Meal planning is a great way to save time and money every week. It helps you keep your family running smoothly on the fuel they need. Make meal planning simple and fast with these cookbooks for busy families.
I enjoy meal planning. Really I do. But some weeks, I sit down to write out my plan and already feel defeated.
Either I don’t have any ideas or the ideas I have aren’t appealing. You can only eat the same thing so many times before you don’t want to eat it ever again.
Browsing Pinterest for new recipes is fun, but if you’re like me, you open up that browser window and lose track of time. Two hours later, you’ve still only got one meal on your schedule.
As Kimberly Wilkins famously said, ain’t nobody got time for that!
My almost-never-fail solution for that is this. Keep a library of good cookbooks with easy meals. You’ll instantly have the perfect balance of new and familiar.
In a pinch, I know I can flip open one of these cookbooks and plan to make almost any recipe with success.
Cookbooks for busy families
1. The Pioneer Woman: Food from my Frontier | by Ree Drummond
This sweet southern food blogger cooks real, simple food. Some of the recipes are on her blog, like my go-to sloppy joe recipe, but this book has lots of others that aren’t online.
2. Weelicious: 140 Fast, Fresh, and Easy Recipes | by Catherine McCord
If you’re feeding younger kids that are picky, this book is a must-read. Get a peek inside to see what I mean.
3. How to Boil Water | by Food Network Kitchens
I love the recipes in this book for one reason: my kids can make many of them. There are simple recipes and cooking instructions like how to fry an egg, roast a whole chicken, and bake chocolate chip cookies.
4. The Mom 100 Cookbook: 100 Recipes Every Mom Needs in Her Back Pocket | by Katie Workman
This cookbook has recipes that are simple, of course. It also has great advice on practical meal planning and feeding picky kids. Get a peek inside.
5. 100 Days of Real Food | by Lisa Leake
This cookbook is different. It includes recipes that are made without processed foods. It includes over 100 recipes, including snacks and condiments. Some of our favorites are the spaghetti and meatballs, zucchini muffins, and ranch dip.
6. The Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook | by BHG
I have the 12th edition of this one, but I think they release a new one every year or so. It was given to me by my mom and she had an older version. I will say that I haven’t made all of these recipes and probably never will. When I need a staple, though, it’s where I go. Cornbread muffins, coleslaw, pancakes, meatloaf, etc.
If you need more meal planning inspiration, I share my weekly meal plan every Monday and include links to most of the recipes.