Meal Planning & Grocery Shopping
1st some rules: We can’t just buy anything we want. Parents today, want us to buy healthy ingredients instead of chips, cookies and junk food.
I would never serve a dinner with junk food. If you have extra money after leaving the grocery store, you may either buy a treat for yourself or keep the money for another time when you want something. Save the change will really help reduce the number of times you hear “no” when you want something. Being a saver is a great skill that will bring you a lifetime of rewards.
Secondly, several families have what is called “Fend for Yourself Night”. This doesn’t mean that mom and dad come home and cook 4 different meals, one for each person. This means that they grab a rotisserie chicken or salad already made, bring it home and put it in the refrigerator so that family members can go to those items and use them as they wish. Some could make a chicken salad, others could make a sandwich, others can use some of the chicken and blend it with some cooked pasta or rice dishes then go off to eat these. Don’t just buy a single pork chop from the meat counter then go home and cook it just for you. “Fend for Yourself Night” should have the ingredients for everyone to come and make something they want.
Third rule, use what you have in the house. This comes in really handy when planning a meal ahead of time. Use store flyers.
Parents love when you learn how to be resourceful and not waste food. It is always OK to take what is left-over at home and use it before buying something new. If there is meat or chicken in the freezer, use those items from the refrigerator first. Allow your foods enough time to thaw from the freezer. That could be 1 hour up to 3 hours. Figure out these things the night before.
During “Fend for Yourself Night” you are also in charge of your dishes. This means you clean up. If you take 4 pans out to make your meal, you will need to wash 4 pans. If you use 5 bowls to mix food, then you must clean them. Don’t forget the kitchen counter tops, all utensils, the cutting board and sink.
Parents, I recommend having a drawer that is for your kids in the kitchen. Keep measuring cups, measuring spoons, a cutting board, peeler, zester, along with a few knives they may normally use in there with some oven protection. Keep wooden spoons and plastic/silicon spatulas in a container next to the stove/oven that they may use.
Next, please link to our Meal Planning Worksheet. Print this and use this. At Chefsville, we laminate this and allow kids to complete this using a dry erase marker. Gather the coupons and store sale inserts from the mail each week and sit down with the children.
Discuss the meal plan. Kids over 2nd grade could even fill it out and locate and cut some coupons with scissors. This should be quality family time that lasts about half an hour to forty five minutes. Its brings the family together to discuss other things as well. Each family member should feel like they have something to contribute as a family team-mate..
Our next blog article will take this further. We thank you for taking the time to read this and we look forward to the next article being a blessing to you and your family.