Organize your family’s food for weight loss, part 1
By Aimee Heckel
Joanna Monahan is not just a professional organizer. She’s also a mom. So the Colorado woman knows firsthand the three most dreaded words at 5 p.m.
What’s. For. Dinner?
Ugh. Getting a grip on the kitchen can be exhausting and intimidating, especially if you’re preparing for more than one (and if they’re growing “hangry”).
Every month we talk to Monahan, our favorite professional organizer with Major Mom, to get access to some of her top tips on organizing your family life. This month, in light of the popular New Year’s resolution to lose weight and get in shape, Monahan offers some great tips on how to organize your family’s food for weight loss.
We already learned how to organize or kitchen in November, and our closets in December.
“Organizing your meal planning is a combination of starting new healthy habits and time management,” Monahan explains.
According to the National Resources Defense Council, American families throw out 25 percent of the food and beverages they buy. Not only is that a waste of food, but it’s a huge a waste of money.
In addition, the council reported that portion sizes in restaurants are two to eight times bigger than the USDA recommends.
“Investing time into organizing your meal planning can save money, time, calories and stress,” Monahan says.
Here are her steps to make it happen.
1. Create a vision. Picture your ideal meal scenario. Write down your goals. Include your family in the discussion. Consider what works for your family and what won’t, and craft a vision that is unique to your family’s needs and reality.
For example, do you want to:
- Spend more meals together as a family?
- Try new foods?
- Reduce fat and increase veggies?
- Learn to cook?
- Get your children involved with cooking?
2. Make a plan. Get specific. Decide who will plan the weekly menus, go grocery shopping, do the cooking, do the dishes. When will each of these actions get done?
Make it official and block out these times in your calendar as recurring appointments. For example, every Sunday at 1 p.m. is reserved for grocery shopping. This assures you will always have fresh, healthy food in your house.
3. When making your grocery plan, be informed.
Monahan recommends taking stock of your fridge and pantry. Know what you have on hand, so you don’t buy duplicates. Educate yourself about the sales each week before you plan your menus and hit the store.
“Meal planning can be overwhelming,” Monahan says. “So many choices, and yet, for many, so few items that your family will eat.”
If it’s hard to carve out time to go to the grocery store, you can do your shopping after you put your kids to bed online. Order your groceries online from Walmart.com or many other grocery stores, and you can have it delivered right to your front door. Or you can just pick it up at the store the next day and save major time.
Best of all, ordering your groceries online makes coupon clipping easy, plus it adds in the unique money-saving component of Cash Back. You can use these Walmart coupons to save money on your whole order (forget counting pennies!) and get an automatic 3 percent Cash Back from ShopAtHome.com.
Read more articles about saving money at Walmart here.
Save money on other shopping for your babies and kids with these coupons.
Read the rest of Major Mom’s tips on organizing your family’s food for weight loss on Tuesday.
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