One thing I wasn’t prepared for as a mother was how much time I would spend in the kitchen!
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love feeding my family & friends. There’s something so rewarding in watching people enjoy the food that you prepared. But, am I the only one who feels stressed out with the constant “what’s for dinner tonight” question that seems to show up when your mind is focused on other things??
And then it’s so frustrating when you don’t have a plan & you’re pulling out a tried & true quick recipe only to be reminded that you made that just 3 nights ago (and also last week as well) & now no one wants to eat it! Talk about adding fuel to the fire of frustration! Or you planned a meal, only to start making it & realize that you forgot to pick up one of the main ingredients at the store. (Or one of your lovely children ate that ingredient & didn’t tell you that it was gone!) With this in mind, here are some meal planning for mompreneurs tips I’ve learned along the way!
So let’s go back to the basics & add some tools to our belts to help make meals not be such a stressor in our lives!
Meals with your family are truly important & something we shouldn’t neglect (I’m speaking to myself as much as to you right now!). I found this quote & it resonated for what I want to create for our family!
Miriam Weinstein, author of The Surprising Power of Family Meals says,
“Sitting down to a meal together draws a line around us.
It encloses us and strengthens the bonds that connect us with other members of our self-defined clan,
shutting out the rest of the world.”
So, let’s dive into how we can alleviate some of the mealtime stress & get back to enjoying & consistently having meals with our family!
Meal Prep is your friend!!
I don’t know about you, but meal prep always seemed so overwhelming to me. You see, I’m the Mom who spends an entire Saturday in the kitchen prepping meals for a whole month. (In case you haven’t noticed yet, I tend to be an all or nothing person). That just doesn’t fit our life right now. But there are so many different ways to manage Meal prep! It doesn’t have to be 12 hours straight in the kitchen prepping for the next 4 weeks. I could prep on Sunday afternoon for the coming week. It takes as much time as I need it to, and covers as many meals/snacks as I need.
Maybe meal prep looks like making 2 batches of dinner one night, eating one that night while putting the second in the freezer for another night.
Or what about doing a meal swap with a friend? You each make extra dinners for one week (making 2 meals one night, saving one while eating the other) & then swap your extras with a friend so you get a variety of dinners.
Whatever you do, make it work for your family!
Make a Weekly/Monthly Meal Plan!
When it comes to meal planning for mompreneurs, there are so many variations available! There are so many different calendars or worksheets you can use. Look at Canva & search for “menu plan” & the options are amazing! But the main thing is to make a plan, & then work at sticking to it. Click here for a meal plan that you can print out & use for your own meal planning.
I’m the queen of making the plan & then not following it! But life moves so much smoother when I do stick to the plan. My kids like the consistency of knowing what’s for dinner & I like not having decision fatigue.
One thing I’ve found that helps me stick to it is to look at tomorrow’s menu plan before going to bed so I can pull out any frozen meat that I need. (Forgetting in the morning is my #1 problem with sticking to the menu plan!) Then when it’s dinner prep time the following day the meat is already thawed & ready to be cooked.
Another tip that’s helped is to assign each night a theme. Then, when you’re planning your meals for the week, you have a framework to go off and for me at least it helps planning go smoother. It makes it so we don’t have the same thing weeks in a row.
Some Possible “Meal Planning for Mompreneurs” Theme options are:
- Meatless Monday
- Salad Tuesday
- Pasta Wednesday
- Breakfast Thursday
- BBQ Friday
- Leftover Saturday
- Crockpot Sunday
Get your whole family involved in meal planning and meal prep
Make making dinner a party! When I’m not the only one in the kitchen, meal prep is so much more enjoyable. Conversations happen, jokes abound, and everyone’s attitudes (mine included) are improved!
Assign each child a night to be your sous chef & help out. Turn music on, have a movie going in the background, have the whole family in the kitchen working on it together, or create a buffet for dinner (like a taco bar or pizza bar) so everyone creates their own.
Whatever works for your family, try out different things! But if you are not the only one cooking each night I can guarantee you won’t burn out as quickly, and you’ll probably stick to the menu that you’ve planned!
Embrace convenience when planning and preparing meals
There is nothing in the history of motherhood that says you’ve failed as a mother if you buy pre-cut veggies or the already-cooked rotisserie chicken, or even a frozen meal! If buying pre-washed & cut veggies or the meal kits from Costco makes your meal prep time shorter, then go ahead & buy them! Sure, it’ll probably cost a little more to buy the pre-packaged, pre-washed/cut, pre-cooked food, but I can guarantee it will be cheaper than getting take-out because you ran out of time to make dinner!
Also, I don’t know about your kids, but if I give them a bag of whole carrots & say go ahead & eat, they typically won’t! But, if I give them a pre-packaged bag of baby carrots, they’ll gobble them up & ask for another bag. If you’re in a busy & hectic season, go ahead & get what works best for you & feeds your family!
Grocery delivery: A mompreneur’s saving grace!
Grocery delivery/online ordering has been a lifesaver for our family.
It helps me in so many ways. Not only does it save me time by not having to go to the grocery store & physically walk the aisles & buy the food, but I tend to stay on budget when I utilize online ordering since I can see the total as I put food in my cart. There have been so many weekends where I need to go to the grocery store but there are so many other tasks that need my attention. So I end up placing my order from my phone after I’ve fallen in bed for the day, after I’ve done all the tasks! I schedule it to be delivered the next day or to pick up & presto, we have food in the house again! 😊
Here’s the thing, Momma: You & your family need food. 😊 And usually it is stressful to get all the meals on the table every day! But there are things we can do to help make it not as stressful, dare I say, even enjoyable!
Which of the tips for Meal Planning for Mompreneurs resonated with you?
Drop a comment & let me know!