As a new mom, it can be quite difficult to find the time to make homemade meals. You may have a few minutes to cook during your baby's nap, only to discover that you don't have all the ingredients you need. Or maybe you find yourself standing in front of your pantry night after night wondering what to make for dinner.
The best way to ensure that your pantry is properly stocked is to plan your meals ahead of time. Many families eat the same few meals week after week because they simply can't think of anything else to make.
To get yourself out of the food rut, sit down and make a list of all the meals you make and enjoy. Try to list at least fifteen to twenty meals; consult a cookbook or epicurious if you can’t come up with fifteen meals. Tape your meal list to your refrigerator so you can easily reference it before your weekly grocery trip.
Each week, choose two or three meals off your list and create your grocery list around those meals. You may also want to double your recipes and freeze half so you can enjoy home cooked meals even on nights that you don’t cook.
In case you need help getting your recipe list started, here are a couple of meals that feed a family and also freeze well:
- Stuffed Shells
- Chicken or Vegetable Pot Pie
- Black Bean Soup
- Split Pea Soup
- Potato Soup
- Pot Roast
- Chicken Cacciatore
A slow cooker or crock pot can make cooking easier; you can prepare the meal during your baby’s nap time in the morning and let the meal cook the rest of the day. Crockpot has some great recipes located on their website.
Home cooked meals are cheaper and healthier than restaurant takeout or delivery, so take a little time to plan a menu for your growing family.