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1, 2, 3… Grab-n-Go!

The holiday season for most households includes reminders, sticky notes and calendars marked with errands, grocery lists and daily activities. One thing that may not be marked on the calendar is “what’s for dinner?”

The problem is that we usually don’t think about it until it’s too late. Waiting until you are hungry creates a sense of urgency and emergency, not allowing us to make the best decision! As a partner of the Together Counts™ program for active, healthy living, we have put together a simple process to follow for successful meal planning: The 3 Ps!


  • Plan meals and snacks for the week according to an established budget AND schedule.
  • Include meals that will “stretch” more complicated items (stews, casseroles, stir-fried dishes).
  • Make a grocery list.


  • Buy groceries when you are not hungry and when you are not too rushed.
  • Stick to the grocery list and stay out of the aisles that don’t contain items on your list.


  • Some meal items can be prepared in advance; pre-cook on days when you have time.
  • Double or triple up on recipes and freeze meal-sized containers of soups and casseroles or divide into individual portions. Try a few meatless meals by substituting with beans and peas or try “no-cook” meals like salads.
  • Reinvent leftovers.
  • Be creative with a fruit or vegetable, and use it in different ways during the week to prevent waste.

By following the 3 Ps, you’re sure to satisfy your stomachs during the holidays and get some family time back, too!

For more seasonal reads, take a look at these other articles from Together Counts!

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