Before we decided to have just one more (that turned into two), I meal planned for the five of us on a bi-weekly basis. This made grocery shopping and me working nights ten times easier. However, now that I am back on days, and I have weekly plans it’s much easier. So here I am to tell you about meal planning for large families.
First things first, simplicity is your friend. I love Pinterest for Instant Pot, Crockpot and super simple recipes. I divy my recipes into two categories. The first category is “Food to Try” which is my general board. This is all of the food I want to try! It’s the big, sometimes extravagant but always helpful board. The second category is “Weeknight Specials” this board is specifically for fast paced, crock-pot, instant pot, baking recipes that are easy for me to prep and forget.
Second, I try to utilize recipes that I have bulk freezer items of, or spices that I already have. The worst thing about grocery shopping is having to buy TOO much. When I look for recipes I look for items I already have. For example, chicken, who doesn’t have chicken in their freezer right now? I also look for recipes with items that may be on sale, such as pasta and pasta sauce. Yes, I am completely aware that it isn’t all that healthy.
Third, I plan for a week at a time. This makes my weeknights easier to prep, and my grocery shopping (mostly done online now). I write down ingredients that I don’t have and add them to my cart with Fry’s. In addition to this, I add my girls school lunches (No, they don’t always eat sandwiches).
Some people find meal planning tedious. Yes, meal planning and prepping is tedious. BUT, to have some reprieve during the week when most things are chaos is a blessing. I hate standing in front of the pantry or fridges to figure out the age old question of “what’s for dinner?”.