and so on.

Be smart with shopping


Shopping for five, six or seven days' worth of meals can be very intimidating, but if you do it right, you can finish it even faster than your regular shopping. Before you even start writing down your meal plan for the upcoming days, take a look at your fridge and pantry and see what you’re working with. By incorporating things you already have at home, you will not only narrow down the vast number of meals to choose from but also save up some money and make your shopping easier.

Get some help

Some days are especially hectic and you know you won’t be able to cook that day, and that’s A-OK. Instead of stressing and giving up on your meal planning, you can simply skip the day and opt for chef prepared meals that will arrive at your address. For instance, if you figure out on Monday that you’ll be super busy on Wednesday, just order some frozen food prepared by top chefs, and enjoy with your family without any stress. Toss your frozen meals in the microwave when you get home and enjoy. This way, you’ll still have quality food instead of junk food, all that without any work. Meal planning only works when you’re flexible!

Create a list of backup meals


Sometimes, things just don’t go your way, and that’s normal for this time and age, especially if you’re a working mom. Instead of relying on McDonald’s, it’s still better to whip up something at home, no matter how fast and simple. This is where your backup meals come into play. These are easy and fast meals that can replace your originally-planned meals. For instance, if you had to stay longer at work, instead of making spaghetti and meatballs, you can turn to leftover steak salad. Or instead of making steamed salmon, you can make a tuna wrap.

Collect the best recipes

Meal planning is most successful when you can experiment with meals and enjoy a variety of tasty dinner recipes, but if you get stuck with your Friday dinner or Saturday breakfast, it’s best to have a list of meals you know work for you and your family. Start by writing down everyone’s favorite meals, then add a few meals that are easy, fast and cheap to make, and finish with a list of several side dishes you can rotate. This “go-to” list will fill out any holes in your meal planning menu so you don’t waste too much time figuring everything out. 

These tips will help any working mother adjust to meal planning quickly and smoothly. Once you get the hang of it, it will take you about 15 minutes to plan your weekly menu and just a little over to do your shopping. You will bless your family and yourself with tasty and healthy meals and start to love cooking once again!


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