Weekly Meal Planning Ideas For Quick & Easy Dinners Every Time

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Looking for meal planning ideas? Quick easy dinner ideas? Planning what you will cook is the key to making easy dinners, reducing stress, saving time and money.

5 Meal Planning Ideas For Aspiring Cooks To Make Quick & Easy Dinners

Who wants to waste time cooking complicated meals? Not me! Who wants to waste money on eating out? Not me!

There's a way to cook simple, quick meals that are healthy and cost a fraction of what it does to eat at restaurants. Below you'll find my top 5 tips for simplifying and mastering the weekly cooking process. Enjoy!

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5 Meal Planning Ideas For Quick & Easy Dinners

1. Decide what you will cook.

Once a week, sit down with your cook books, recipe binders, Pinterest board or what have you, and choose the meals you want to serve.

Pick simple recipes that have short meal prep times and use healthy ingredients, and then fill out your grocery list accordingly.

The photo above is one of the super easy recipes I found in an issue of Real Simple magazine that is so delish! It's one of those recipes that involves throwing everything into the crock pot and that's it. It's pulled pork with black beans and rice served with fresh salsa and avocado. Yum!

2. Go to the grocery store once a week.

After you've gone through your meal planning ideas, chosen recipes and filled out your grocery list, go to the supermarket to get all of the ingredients necessary.

I use a notepad like this one to keep track of what I need to buy at the grocery store. It has a magnet on the back, so it lives on my fridge and I can easily check off items that we run out of.

3. Use the crock pot and/or the freezer.

Both are fantastic for super simple dinners with minimal meal prep. I use the crock pot on days that I'm working from home. I throw the ingredients together in the morning, and come dinner time it's ready! I serve freezer foods (like frozen pizza) on days that I'm gone early and back late.

Have you heard of the below products? They will make your life easier!

Crock pot liners are splendid, because they minimize clean up time. Simply put the liner in the crock pot, add your ingredients and turn it on. After you've served the meal, throw the whole liner away and your crock pot is clean!

This is a complete set of reusable containers for practicing portion control. It is microwave safe, dishwasher safe, BPA free and PVC free.

4. Delegate to family members.

Spend time with family members AND get help by giving them small jobs to do in the kitchen. For example, if you have young kids, let them do little tasks like mixing or whisking. If you have older kids, assign them one night a week to cook the whole meal. This is great because you are not only teaching them how to cook (so they'll know what to do when they go off to college), but you are also giving yourself a break.

5. Take advantage of cooking resources.

You're not in this alone! There are so many helpful resources out there - classes, cook books, online recipe sites - so take advantage of them. For example, websites like The Six O'Clock Scramble and $5 Meal Plan cover all the bases in regards to meal planning ideas. Check it out!

kitchen organization

It's hard to simplify the cooking process if the kitchen is a mess. Here's
how to organize the kitchen, the kitchen cabinets & the kitchen drawers!

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