Meal Planning For Busy Families:
This meal planning idea was suggested by a dear friend. She was saying how much it helped her eat healthier meals. Planning meal ahead of time makes eating healthy simple because all you need to do is take it out of the fridge or freezer to reheat.
And she was so right.
No asking yourself “what should we eat” anymore. No matter what types of food you are eating, there is a way to make your life a lot simpler when it comes to meals.
New ideas for having healthy and affordable foods in your home:
If you walk through the grocery store and are tempted by all of the sweet things, there is another way. Green Bean delivery is a service that delivers fresh and organic groceries right to your doorstep every week.
If you do not live in St. Louis your state will most likely have the same type of service but with a different name.
You set up your account, pick out your package of groceries, and weekly deliveries are free when the order is over $45. This really helps me stick to my budget because I am not even tempted with bad eating choices. And I love things being delivered to me at no extra charge. And in a way, you would be supporting your local farmers.
- BRANDLESS is an awesome and certified organic source for groceries and other goods. EVERY ITEM IS $3 !! Higher quality at a lower cost. The ultimate bonus through Brandless is that for every purchase they donate two meals to those in need. Read more about Brandless here…
Below is a meal planning sheet to help get you started brainstorming for the week…
To Find Your Own Recipes:
Now for new ideas and recipes there are plenty of free ones out there…
If you would rather have someone else do all the planning, recipe discovery, and create your grocery lists for you, here is my review of 5 of the paid (but extremely affordable) services: (Most are less than a dollar or two A WEEK!)
Finding time to do ANYTHING now-a-days is an honest change of priority in your mind. As a single mother trying to get an online business going is doing exactly that…not only “trying” to find the time, but MAKING THE TIME. Same for cooking and it is simple once you have a little suggestion and guidance (if you are like me).
Cooking is so much easier for other people I know, and there are just smarter ways to do it to make cooking much easier for myself.
I am notorious for having an extremely tough time figuring out what to eat, letting groceries go bad because I am not clever with how to use them in more than one recipe. I plan to, but can never seem to follow through.
This is because I don't have a plan for more than just a day.
With any of these guys listed here, I have more options available, I am constantly learning how to cook more varieties of things, and am saving money and using my groceries more wisely.
HealthyKidsInc has an awesome selection of recipes, and they change it up and add stuff consistently. You can just print them out as you go, or you can use their software to create a meal plan for the week (which will build your shopping list of ingredients as you go).
They provide healthy and budget friendly recipes for the entire family, and they really focus on helping your children grow a hunger for healthy foods.
The part that caught my eye in the eBook she talks about how to simply try cooking foods in a different manor which may make the difference between your kids liking and disliking something, and then they give you all kinds of ideas (with videos of course) for trying these new methods out.
***A little tip that I learned is to try and find recipes with similar ingredients for that same week so it doesn't cost as much and things won't have a chance to go bad as much because you are using the same ingredients over a bunch of different meals. ***
When you choose your recipes and use their meal planner, when you have found one to add to your week, the program automatically adds the ingredients to a shopping list, and keeps adding more ingredients and amounts as you add recipes.
This is why it is especially budget friendly when you choose meals with similar ingredients so you don't have a massive shopping list.
You can plan way ahead too so if you find a meal with say chicken but you are going for meals with beef this week, you can just put that meal on your schedule for the next week or more when you plan to have beef as that week's theme
There are a ton of specialty recipes for Gluten free, Nut free, vegetarian (not vegan), small section of smoothies, etc.
Everything is totally customizable to fit the needs of you and your family.
Meal prep is truly music to my ears, since I am constantly on the go, my problem with cooking delicious home cooked meals stems from not having things set up and ready to go if I plan ahead at all.
Any step that I save myself from having to deal with in the center of a chaotic time is a win for everyone in my house.
My favorite thing about Healthy Kids is that for each recipe they tell you which veggies you could grow from home to gain the ultimate nutrition, (plus that is a fun and educational thing to do with your little loved one).
They give you step by step instructions on how to grow them, and what you will need to create your custom garden. It could be a really great way to save money on groceries too!
This is what sets them apart from the other companies that I have seen so far.
You can sign up for a monthly fee ($10), quarterly fee every 3 months ($25), or annually ($67). The annual fee BY FAR the best bang for your buck, plus you have access to everything they offer. Totally worth it.
If you are tired of asking yourself and your family the same question every single night…”what should we have for dinner?” then one of these services could be the answer.
When you break the price down it ends up being like $1.30/week. I am absolutely thrilled to pay that and have someone else do all the planning, save me money, and create ways to spend extra quality time with my baby girl. Seriously nothing but love to HealthyKids!
MindfulMeals meal planning service has a lot more options for vegetarians/vegan and gluten free lovers.
You create a profile for each member of the family so you can easily plan around allergies and dislikes to easily create awesome meals that everyone enjoys and can eat all together.
Once you set a profile for everyone, you can narrow down the search to vegetarian, vegan, gluten or not, dairy or not, and hit the button which plans your week of meals of breakfast, luch, AND dinner. You can search for certain types of meals, by breakfast, lunch or dinner, or for specialty recipes.
They include smoothies that are a perfect companion to any meal (in my opinion), and this is my favorite part of this meal planning service.
If a meal comes up that you or another family member does not care for, you can make any changes you need to make sure the plan is desirable for everyone.
Next is the grocery list. As you add recipes you want for the week, the program will automatically add your ingredients to a list for you (they count kids as half a serving, so that is even more simple for planning ahead since smaller portions will be accounted for!).
Once you have your week all set up the way you like, you can go to your personalized and organized grocery list. They have sections of the grocery store listed to make your trip to the market much easier.
My recommendation, as was for the other companies, is to keep your weeks with a lot of common ingredients so you don't have such a massive grocery list. This is where they will organize the list into departments you will find each of the ingredients, and then you can make changes as needed before you print.
If you want to just go through the recipes and pick them as you go, you can certainly do that too. You don't have to use the weekly or monthly planner, but it is nice to have the option!
I am impressed with the simplicity of making healthy meals that will appeal to all, especially avoiding which ingredients someone does not like or is allergic to.
The prices are 50% off right now when you use my link so I would snatch up the deal while you can, or if you would want to add them as an affiliate to your blog you can have the insider view of the company and access to your own membership at a discounted price.
If you are new to blogging or are still thinking about starting one, I have a free eBook to get your blog up and running ASAP so just click here to have access to my FREE LIBRARY FOR BLOGGERS (which includes a TON of great resources for starting a blog, and especially my Passive Income Paradise Ebook/ Blog Workbook!
…Click below for a quick video tutorial of Mindful Meal
Honestly I don't even know where to start with this one! Laura…TheRawtarian…is a source for MOUNTAINS of information about eating raw. I was first drawn to her site because I am looking for a way to kick off my juicing detox. When I signed up for her email Newsletter, the two books below were waiting in my inbox! So, that was a very pleasant surprise.
Next I saw a bunch of recipes, and there are so many absolutely BEAUTIFUL raw foods (and the desserts really caught my eye), and so from there I started checking out everything there is to offer because after seeing the finished meals I knew this was it. This is going to be the source for me cleaning up my diet.
There is an online community called “Rawtarian's Kitchen”(RTK for short) and this is the monthly service where you get the latest videos, ebooks, courses, and recipes.
With all of her ebooks, courses, recipes, podcasts, and videos you are looking at over a $1200 value, and the monthly fee is $19.95/month. But once you get the membership you can gather as many recipes and tips as possible in a month to get your full moneys worth.
If you see that she has added another item you are interested in you can rejoin with no problem.The entire site is very professional with superb quality photos, videos are high def, and everything looks so beautiful. So I am definitely on board! I will be starting another post where I can post pictures of what I am trying and my progress on my detox.
Laura also has a section on her blog where she talks about emotional eating, what to do when you go out to eat( help sticking to your plan even when you are tempted). There are seasonal recipes, desserts, meals, snacks, juices, and smoothies.
I am in raw food heaven:)
She has a new book that is for pre-sale and it is up to 50% if you buy it before the end of May. Personally I would get it off of TheRawtarian.com (it takes you to Amazon but this way you will get a discount for sure!). Cook Lively will be released in just a few weeks!!!!
Erin has different programs you can sign up for…