So as homeschool mothers, not only do you have to teach your children, they always seem to get hungry. These meal planning tips for the homeschool mom will save your sanity come dinner time.
You’re responsible for feeding everyone as well which doesn’t have to be a huge chore if you put some planning into it. I’ve found that meal planning actually makes me feel less stressed overall and helps everyone else in the family know the answer to what is coming up when they’re hungry.
Taking some time to plan ahead for your week will allow you to keep calm and meal prep with ease during the week when you’re running around in different directions.
We’re heading into the home stretch of my 31 days to a better planned homeschool series. I need a break.
This post may contain affiliate links meaning I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Read my disclosure policy here.
5 Meal Planning Tips for the Homeschool Mom
So why are we discussing meal planning if we’re discussing homeschool planning. Well, if you don’t have your meals planned out, you spend more and then don’t have any money left over to buy books. If it were up to me, I’d buy books first and think of groceries after. I love my books.
Books with Great Recipes
The great thing about recipe books is that you can find them with all different types of recipes. Low carb, easy, seafood, crockpot – you name it. I have a lot of cook books because I really love flipping through them and seeing the pictures and taking my time.
Although I don’t use a recipe book for every meal idea, I do find that I use theme quite a bit during the month. This also gives the kid a chance to sit down and point out some recipes that they’d like to try as well.
I then use those recipes as a fun way to get us all together in the kitchen to cook. For every recipe that they pick out, they get to learn how to help make it as well.
The Weeknight Dinner Cookbook: Simple Family-Friendly Recipes for Everyday Home CookingEveryday Dinners: Real-Life Recipes to Set Your Family Up for a Week of Success: A CookbookDinner Done by Between CarpoolsThe Complete One Pot: 400 Meals for Your Skillet, Sheet Pan, Instant Pot®, Dutch Oven, and More (The Complete ATK Cookbook Series)The Complete Instant Pot Cookbook: 1000 Recipes For Easy & Delicious Pressure Cooker Homemade MealsThe Easy 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Cookbook: 100 Delicious No-Fuss Meals for Busy People
Make a list
As simple as it sounds, you need to make a list, go through your flyers to check out sales, what should you look for and what is on sale. What meals can you make from that? Don’t just make the list, actually stick to it while you are shopping. Or else your budget gets out of whack and there goes your book money, noooo!
Making a list is important because there is no way to remember all the ingredients! If you have a list, you’ll stay on track and when you stay on track, you stay on budget.
Shop for in season items
Seasonal produce is cheaper, look for items that are on sale and see if they can be substituted into your regular meals or better yet, try a new recipe and use those new veggies.
And for those times of the year when seasonal isn’t available, see if there are options in the frozen food aisle. I’ve saved a ton of money buying frozen veggies when the prices are sky-high for fresh!
Quick meals during the week
If you family is out all day with co-op or activities, invest in a slow cooker, you can throw all of your ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning and then when you come home, you’ll have a deliciously tender meal waiting for you. I also like to cook a double portion of say soup or stew and have it for two nights. The kids and hubby don’t mind and it saves me from having to cook the next day.
I save my more intensive prep time meals for the weekends when hubby can watch the kids and keep them occupied.
Use your left overs
If you had a rotisserie chicken for dinner, use the left overs for sandwiches the next day, don’t let food go to waste. If you’re going to make lasagna, then use the extra meat and sauce to make pasta another night of the week as well.
Most of my meals usually have enough leftovers for the next day so this is a great way to have some sort of plan already started and rolling.
Meal prep after you shop
Don’t throw that tray of chicken breasts right into the freezer. It will take hours to thaw and add too much time to your weekday cooking sessions. Divide up the meat, portion them out and season them now, then throw them in the freezer.
Make good use of your slow cooker or Instant Pot and you it will make cooking so easy for you and you’ll have amazing meals throughout the week with very little prep time.
I’ve found that when I use my slow cooker, the smells make everyone excited and ready to eat! I tend to do a lot of soups during the colder months of the year and the crockpot is perfect for that.
I also use my Instant Pot for fast meals as well. This works great for those days when we’re super busy but not willing to give up the chance for a great meal.
Follow along in my 31 Days to a Better Planned Homeschool series.
More Planning Resources
Meal planning is great so make certain to check out these other great meal planning resources as well.