For most people, the dinner hour is one of the most stressful of the day. Not only do you have to decide what to make, but you have ballet lessons or soccer carpool to schedule in as well.

Let me let you into a little tip- it doesn’t have to be this way!

If I could share just one tip with you as to how to make dinner time go better, it would be to PLAN YOUR MEALS! Now, we have offered our menu for the week and feel free to use this as your starting point. Here are just a few simple steps I think you should try for creating your own menu.

1. Start with what you know – Create a list of all the foods you know how to cook.  These are meals that you have made more than once and everyone in your house likes.  There will be plenty of time to expand your list and try new things.  Use categories such as chicken dishes, steaks, seafood, etc…. to organize your meals. Keep this “master” list handy for the first 6 months.

2. Start small –  I have been planning our meals for almost three years. I now plan our meals for the whole month. Start with a week (Monday-Friday). Fill in the dinners from the list you have just created and that you would like to make that week and…

3. Stick with it There is really no point in not cooking what you have planned. The point of planning your meals in advance is to become disciplined, more organized, and make dinner time happen.  So in the event that you have ballet lessons, soccer carpool, and a business meeting all on the same night- you can have the number for delivery written right on the calendar.

So there you have it.  Three simple steps to creating your own family dinner menu.  You will be surpised at the other benefits you encounter as you continue week after week on your dinner planning quest.  I will be sharing more tips of mine as this series continues.

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