Meal planning anytime of the year can be challenging. Throw in the holiday season and your home can become a new kind of chaos. Between the parties, gift buying, last minute dinners, and baking, this time of year can make it hard to keep organized. Luckily we’ve come up with a few tips for your holiday planning. But rather than focus on the holiday itself, we’re honing in on the part that gets pushed to the side – regular meal planning. Because even though its easy to get caught up in the festivities, your family still has to eat!
1. Get Organized
Write. It. Down. Its as simple as those 3 words. Write down your meals for the week and your shopping list ahead of time. This will help clear at least a bit of space in your mind so that you can fill it with more important things… like what gifts to buy and cookies to bake! If you are part of our NMTG community, than check this one off your list, we already do the meal planning and grocery list organization for you. If you haven’t joined us yet, you can still plan out dinner and write your own grocery list down to keep your week running smooth.
2. Prep Your Meals
Sometimes the prep for dinner can take just as long if not longer than actually cooking it. We find that a true time saver (especially if you’ve planned out your meals) is to prepare what you can ahead of time. Use a lazy Sunday to chop vegetables, cook rice, and prep sauces. When the busyness of the week takes over, you will be ready for it.
3. Use a Slow Cooker
Meet the slow cooker, your new best friend. This beautiful kitchen tool is one of the greatest things invented for busy moms. Stews, soups, chicken, roasts – It might shock you to learn just how much you can make in that ole’ slow cooker. Don’t limit yourself to the classic recipes either, we come up with all kinds of meals that can be easily cooked in it. Your new found time can be used for gift wrapping and holiday baking.
4. Learn to Love Leftovers
Not everyone loves leftovers, but certain sacrifices must be made during the holidays. Double or triple your meals to be used in lunches or additional dinners. This meal planning tip deserves a serious thumbs up, am i right!?
5. Keep it Simple
There are times of the year when its wonderful to experiment with baking, and there are times when its not – the holidays being one of those times. Save yourself the stress and bake simple recipes that you know or can easily figure out. Most of us have had at least one experience of attempting a complicated dessert at the worst time. Lets make a pact to veer far away from those recipes this year, and every year to come. Unless we practice first, a lot.
I’m curious, do you have any other holiday meal planning tips?