Meal Planning – Simple Suggestions for Quick, Easy, Family Meals

This past weekend was a busy one prepping several different freezer meals as well as helping my mom out with some ideas on getting meals ready ahead.  In an attempt to save money and eat healthier we have started trying to eat at home more.  This results in me having to cook more.  It is no secret that I wouldn’t say I love to cook, however I love having quality, tasty meals.  Here are some crazy stats about how we eat. So I know I am not alone in those that need ideas of how to eat at home and healthy.

There are a few things I have done to help meal plan.  A big one is having a plan about what we are eating for the week before I go out for groceries.   Don’t get me wrong I still come home with stuff that I didn’t plan to buy and I also forget a few things but overall it has been successful.  Once I am home with the groceries I try immediately to prep them for meals and then freeze.  This is mostly consistent of my protein and vegetable portion of the meal.  I may have to make a side or something very simple to go along with the meal but the best part is that we are having nutritious, mainly organic and balanced meals several nights during the week. I wanted to share a few suggestions to get some flavorful meals quickly that we have been trying to do.

Suggestion #1
Take the time to sit down and write out what you want to eat that week.  We talk about it every Saturday morning.  That way we can go get what groceries we need for the week. I am always sure to check my refrigerator and pantry for what I already have.  You would be amazed if you just took 5 minutes each week to do this how it takes away so much hassle of trying to figure it out during the workweek when you are busy and tired! This is probably the easiest yet most helpful way to prep yourself for the week.

Suggestion #2
I think a fabulous way to do this is right when you come home from the grocery store.  Don’t even put your meat away until you have it in a freezer bag prepped and ready to go.

Basic Directions:
1. Take gallon zip lock bags
2. Put family portion of naked protein in bag.
3. Add 1 TBS of oil of choice and 1 tsp of seasoning or blend for every ½ pound of meat
4. Squish
5.  Label & Throw in freezer
6. When ready to use, pop in fridge to thaw
7. 350 oven for 20-25 minute OR Grill and/or stovetop skillet sauté 20 minutes 

Chicken
Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Blend + Oil
Fajita Seasoning + Oil
Teriyaki Marinade
BBQ Sauce

Pork
Fajita Seasoning +Oil – also add pepper & onions
BBQ Sauce
Cajun Seasoning + Oil

Beef
Steak Rub + Oil
Bicentennial Rub +Oil

So easy to have the option to pop out a meat that is ready to go.  Just bake, saute’, or stovetop skillet it and steam up some veggies on the side and you have a wonderful balanced meal for the family.  If you like certain vegetables with meat cut them up and throw them in the same bag right away too.  Like a roast – carrots and celery in the bag. You have a meal all ready!  I am very cautious to buy and use spices, mixes and oils that are not full of all the icky additives.  I use a lot of products from Wildtree since they are mainly organic and not full of all the extra junk.  I would strongly encourage you to read labels!

Suggestion #3
Make freezer meals!  I made ten meals this weekend.  We had one tonight and it was fabulous.  We have enough leftovers for a meal tomorrow as well.  The meals I made were for the crockpot.  I worked in an assembly line fashion. I chopped all my veggies and had all my canned goods out and labeled bags one through ten.  I added my meat, veggies, seasonings, oils etc in a assembly fashion.  I was careful working with raw meat not to contaminate.

The great thing with freezer meals is you feel really organized!  There are wonderful websites with lots of freezer meal options laid out for you.

The company Wildtree also puts on great freezer parties!  You get a bunch of friends together for these parties.  You use the Wildtree ingredients to finish off your meat and veggie portion of the meals.  This is what I did this weekend it was a blast!  I found a post that explained it nicely also a Youtube video.  There are reps all over you can check out their website if you are interested in one.

It has made a difference for us to follow a few of these tips.  We are eating much better and tasty meals!  We are saving A TON of money by not eating out nearly as much.  Since we are cooking at home we know what is in our food.  Just another great perk!  Give it a try I bet you will be pleasantly surprised! 

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