When life gets busy, it’s easy to fallback on the convenience of fast food, restaurants, and takeout to help us save time. But the truth is that eating out more often doesn’t actually save any time. Plus, it puts a hole in our bank account and can hurt our overall health.
So, how can we make eating meals at home easier? Here are 5 simple ways to make eating meals at home easier.
1. Take Inventory
Take a thorough inventory of your pantry, deep freeze, freezer, and fridge. Start by getting rid of anything that is expired. Next, put the things you need to use immediately on a separate shelf or in the front of your freezer. These are the ingredients you will plan meals with first. Finally, make a list of any typical staple you use regularly that you need to replenish (i.e. peanut butter).
2. Put a grocery list system in place
Make a grocery list plan that works for your family situation. The easiest way is to have a running grocery list on the fridge that anyone can add to when an item runs out. Divide your list up by pantry items and fresh items. Discuss this system with the members of your family so they can help you by writing down a regular item when they use the last of it.
Before going to the store, take a picture of the list on your phone (this way you won’t have to keep track of the actual list) so you know what you need at the store. Or use the list to order groceries online to cut down on time spent at the store and to ensure you stick to the items on the list only.
3. Make a monthly meal plan
Next, make a monthly meal plan that works for your family. Why does it need to be monthly? You will only have to sit down once a month to plan and then you will have four weeks of meals planned for you.
- Now that you have taken inventory of your pantry and freezer, incorporate the items that need to be eaten first.
- Check your family’s schedule when planning meals to avoid unnecessary planning.
- Make a list of dinner meal options you can use regularly and that your family enjoys.
- Start writing in your meals on an easy template.Read more easy steps and learn more tips on how to make a monthly meal plan that works. Plus find a free monthly meal plan template.
4. Make breakfast, lunch, and snack options easy
Take time now to organize your fridge and pantry so that your kids know exactly what they can grab for easy breakfast, snack, and lunch options when they are home or to pack for school. Have containers where you place items they can use to snack on or pack in their lunches. Limit the amount of breakfast options they have each day to two or three items.
By making their options easier, you will save money, stop buying some much junk food, and have less waste.
5. Scale back
If you are struggling to eat meals at home, plan simple meals. Although it’s fun to think about trying out a new recipe, a busy Wednesday night is not the ideal time. This can cause you to fall back on grabbing takeout instead.
Think simple and easy when making a meal plan. Incorporate fruits and vegetables with simple proteins. Start with simple meals and then elaborate when you have extra time if wanted.
Eating meals at home does not have to be hard. It takes a little planning up front for a month of easy and healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner options at home.