I am so excited to have Michelle Pfennighaus of Find Your Balance sharing how you can make a family meal plan!  She is a Nutrition Coach and mom of 2.  She suffered for years with debilitating IBS and anxiety, until finally healing herself through changes in diet and lifestyle.  Since then, she has used food as a catalyst to transform the lives of thousands of clients worldwide.  Her life’s reinvention has been documented in the movie “Lemonade” and she’s been featured on ABC, NBC and NPR with her inspiring story.

I am so excited to have Michelle share ways we can all get ourselves organized when it comes to meal planning!  And, she has a FREE downloadable meal planner for you!!  Who doesn’t love freebies, right?!?!

How To Make A Family Meal Plan

Before I had kids, I spent leisurely afternoons at the grocery store and farmer’s markets.  Strolling through the aisles, I picked up whatever looked good.  During the week, if I needed a few more items to complete dinner, I made a quick trip.

No big deal, right?

These days, grocery shopping is a full­ contact sport.  If I’m lucky, my husband watches our two boys while I sprint to the store and attempt to fill my cart with food that strikes the balance between healthy, fast and my ­kids­ will­ actually ­eat.  And since we’ve just bought a new home, I’m trying to do it all on a tight budget.

This is the story of how “meal plan” became a regular part of my vocabulary.

And by the end of this article, I hope to make it part of yours.  You’ll save yourself the dinnertime scramble that up­ends your kitchen while the kids complain they’re starving.  And you’ll save yourself the money that often goes to the takeout delivery guy.

When I started meal planning, I thought I needed to have a cute, Pinterest­-worthy meal planning board complete with polka dot ribbon.  This is false.  Most of my meal plans happen on the back of an envelope or random sheet of construction paper.  You can also download my Family Meal Planning Worksheet to help you get into the swing of things.

Cook Books

Start With What You Have

First things first.  What do you already have in the house?  A pound of ground beef in the freezer?  A bunch of tomatoes from the garden?  Making use of what you have saves money and gives you a starting place for your meal plan.

Check Your Calendar

The next important step is to check your calendar for any important dates.  For example, if it’s your husband’s birthday next week you might want to make a special meal.  Or maybe you’ll go out to dinner – that’s one less meal to plan for.

Pick 2 Easy Favorites

It’s tempting to dive headfirst into your cookbooks.  But let’s be realistic.  We all need easy, quick meals during the week.  Pick a couple easy favorites that don’t require a recipe.  Think scrambled eggs, spaghetti, hamburgers or whatever you like to make.

Add Variety

Now’s your chance to add some variety.  Already serving beef?  Add chicken, fish and vegetarian meals to your plan.  Find yourself making a lot of broccoli?  Try cauliflower one night instead.  You can also vary the flavors.  For example, if you make a lot of Italian food, try a Chinese dish.  Pinterest is a really useful tool for finding new ideas.  You can see the recipes I’m using in my own meal plans right here.

Double (Or Triple) Recipes

Choose a few recipes that you can easily double, like chili or tacos.  Leftovers can be built into your plan for another night of the week or for lunches to make things easy and more manageable.

Make Your List

Finally, go through each meal and note the ingredients you’ll need on a shopping list.  Make sure to shop your own pantry first!  Otherwise you might buy yet another jar of cinnamon because you forgot you already had some!

Erasable Meal Planner

There are meal planning services and done­-for­-you meal plans available online.  But WE are the experts in our own families.  Only YOU know that your son is allergic to eggplant, your husband hates beets and you guys just had lasagna last week.  That’s why I like creating my own meal plans.  Plus…you might think I’m crazy, but…it’s kind of fun!

Be sure to download my free Family Meal Planning Worksheet to get started.  When you hit the store, you’ll be in and out with no wasted time.  Woohoo!  Hang that meal plan on the refrigerator and refer to it each morning so you know exactly what’s happening later in the day.

Know what I call that? Winning.

Thank you so much Michelle!  Check out her 1 Meal Mom Community for more amazing information, tips, and support!  I am loving all the tips for how to get yourself organized when it comes to meal planning.  I actually find it easier to meal plan in the summer because we do a ton of things on the grill!  It allows our family more time outside while we are getting dinner ready.  I cannot wait to get my meal plan on!

Organizing & Decorating Tips to Save Your Sanity

Setting Expectations for Your Kids is Key to a Tidy House

Hey there!

Are you ready to declutter your life? 

It can be super overwhelming trying to tackle your entire home. But when you start small, you can make huge progress!

Take the burden off of you! And join the free Clear The Clutter Challenge.

The challenge is breaking up decluttering into small, manageable steps you can do to declutter your entire home with ease!

Ready To Get Your Home Organized Once And For All?

Use my easy-to-follow e-learning courses to walk you through organizing your family, your home, and your kids!

Live With Less Framework

The Live With Less Framework is a practical guide to owning less and living more. You will learn how to change your mindset so you can get rid of stuff without guilt, create action plans for physical areas of your home, and maintain order throughout your home with ease.

The Organized Kids Academy

The Organized Kids Academy is a comprehensive program that will guide your kids through five organizing projects and additional lessons to help them keep their spaces tidy. PLUS you will get access to videos that show you how to teach organizing skills to your children!! 

Virtual School Set-Up Masterclass

In this masterclass, ee cover how to set up seating options that aren't just at a desk! Yes, your kiddos need a desk space, but did you know that by providing them with 3-5 seating options, they are able to keep their focus for longer periods of time?? This is based on research for how students learn.

Latest from the Blog

I'm Jessica

I am a mom to two kiddos + a fur baby. I am wife to Ben. I enjoy coffee, gluten-free desserts, and sleeping in. And I am The Organized Mama. 

I help families make the every day more enjoyable with practical organizing, decorating, + diy tutorials to maintain order in your home!

As Seen In

better homes and gardens image
parents magazine logo
people.com logo
rachel ray logo
apartment therapy logo
the boston glove logo
0