Meal Planning for Busy Families

Meal Planning for Busy FamiliesLet’s see if we know how your evenings go. Do you rush out of work, pick up the kids from sports, rush home, unpack backpacks, lend a hand with homework, take a moment to clear your head and then wonder how in the world it’s already 7 p.m.? And what can you possibly fix your family for dinner at 7 p.m.? So then your options are to call for pizza or cereal … again.

It doesn’t have to be this way. You can ace your meal planning game whether you’re a natural-born Martha Stewart or not! All it takes is a little commitment and planning. Ready to rock it?

Choose a Meal Planning Day

Sounds easy enough right? Let’s say every Saturday afternoon, you’re going to sit down for 20 minutes with a cup of coffee and plan your meals for the week. First, take a peek at your calendar for the upcoming week and note days you won’t be home for dinner, nights when you will need quick meals and nights when you will only be feeding part of your family.

Quick meals may be needed on nights the kids have activities, you have a PTA meeting or Dad will be working late. It’s OK to plan to order pizza and add some fruit or a salad on nights like these. Don’t overburden yourself with thinking you have to cook a four-course meal every day to feel good about your meal planning efforts!

Create a List of Meals to Rotate

Meal Planning for Busy FamiliesAs you make meals, save your favorite recipes and build a pot of meals you can rotate through for weekly menus. You can keep these in a recipe book, a Word file or on Pinterest boards.

If you’re starting from scratch, post on social media and ask friends to share their favorites. Email family members and request ideas from them. Search Pinterest for what you’re looking for (e.g. quick weeknight meals, slow cooker recipes, etc.).

Once you have a bunch of meals to rotate through, you can get fancy and create weekly or monthly plans you can pull from. You can even go so far as to create seasonal plans for your family. But for now, choose the meals you will create for this week and post them somewhere visible — on a pad on the fridge, whiteboard or a shared online calendar. Need to print a weekly or monthly calendar for the fridge? Check out this link.

Take Your Meal Plan and Grocery Shop

Just like you chose a specific day each week to do meal planning, you should choose a weekly grocery day. Go through each recipe and add all ingredients to your list. (Be sure to check your pantry before you add everything to the list!)

If you’re short on time on grocery day, try an online grocery ordering or delivery service. Shop in your PJs and go pick it up later. Or better yet, have one of our personal assistants pick it up for you and deliver it right to your door. And if you need some extra time for meal planning and cooking, we can take care of your other errands, too.


Give us a call today to get started and receive your first hour free! Happy meal planning!


Errand Works, LLC is a licensed, bonded and insured personal assistance company dedicated to improving quality of life for professionals, caregivers and other busy individuals. Every personal assistant must pass a Virginia State Criminal Background Check prior to being hired. In addition, each personal assistant is a Virginia State Notary. Errand Works currently serves Prince William County and the surrounding areas. Call today to schedule your appointment! You’ll get one hour of service free!  (703) 881-1599