By Ann Martin
First, think about what your family likes to eat. Next, from this list see which meals can be made in under 30 minutes. If some meals do make more than a meal’s worth for your family and do take a little more time make do not rule these dishes out. They can be frozen and used when you’re pinched for time.
Now, when you are looking at least of which meals can be made in a relatively short period of time. Think how you can use that meal later in the week in a different way. For example, try roasting a chicken and then later in the week make chicken salad sandwiches that can be served during the week on your Noritake colorwave lunch plates. Or if your family likes soup, make some chicken noodle soup for a nice lunch during the weekend. Try and think of how you can extend the meal more than once. Think big! Lasagna is a great meal that can be made into a double batch, so that you’ll be able to freeze one batch for later. Also, when planning your meals, take a look at which recipes require fresh ingredients. These meals should be made towards the beginning of the week rather than towards the end, as you do not want your ingredients to go bad.
There are many monthly, two-week, one-week menu plans out there. Sometimes, your family may not care too much for those dishes listed on these menus. But, you may be able to get some good menu ideas from them, even if you think your family may not like every single dish listed. By browsing at various ideas and recipes, you will feel inspired and motivated to plan your meals for any given amount of time.
Once you have a plan and your recipes, make a list of all the ingredients you’ll need at the farmer’s market and or grocery store. Next, when making your grocery list – try grouping similar food items together. Typically a grocery store has produce all in one area, meats in another and dairy in another, etc. If you are familiar with the layout of the store you will be going to, take your list a step further and group your items not only with similar items, but when you know which department you will get to first.
If you can try planning and shopping for your meals ahead of time, you will not be scrambling to throw something together for dinner. Instead, you will have dinner on the table without the added stress at the end of the day. Now that the stress of preparing for the meal is gone, try putting into rotation some lighter or healthier family favorites for them to enjoy on your brand new dinnerware.
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