The dinner hour is my least favorite part of the day. Not dinner itself–it’s actually the 45 minutes before dinner, when my husband’s not home yet, the kids are alternately begging for snacks or racing their dumptrucks around the kitchen island, and I’m scrambling to pull the meal together (and often, fighting the urge to run screaming out the back door).
One of the few things that saves me every night: My meal plan. It’s nothing fancy–scribbled on scrap paper and kept in my kitchen’s junk drawer. But it guarantees that “ugh, what are we having for dinner?” is not something I have to worry about in those dreadful 45 minutes.
Meal planning can save not only your sanity, but also your budget (no last minute trips to the grocery store to pick up rice/chicken broth/lettuce) and your weight, since the default plan to no meal plan is typically pizza delivery or restaurant take-out.
Over at Raise Healthy Eaters, Maryann Jacobsen has a terrific series on family meal planning. I was lucky enough to contribute to part five: “12 Tips for Getting Dinner on the Table Fast”. You can read it here.