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How To Use Templates To Help You Meal Plan

“How can I get more hours in the day?” 

This is one question, that I hear the most often from moms and others trying to manage their daily life. And the unfortunate answer is – you don’t. But you CAN be more strategic about how you use your time. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, so investing in just a short amount of time to plan can be extremely beneficial. Using templates will help you increase your productivity and literally shave HOURS off your day. Here are just a few examples of how I use templates to increase productivity in my own day.

Meal Planning

One area that I personally find templates helpful is with meal planning and grocery shopping. I’ve heard from some of my readers that meal planning can be tough. How many times have you looked at the clock at 6:00pm and realized that you were so caught up in what you were doing or running late and that there’s nothing ready for dinner so it’s pizza, sandwiches again or take out?! Anytime I don’t meal plan, this is the story of my life!!

I want my family to eat healthy, but I also don’t enjoy {and don’t have time to be} spending hours slaving over a hot stove after working all day.

Each week, I write out a plan for our family’s meals and snacks. {Click here for my meal planning printable}. I make sure each meal is healthy, quick, and easy to prepare. Some days, I’ll even use the crock pot. Now, I don’t always 100% stick to it. I do allow for some flexibility {like on the days where life has been crazy and we have our family favorite –{Bean burritos ( black beans w/ cheese, veggies, and guacamole) or Spanish style tortilla – Saute thinly sliced onions and potatoes until cooked mostly through. Add in spinach, peppers or other veggies. Place in a small baking dish bottom and pour 12 beaten eggs (or egg whites). Add shredded cheese (optional). Bake 20 minutes at 350F or until the center is cooked through.}, but it gives me a great system to work with most days. Planning our meals saves time, saves money, and keeps us healthy throughout the week. Win, win, win!

Grocery Shopping

Truly, the best advice I could give anyone as it relates to grocery shopping is to “do your grocery shopping with a list and a time limit”. A simple 15 to 20 minutes is all it should take to do a quick inventory of what’s on hand in the pantry, fridge and freezer. Having a well-organized list and doing a full inventory of the house saves me so much time at the store. {Click here for my grocery list planner printable}. I can’t count the number of hours that I’ve spent making multiple trips to the store to grab one more thing. Or how many times I’ve had to weave back and forth between the aisles because I realize a recipe called for fresh ____ {fill in the blank}. Or I’ve left the grocery store, came home, unloaded the groceries only to find I missed something I needed. Now, more often than not, I come prepared! And on the days I don’t, I notice a big difference. It definitely throws off my meal plan for the week!

Do you use templates to stay organized? Have you found that having templates helps you manage your time more efficiently? What areas of life do you use checklists and printables?

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About noelskitchen

Noel is a CEO and Mother of 4 who can be found blogging from her home office, who's passionate about family, nutrition, fitness and supporting others reach their health & fitness goals. Noel uses her blog to share about simple, healthy recipes, nutrition tips, walking, workouts and a little sprinkle of life! She created Noel's Kitchen Tips teaching families how to make budget friendly meal and healthy recipes. She's blessed to have the opportunity to be able to teach busy moms and families how to use food and cooking as a means of bringing family meal times back to the table and stay fit.

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