A lot of things change whenever you decide to go back to school. You will have a new schedule, new priorities and a new workload. What’s one thing that does not change? You (and your family) still have to eat. Here are some tips on how to plan ahead to make your week as stress free as possible and make meal time a more enjoyable, relaxing part of your day.
Plan your week
The first step in planning your meals is planning your week. Take time at the beginning of your week to lay out what the week is going to look like and identify the meals that you will need to plan for. Develop a “head count” for the number of meals you need with a brief description.
Example: three no-heat lunches, four family dinners, two on-the-go breakfasts, two sit down breakfasts.
Keep a “food journal” or some kind of record where you can write down your favorite food combinations and recipes. This is also a good place to keep new recipes that you want to try. We recommend making this a digital record where you can post links and access it anywhere. You can highlight the meals that work best for your family and ones that you can take with you on the go.
Weekly theme nights are fun and easy to plan. Whether it is Monday Pasta night, Taco Tuesday or Wednesday Fish Fry, theme nights can help you take the guess work out of weekly meal planning while still allowing you to spice it up (literally!) with some preparation variation.
Make a shopping list
When you get to the grocery store to do your weekly grocery shopping there is no way you can remember everything you need. Use your plan for the week to make a shopping list and take it with you to the store. Not only will this save you time, but it will also save you money. Planning your shopping list beforehand can help you stick with a budget and make sure you don’t make any unnecessary purchases.
Pre-cook what you can
Once you have planned your meals for the week and done your grocery shopping, think about any items that you can pre-cook for your meals. Having these items ready to go (or at least ready to thaw) will make your meal preparation that much quicker during the busiest parts of your week.
We know that going back to school is a huge time commitment. But preparing ahead of time will make all the difference. Using these tips will allow you to feel less rushed at meal times so that you can focus more on spending time with your family.
For more information about South College and how we can fit into your busy life, contact us today!