Weekly meal planning is very important to me both for organization and saving money. I take the time each week to pick out recipes, plan our meals and buy whatever extra ingredients I don't already have in the pantry. However as every busy mom knows, even the best laid plans sometimes fall through. So you're having one of those days - kids forgot their lunches, late for soccer practice, five different errands to run and you get home and realize that the meal you put in the crock pot that morning is completely uncooked because you forgot to plug it in. Ahh!! What's for dinner?!
This is where stand-by meal planning comes in. Stand-by meals are the quick, easy meals your family enjoys that you can go to when time is short or you are tired. Usually these are not meals that you schedule into your weekly meal plan but you make an effort to keep the ingredients on hand for whenever they are needed. They are just there to give you another option to eating out on a crazy night.
For our family these meals include: 1. Pasta with jar sauce, 2. Baked potatoes with canned chili on top, 3. Bean burritos, 4. Hamburger Helper. Now I know that these meals fall into the "quite processed" category but compared to greasy fast food I think they're at least a few steps up. Plus there are ways to make all of these meals a little healthier (i.e. whole wheat pasta, vegetarian chili, fat-free refried beans or ground turkey).
I bring all of this up to help you along on those busy nights and to remind you about the great coupons Cellfire has available right now for you to load onto your grocery store card. They have a Hamburger Helper coupon available for 75¢ off 3 boxes, which includes Chicken Helper and Tuna Helper also. So what are your family's stand-by meals? Anyone who leaves a comment will be given an extra entry into my $100 grocery gift card giveaway sponsored by Cellfire. (If you are not familiar with the Cellfire program, read my previous Cellfire post.)
* This post is in conjunction with Cellfire's sponsorship of an upcoming $100 grocery card giveaway at Recipes for Moms. All opinions are my own.
I also shared this post at 11th Heaven's Homemaker Monday & We Are THAT Family's Works-For-Me Wednesday.