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Cook Then Plan – A new twist on meal planning

So there was this girl. And she recently had her fourth baby. And she really wanted to still be able to feed her family, while adjusting to life with a newborn and life with 4 boys.

Oh wait, that's me.

So how is it that I was able to survive the first 6 weeks without my older boys going hungry, and my husband being able to "grab n pack" both his lunchbox, as well as the boys' lunchboxes?! I cooked ahead.

For the weeks leading up to the baby's birth, I loaded the freezer. I stocked "my nest" with all kinds of pantry staples. I baked. I froze. I packaged up slow cooker meals. I froze. (Well, I didn't freeze…the food froze.) You get the idea. I stocked my freezer with a bunch of meals and items for lunchboxes. 
I didn't do a "big freezer cooking day," as that would have been overwhelming and too hard on my pregnant belly and body. I just did it little by little. And you know what. It worked. It worked wonders. Some days, it feels like miracles. To have food on the table, without too much fuss…or thought! 

Here are the simple steps:

What about you? How do you make meal planning work for you?

Erin Chase is the founder of $5 and author of The $5 Dinner Mom's One-Dish Dinners Cookbook.


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