Everyone is busy these days. We have jam-packed schedules and making time for healthy eating can often get pushed down the priority ladder. At the end of a long day, it becomes hard to make a decision at meal time and without a plan, we find ourselves overspending on impulse purchases. We find that a little bit of planning goes a long way to keeping the household food budget in check and also helps alleviate mealtime stress. <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Getting Started</span> To make an effective meal plan, it is important to be realistic. Planning a 5 course meal on a night with sports practice is setting yourselves up for failure. Each week, set aside a time to look at your family’s schedule and plan what to eat on each day. Make sure to include all meals that need time to prepare. <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Make A List</span> Once your meals are decided, take stock of what you have on hand and what you will need in the coming week. Now is a good time to customize your Organic Box order. Start with the box contents and make substitutions to match your list. Add extra items to round out your order and reduce your trips to the store. Glance through any unfamiliar recipes and double-check that you have ordered enough to cook any new dishes. <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Be Flexible</span> Things come up. Days don’t always go as planned. Kids get sick. Design your meal plan to be flexible enough to call a last-minute audible. This is where back-pocket recipes come in really handy. Something your family loves that features ingredients that you faithfully keep on hand. Check out the new category we launched this week called <a href="https://membership.theorganicbox.ca/hdmi.aspx?post=2016216123012&p=18" target="_blank">*Family Value Deals*</a>. It is full of standby ingredients to keep on hand at a great price. Being flexible also means working with what is available now. Seasonal ingredients can be fickle. Learn to be creative with your ingredients and you might have a new family classic on your hands. <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Be Adventurous</span> When you make a meal plan, you can start to build confidence in your time management in the kitchen. You develop the freedom to experiment with new recipes and adopt new ingredients into your repertoire of recipes. We love to see what kinds of heirloom varieties and specialty products our producers grow and there is no better way to enjoy them than a recipe that is tailored to a specific ingredient. <a href="https://membership.theorganicbox.ca/HDMI.aspx?Page=Market_Index&_ga=1.76176915.72399838.1428682477" target="_blank">Browse our catalogue</a> for inspiration and new ideas.  Keep an eye on the <a href="https://membership.theorganicbox.ca/hdmi.aspx?post=2016216123946&p=18" target="_blank">*New Products*</a> category for exciting additions to our weekly offerings. <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Have Fun</span> When you make a weekly meal plan, remember that meal time should also be fun! Plan to involve your whole family. Get everyone’s input on snacks and recipes. The best way to get excited about food and healthy eating is to make it an enjoyable part of your family’s routine. Do you have any great meal planning tips? What about go-to recipes for easy weeknight meals? Share your meal planning tips with our Food Family <a href="https://www.theorganicbox.ca/contact-us?_ga=1.196887716.982160197.1441995821" target="_blank">here</a>. We will post our favourite tips to our Facebook page and make updates to this post as they come in.