Tag Archive | "Cooking For Busy Mom"

5 Tips For Easy Meal Planning

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5 Tips For Easy Meal Planning

Posted on 25 February 2012 by noelskitchen

From the last four weeks of faithful meal planning, I’ve shared how important it is to sit down and take a little bit of time to meal plan. Week #4  of the was by far was the easiest week. Today, is the last day of the week and as I look back, I was able to stick to the weekly meal plan every night this past week. I hit the obstacle of running out of tomatoes during the first part of the week, but that’s okay. By having stocked the pantry with back up ingredients, I was able to pull off a great meal that night.

The only trip to the grocery store I made this past week was last night to replenish our milk supply and grab some tomatoes and avocados from the produce department. Both of which were on sale!

My outlook on meal planning is simple.

5 Tips For Easy Meal Planning

  1. Start with a blank meal planning calendar.  I literally just make a list using a sheet of paper and a calendar and jot down what I need to make with what I have on hand in the freezer, fridge and pantry. Having a calendar sheet like the one pictured above, gives me an outlook on the entire month. For instance, if I have hamburger meat, I can add some make-ahead ground beef to my recipes and create 3 to 5 meals spreading them out for the month or simply just through the week. I can do the same thing with shredded chicken or shredded beef and pork. Don’t forget to get ideas from the family.
  2. Check my family’s calendar.  I make notes on what is needed for that week and check my family’s event calendar to see if I need to plan meals that take 15 minutes versus 30 minutes and figure out what day works best for my baking and meal prep day. With 4-H, those nights I literally have only 15 minutes to cook a meal. It’s very handy to know some time-saving tips for meal planning.
  3. Plan around leftovers. Leftovers always seem to get a bad rap. If you have leftovers sitting in your fridge and you don’t want the same thing for dinner, find a way to spice them up. Leftover roasted potatoes can be added with chicken sausage and spinach for a Warm Chicken Sausage and Spinach Salad, leftover crock pot roasted chicken can be made into a Chinese Chicken Salad. My goal is to use those leftovers and not waste them.
  4. Browse the grocery store ads. This is a very important step if your family is on a budget or if you simply want to cut back on your grocery spending. I prefer to stock up on items when they are on sale rather than pay full price when “I need them”. Don’t be afraid to ask someone at the grocery store if an item will be going on sale in the upcoming weeks.
  5. Post your meal plan! The refrigerator is the most common place. This way, your whole family know what they’ll be having for dinner that week. This also helps if you’re running late and you need your husband or children to pull something from the freezer, pop in the oven or simply turn on the crock pot.

What are your favorite tips, tricks, or tools to help you meal plan? I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas in a comment below.

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Exclusive Peak on Meal Planning Tips & Tricks for Busy Moms

Posted on 21 February 2012 by noelskitchen

A Busy Mom’s Guide To Family Meal Planning

New fans can now get a Free Exclusive Peak  and Sample of A Busy Mom’s Guide To Family Meal Planning!

What is this Free Ebook?


The “Free Printable Sample Pages for A Busy Mom’s Guide To Family Meal Planning” eBook is a downloadable book in pdf format.

This free sample to print eBook is giving you an inside look at My Busy Moms Guide To Family Meal Planning, a popular resources that provides even more frugal kitchen tips and encouragement that you won’t wan’t to miss out on!


How Do I Get My Free Sample eBook?


Easy! Get your “Free Sample of A Busy Mom’s Guide To Family Meal Planning” eBook by “Liking” us on Facebook.

Simply go to our Family Meals Matter Cooking Club Facebook Page and click on the “Like” button. You will then go straight to the download page where you can easily download your very own sample of the “A Busy Mom’s Guide To Family Meal Planning” eBook.

Once you have downloaded and saved the ebook to your computer, you can print any of the pages when needed.

You will need Adobe Reader or another PDF Reader installed on your computer to open this eBook. If you don’t already have a PDF Reader, you can download Adobe Reader here for free.

To go to our Facebook Page click here and “Like” us (if you do) to go straight to the download page where you will have access to your copy of the ebook.

If you have any problems at all with the download, please Contact Me immediately and I will email the ebook straight to you.

If you have already “Liked” us – thank you! You too are entitled to receive this free sample of the ebook. Simply complete the Contact Me Form with your details, and I will email this ebook to you.

Why “Like” Us?


By “liking” us you will not only get your free sample of the eBook, but will join a community of like minded Moms (and Dads), Families from all over the world, sharing their ideas on how to keep your family meal times easy and memorable.

And not just easy with using the latest kitchen tools and appliances out there – but with free, cheap, recyclable and readily available items – all of which you most probably have in your home right now.

This site is always updating with new features- New content is constantly added to the site and updates of all the new recipes and kitchen tips will be posted on the Family Meals Matter Cooking Club Facebook Page and on our Twitter Page.

By “liking” us you will keep up-to-date with all of the new fun ideas to keep your little one busy.

Hope to see you on Facebook soon:-).

To go to our Facebook Page click here.

*If you’d like to purchase the full copy of the eBook A Busy Mom’s Guide To Family Meal Planning, click on the icon below.


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How To Stay Connected With Noel’s Kitchen Tips

Posted on 28 January 2012 by noelskitchen

With the ever so many changes and updates that the internet provides us, there are numerous ways to stay connected to your favorite blog sites. In March, as I’m sure most of you have read by now Google will be making some changes. If you haven’t had a chance to read about the changes, you can read more about them here.

I hope that with Google’s upcoming changes, I won’t lose contact with you. I want to make sure you know alternative options for staying connected with me.

You can subscribe to my RSS (feedburner) here and never miss a recipe, kitchen tip, menu or tips for moms balancing family as a working mom blog post again.

You can subscribe via email by typing in your email address in the subscribe option on the sidebar. You can also keep in contact with me in other ways, such as those below.

You can connect with me

On Twitter @NoelsKitchen, I love tweeting with my followers. If you mention me and I am online, trust that I am faithful and will respond. If I am not online, no worries I will get back to you.

On Facebook , my Family Meals Matter Cooking Club family has grown, and I welcome you will stop by and “like” my page. I do share  my blog posts, kitchen tips and of course talk about family mealtimes. And of course, you will be privy to some of my random thoughts  about family if you add me to your newsfeed.

A Busy Mom’s Kitchen Newsletter, It will give you the latest information on nutrition, meal planning, cooking tips, budget shopping, monthly promotions and much more. Don’t forget, it’s also a great way to discover new recipes every month! AND you’ll receive you’ll receive a free 15-page E-Book with Tips, hints and recipes for kids in the kitchen;“Cooking With Kids E-Book”!

On Google + This is also a page that is slowly coming along when I have the time, and I’ll be sharing posts there as well. I love giving my favorite blog sites the +1, and you will find some of my favorite reads from the week there too.

On Pinterest, well honestly it’s fun saving and sharing new ideas in one place, and it has things I like personally, ideas and some of my favorites from my blog. But if you find yourself in need of another person to follow to check out for inspiration, feel free to follow me there too.

There you have it.

Consider this if you are looking to connect with me in other ways, instead of typing in your blogsite in the webaddress, unclick the commentluv and then type in the address you would like me or others to check out.

FYI: If you leave links in the comment box, your message will be forwarded to my spam box temporarily until I approve it.

How are you staying connected with me? How do you stay connected with all your favorite bloggers? Feel free to share.

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Working Mom’s Holiday Meal Planning

Posted on 01 December 2011 by noelskitchen

Happy December 1st!

“Every year at just this time, In cold and dark December, Families around the world All gather to remember, With presents and with parties, With feasting and with fun, Customs and traditions for people old and young.” –   Helen H. Moore 

We have officially kicked off the holiday season. If you will be cooking during the holidays, it is important to plan your meals ahead of time. Not just for the big Christmas dinner, but throughout the entire month. If you’re a working mom, sometimes the holiday season feels like chaos. It doesn’t have to be.

I was delighted when Steph from Be Positive Mom asked to interview me on the topic  Holiday Cooking For The Working Mom. In the interview, I’m sharing some incredible ways to meal plan during the holidays and even set aside time to relax during the busiest of times.

Enjoy! And remember, whatever you do this holiday season, remember to relax and enjoy yourself. As a family, you will have great memories of this holiday season if your holiday planning is less stressful.


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Menu Planning To Eat Well And Spend Less

Posted on 18 November 2011 by noelskitchen

If you’re new to meal planning and cooking, you might find some comfort in knowing that  sometimes getting dinner on the table quickly, can worry even the best of cooks. So don’t feel like you have to go run in the closet and hide. Meal Planning is so important to eating well and spending less. When you have nutritious food in your home, you feel good about what you and your family are eating.

What do you do when dinner has to be on the table quickly, and you’ve been caught unprepared?

Other than skipping dinner or snacking on whatever’s lurking in the fridge-neither of which are healthy options and if you have children to feed-there are a few viable alternatives. If you have time to shop but not to cook, the easiest instant dinners are available at your super market for the buying, but they are expensive. Nearly every major supermarket offers a full case deli and bakery, and you can probably find a salad or two and some crusty bread that will do as dinner.

Your second option is turning to those frozen convenience foods-you know, frozen pizzas, pot pies, lasagnas, burritos and the like. As with the first option, this of course has its pluses and minuses. The plus is that they meals are considered one hit wonders: just heat and eat. The minus is that while you can zap one or two dinners in the microwave-which requires upwards of 30 minutes. If you had 30 minutes to make dinner, you probably wouldn’t even be bothering with frozen foods, would you? And then there’s the cost factor, too. While frozen pizzas are on the inexpensive side, in the long run,  it’s cheaper to make your own.

Eating Well

The third option, and the one we’re all here for, is making dinner at home.

This, however, takes planning, both in long term and short term. For starters, you need a decently stocked kitchen. You can’t make something out of nothing. Right? Shop around for brands of canned beans, spaghetti sauce and other quick-dinner bases. See my Quick Staples for suggestions. (If you have a little bit of time on the weekends, make your own and freeze.)

First, you have to develop a new way of thinking about your family meals. If you can’t seem to get yourself to plan a week, two weeks or a month ahead, think about dinner early in the day. Try to decide what to have while you’re getting ready for work in the morning or getting the kids ready for school. If nothing else, you can grate some cheese or put on a pot of rice. That way you’ll at least have part of dinner ready when you get home. Take those baby steps to meal planning. Eventually you’ll grow to find it’s much easier to take those big steps to meal planning.

Spending Less

With the rising costs of heating our homes and driving our cars, we have to look for ways to save a few bucks. The food budget is the easiest place to start. A little menu planning can go a long way toward feeding your family and saving money.

Coming up, I’ll share with you meals that are as close to instant as physically possible that will allow you to Eat Well and Spend Less…..

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