Plan Your Meals to Save Time in the Kitchen

Plan Your Meals to Save Time in the Kitchen

Do you know what your next meal will be? If you don’t, now would be a good time to start thinking about it. That’s really what meal planning is. Eventually you plan your meal — even if it means making the decision to drive through In-N-Out Burger.

It’s a plan, even if you created it five minutes before eating.

Everyone plans meals, really, but not everyone plans them in advance. And it’s the advance part that will save you time (and probably money and mental energy, too.)

When we fail to plan a meal, or we do it late in the game, we waste time. We stare into the cupboards, we open the fridge repeatedly, somehow thinking that its contents will change with each opening and closing. We hem and haw, all the while tummies are rumbling.

One of your best ways to save time in the kitchen is to plan your meals in advance. At the minimum, I think you should know your meal plan the night before, but a week’s worth of meal plans will save you more time in helping you know how to organize your kitchen and what to buy at the store.

Planning your meals will save time in the kitchen.

If you have a plan you will:

  • be less likely to stand in your kitchen with nothing to do.
  • spend less time running to the store for last minute items.
  • save money because you’ll eat at home more often.
  • not spend a ton of time trying to figure out dinner and preparing it.
  • eat dinner at a reasonable hour.

If you’re not sure how to start, consider downloading one of the 25 FREE printable meal plans that are available here on Life as MOM. There’s even a printable plan for school lunches. If you want to focus on using your own recipes, then read through my Meal Planning 101 series.

It will set you on the road to becoming a Meal Planning Ninja. True story.

Kitchen Time Savers series | Life as MOM This post is part of the Kitchen Time Savers series. You can follow along this month as we explore lots of ways to make more efficient use of our time in the kitchen.

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Comments

  1. I love your blog and your meal planning strategies, but I can’t seem to plan well. I have one thin vegetarian preteen, one overweight teen who watches his carbs, a husband who watches his cholesterol and refined carbs and me – who likes ethnic food that is well spiced and relatively low in Weight Watcher points. And, the kids hate beans.
    I used to love to cook but now I feel like I am a hospital dietitian!
    Could you address meal planning/freezer cooking for those who have “challenges?” I bet I have lots of company in this :)

    • That is a lot. It sounds like you guys would do really well with salad bar/rice bowl/stirfry kinds of meals. That way, each could be choosing the toppings that they like and put different sauces/condiments. I think you could vary it enough so that it wasn’t boring and it would allow you to have an ethnic twist. Is that on the right track?

    • We have good friends who have allergies and other dietary restrictions. When we share meals, we tend to make two soups, one bread, and several salads or like Jessica suggested, more of a base + additions. Flatbread, pasta, mixed salad greens and roasted vegetables all have served as bases for our meals.

  2. Thanks for this great reminder! I have done meal planning before but have been neglecting it lately. However, this week I wish I had been a planner!

  3. I am planning on inventory the pantry, freezer and food cupboards today to make a menu for two weeks at a time. Spending way to much money on groceries. I can’t go to go to the store for a few items.

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