Healthy Dinner Plans

So, you know you're eating out too much, you've added a few pounds, and the cost is starting to get out of hand. But with your busy schedule and limited energy, where do you start to find the right meal planning idea that will work for your family? Are you one of the people who check with a search engine online about how to plan a spaghetti dinner?

Here are five suggestions to get you started:

1. Set up a meal exchange with one or two families each week and agree to try it for a couple of months. Make a double batch of your favorite taco salad to deliver and know that you will have a prepared meal in exchange one night a week. Split the cost of inexpensive containers and lids that can go between homes.

2. If you have a craving from your favorite restaurant, look online for the recipe. You may have a good chance of finding it when you search for words like "copy cat recipes" or "top secret recipes." Before long your kitchen will start smelling like the Olive Garden. This is a great way to produce healthy meal plans for teens who think they are too busy for dinner at home.

3. Check out a meal preparation service, for example Dream Dinners, which is in 37 states. It gives you fast healthy dinner plans as well as the food. Your costs include all the ingredients for the meals. You choose meals centered around your own family's likes, dislikes, eating limitations, and budget. Then you cook the meals right there, package them up, and bring them home to your freezer. Although the cost may be a more expensive than if you'd done it all in your own kitchen, it's considerably less than the cost of eating out and much healthier. You'll also pick up some great meal planning and cooking tips.

4. Avoid the temptation purchase entire meals of take-out. Instead, mix part of a meal from your favorite restaurant with a partially prepared meal at home. For example, it simple and inexpensive to make a large Greek salad with tossed with dressing, olives and feta cheese. Then order a large side order of Gyro meat from your local Greek restaurant. You'll get more value for your money and also have a fresh meal of something you typically would not make at home.

5. Few people actually desire to sit down and come up with a meal planning system that works for them, but when they do, they often wonder how they lived without it. Don't copy other's ideas, but come up with whatever works best with your schedule and available energy. Perhaps it's easy to make a double batch of that tortilla soup and freeze half for another meal. There are a few dinner menu planning software systems. Or design a blank print out of a weekly meal plan. Try breaking down the dinners by style of foods. For example, plan six night's meals as: one - beef; one - salad; one - sandwich; one - poultry; and two - fish.

The last step is to start flipping through magazines, dusting off those old cookbooks, and taking a poll of your family member's favorite meals. Then start your planning and grocery list. Within just a few days you will likely have at least twenty recipes and that can get you through about six weeks of meals. And forgo taking all the responsibility for meals. Make everyone get involved by making the kids responsible for one meal a week; bribe your spouse to accompany you to a Dream Dinner style meal preparation jaunt. In no time your dinner blues will disappear and leave you with a wonderful feeling of accomplishment . . . and relief!

Users Reading this article are also interested in:
Top Searches on Dinner Ideas:
Healthy Meal Plans Healthy Eating Plans
About The Author, Lisacopen