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by Crystal Van Tassel
published by Crystal&company
How to Meal Plan; a Step-by-step Guide for Busy Moms is exactly what the title says it is. A very simple guide to help moms, though I’d argue anyone, plan meals for a week, two, or more. Crystal’s steps are easy to follow and really common sense at their base, but I hadn’t been doing it right.

At my day job, er night job, I work six 12 hour days a week. I have a husband who though recently retired military, is a working civilian. My last child still living at home is a theatre major at the local community college and you can imagine what her schedule looks like during a production week. I need simple. I need easy. I needed to know what I was doing wrong that it seemed to take me hours each day to gather the ingredients, I always seem to be missing 1 thing, and put together meals that were more than a salad.

Crystal’s steps begin with figuring out what my recipe criteria is. Hell, before reading her book I didn’t know I had or needed a recipe criteria. Now I see how knowing my recipe criteria really is the basis of doing the whole meal planning right. Crystal goes over her criteria to give an example and discusses some other items to consider when making your own.

But its more than saying okay, make a recipe criteria and have at it. Crystal gives the reader tools, resources to find recipes that meet your criteria, plan meals, and stick to it. And don’t forget a grocery list. There are resources for that too, though the one I use wasn’t mentioned. I use my smart phone way too much. I’m one of those people who make a grocery list and then leave it sitting on the counter, the car, or drop it at the door when I’m not paying attention while I fight the carts to find one that doesn’t shake, rattle, and will roll.

I won’t bore you with all the steps in How to Meal Plan because then I’d have to rewrite the book, so you’ll just have to go buy your own copy.

Would I recommend the book? Yes, it is easy to use and the resources given make putting it all together has simplified my life. Plus recipes!

Is there anything I didn’t like about the book? Um, where was it last year? Okay, seriously, I’d like to be able to have an actual book, but that’s me. Yes, I said above I use my smart phone way too much, but when it comes to this type of a book, it’s a book and I’d like to have paper.

For daily ideas that will make your life easier follow Crystal on her blog here

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