I have been fascinated by the concept of meal planning for a few years now. I have repeatedly heard that it is one of the best ways to save money on the grocery budget and I know it must be a huge stress saver as well to not have to worry about what to make for supper each day. But I have to admit, I always thought the process was far too complicated for me to be able to manage.
Then Unilever, the makers of numerous dinnertime favourites including Hellman’s, Knorr and Ragu, gave me the chance to chat with expert meal planner Sandi Richard and I had high hopes that her advice might help me to finally figure out this concept and start enjoying the benefits of meal planning. Luckily for me, Sandi understands that busy parents don’t have time for a complex and confusing system when it comes to meal planning. The process should start, she says, with a simple sheet of paper (you can download a blank “Eat Sheet” on her website) and a family meeting.
Sandi was full of practical tips and the first one was that only five meals per week should be planned. She said there should be one day when parents can feel fine about ordering out and one day when eating grilled cheese and soup is acceptable, so five meals can take a family through the week without a problem. To decide on those five meals, she suggests just using a blank sheet of paper and filling in each of the meals. But to make the process work, getting input from the entire family is crucial! [Read more…]