One of the questions I am asked most frequently is meal planning for a large family.
I'll admit I do NOT plan meals every week.
I try to and it's one of my goals, but we're still early in the new year, so I don't feel defeated yet!
I'm actually planning on making monthly meal plans instead of weekly planning. Once I've mastered monthly meal planning, I'll move on to planning meals for two months at a time and so on.
(Yes, I've got BIG plans to be organized!)
We're all busy and time seems to be the biggest reason we don't get meal planning done. I try to think about times I could get this job done. I started keeping a notebook and pen with me and make the most of my "down time". Examples - My son Ezra has speech therapy once a week - that's 45 minutes of meal planning while I'm in the waiting room. I drive two of my children back and forth to work and there are times I'm waiting in the car, even for just a few minutes sometimes. I pull out my notebook and plan a day or two. Not only do I feel like I'm multi tasking, but not wasting time either! When you're a busy mama even sitting in the car for a few minutes can be frustrating.
I'm sure you could think of some times when you're waiting or at an appointment and might be able to get some meal planning done.
At night seems to be another good time for me to get some extra work - like blogging and meal planning done. All the kids sweetly tuck into bed and mama's typing away.
Ok, not always my reality, more like one laying on my lap, another falling asleep at my feet, but this is my life. :)
I also want to have some quick meals in my meal plan. We all have those days that don't quite go as planned and may need to revamp meal time. I will have those ideas in a side bar.
Do you have some really quick and easy meals that get the job done?
Here are some meals I will make my family when we are pressed for time - these also happen to be meals most of my older kids can make if I get really busy. Even my 7 year old can help with these!
Baked Mac and Cheese
Pigs in a blanket
Add a salad to each of these and it's dinner!
Don't forget about crock pot meals! Start them in the morning and finish them up right before dinner.
Breakfast for dinner! My kids love when I do this! Pancakes - yum!
Some that are still quick, but a little more time -
And if dinner just isn't going to get done we order pizza and I don't feel bad about it either. There is a place right up the road that offers a 777 deal - 3 pizzas, one topping each, $7 each. Can't beat feeding my family for around $20 when ordering out! They even give you a discount if you pay with cash!
(For my local friends, I'm talking about Metro Pizza)
I'm sure you could add more to my little list and I'd love to hear them!
I'll be sure to share my meal plans when finished!