Friday, October 19, 2012

Thirty-one Days ~ Day Nineteen - Meal Planning

We’ve talked about holiday cooking and baking needs along with cleaning out our pantry, now let’s talk about meal planning during the holidays.

What about your normal everyday meal needs? Start with looking at your calendar. What kind of events will you need to attend, especially during the week when cooking dinner could present more of a challenge than normal? Having a plan in place {if you don’t already} for which meals you’ll eat at home versus out along with what you might serve will help make this a little less stressful. Have you considered preparing some meals to have in the freezer? We’ve cleaned out the freezer, so we’ve got room.

I know I always have the best intentions to eat at home as much as we can. It never seems to fail though that for one reason or another we have to eat out more than I had hoped for, mostly due to poor planning.

How nice would it be to have meals ready to heat and eat?  It would help ensure that you eat at home more which is almost always healthier and cheaper than eating out. Preparing a few casseroles or soups now to pull out later will make life a little easier during the busy Christmas season.

Once you’ve decided on what you will cook and you have the supplies ready, plan a day to cook. Do this before things get busy and your calendar gets full. Make time to prepare meals to have in the freezer ready to cook for your family when you need it.

Most people that I know that prepare meals ahead take a day to do it all at once. Then you only mess up your kitchen once, you’ll do all of your chopping & preparing for several meals in one day. Having just 3 or 4 of these in your freezer could be big lifesavers later.

If by some chance you don’t use these meals you could always give them to someone else in need or use them in January when you want a night off from the kitchen.

If you are planning to include baked goodies as gifts you may want to see if you can prepare any of these ahead of time too and then plan a day to do that, if not then schedule it on your calendar for later.

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