Keeping the Whole Family Happy at Mealtime

Keeping everyone in your family happy at the dinner table can seem like a nightmare. From picky eaters, to food allergies, to budgeting necessities, it can seem impossible to juggle it all and come out on top. Here are some tips to help you manage all the chaos and stay under budget at mealtime.

Make Menus

Get a calendar or a planner just to use for planning meals. Plan your meals at least two weeks in advance, a month if you can do it. Write down the meals you will have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day. When you have a plan for what you are going to eat, then you are less likely to decide to eat out or buy a more expensive meal option.


While you are making your meal plan, be sure to check to see what is on sale. Fruits and vegetables that are in season should be taken advantage of as well as store sales on meat and other more expensive items. Buying food items you regularly use when they go on sale in larger quantities can save you money on your grocery bill later in the year. You should also take advantage of coupons and other inserts for local grocery stores. Every little bit adds up, and you may be surprised to see how much you can start to save.

Meal Preparation

Another great way to save money is to prep meals ahead of time as much as possible. Making meals can seem like a daunting task, and you are not going to feel up to the job every single day. If you have easy meals already prepped and in the fridge or freezer, then you won’t feel like eating out on hectic days.

Find Go-To Recipes

Making everyone happy at mealtime is almost impossible, but there are usually a few recipes that everyone can agree they like. When you find a recipe that is a crowd-pleaser, always have the ingredients for it on hand! Easy to make, delicious recipes are rare, but if you have a go-to recipe always on hand, then you will be able to get the meal on the table even if it has been a long day. Whether your favorite meal is an inexpensive pasta puttanesca or a hearty soup or a summer salad, make sure you take advantage of those meals.

Use Leftovers

Most meals that you prepare will have leftovers you can use later. Plan to use those leftovers for lunch the next day or to make a completely new meal. Having a roast chicken with vegetables one night might mean that you make a chicken pot pie with the leftover meat and veggies another night that week. Turning one meal into a couple is a great way to save money when grocery shopping.

Make Extra

Another great way to save money and time when planning for meals is to double recipes and then freeze half of it for later. This way, you are making double the amount of meals in the same amount of time, and buying ingredients in bulk will save you money.

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