For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Week 4 - Summer Planning Series - Meal Planning Made Easy

On week 4 of my summer series on planning we are looking at meal planning, with Kimberly who blogs over at Kimberly A.Vogel.

I have two rules for grocery shopping:

1. Make a list
2. Don't go hungry

I break these two rules all the time. When I do, it costs me time and money.

Did you know there are on-line resources to help you with grocery shopping? Until I started using an on-line planner, my grocery list took close to an hour to plan, I didn't try new recipes, and I ALWAYS forgot an ingredient.

Top on-line Meal planners:

Plan to Eat I must confess, this is the planner I use and LOVE. While it does not yet have an app, I hear it’s in the works.

Pepperplate Mobile app, not web-based

Ziplist There is a section for coupons! (FREE!)

Emeals They provide the meal selection and list complete with sales and to save money.

Tips for Meal Planning with On-line Planners
1. Decide what features are most important for you. I find the menu and import recipe feature most important, but that might not be what you need.

2. Save Recipes when you see them. There is a save recipe button I saved to my bookmark bar. When I see a recipe I want to try, I import it right then. If I think about doing it later... chances are I won't. This creates variety in my cooking.

3. Spend just one afternoon importing your go-to recipes. I also taught my kids how to do this! If you don't feel like typing in your own recipe of Grandma's meatloaf, find one on line with the basic ingredients and import that one. This saves time! Don't get bogged down in details, just make sure the ingredients are the same.

4. What about snacks and lunches??? I made a few 'recipes' for lunches. 
For Kid's lunches, I listed the ingredients as: bread, sandwich meat, chips, fruit, and granola bars. 
Mom's lunches: salad, avocado, oil, seeds, green apples, and almond butter. 
When I'm making the menu, I slide those to the calendar and when the shopping list is created, I don't have to add those ingredients separately.

What are some of YOUR meal planning tips?

Kimberly shares God's love for children through her writing, and encourages moms through her blog She lives in Texas with her husband, Kevin, and four daughters. The whole family enjoys serving God as leaders in the children's ministry at church. When she's not homeschooling her girls, or teaching creative writing, you can find her spinning words into stories or twisting yarn or wire into crafty creations. 

In this Series:
Week 1: Who Plans Homeschool?
Week 2: Planning an Eclectic Homeschool School Year Type A Style
Week 3: Planned Unshooling . . . Why?

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