Eliminate the Mayhem of Meal Planning

by Helen Chen Marston 09/22/2019

You may be someone that just loves planning, shopping, and cooking for your family. You have the tried and true recipes that dazzle your family all tucked up in your head. When you enter the grocery store, you have a regular route as you gather all the ingredients needed to create your family's favorite meals. You can stealthily take advantage of the weekly sales and layer on the coupons for incredible discounts. However, if you struggle with cooking meals that your family considers edible, then maybe you will appreciate a little direction.

What is on the Menu?

Most people shop for groceries right around their payday. So you arrive at a well-stocked store, since the grocer knows your shopping habits, now what? Where to start? Honestly, you need to rewind a bit and start about a day or two in the past. Schedule yourself a planning time either by yourself or with the whole family. You can take this time to decide what dishes you and everyone else would like to have served. Like most families, you will have your tried-and-true meals that have a heavier rotation on a meal plan schedule. Once you have a list of meals for a predetermined time-frame, you can now build a grocery list. Before you hop in the car and zoom off to conquer that list, you may want to check your current supply. Have your family help with this. You can make it into a sort of scavenger hunt. Once you have taken a quick inventory, you can clearly see what you need to purchase.

Search for the Sales

Now, if you have a favorite grocery store and there is nowhere else you would shop, then go for it. However, if you don't mind making a few stops, you can peruse the weekly circulars and see which grocers have competitive prices on the items you need to buy. Here is where you can spot any huge money-saving deals and perhaps adjust a meal or two to take advantage of a reduced price. Alternatively, if you have a freezer large enough to hold some extra items or a deep freezer you can easily stock up when the sales are on. Now you are ready to fill up that cart with what you need to make those completed meals without all the anxiety.

Try making a list of five to eight of your family's favorite meals, including all the ingredients for each and keep this list as your starting point for future meal planning sessions.

About the Author
Author

Helen Chen Marston

Helen Marston has been a member of WSGVAR since March 2009. She graduated from Peking University and received her MBA from California State University, Los Angeles. After becoming a REALTOR®, she has earned a variety of NAR designations and certifications: CRS, GRI, SRES, CIPS, GREEN, MRP, SFR, etc. Working at Keller Williams Realty Arcadia, she leads as Associates Leadership Council while providing a Mentor role for new real estate licensees. Outside of her real estate business, Helen is an advocate for community service. She currently serves as Chair of the Planning Commission for the City of Temple City, General Chair of the 74th Temple City Camellia Festival, and is also actively involved with different organizations in the community and the local schools. Helen was honored as Congresswoman Judy Chu’s "Woman of the Year” for Temple City in 2016 and was selected as one of the "Make A Difference” Honorees, awarded by the State Assembly Member, Ed Chau, in 2016.