A while back I created a meal planning set but as time has changed so has my style, so I’ve given them a fresh face and thrown in a few extra pages while I was at it.
So, what is meal planning. Well, in short, it’s organizing meals and ingredients so that you have a set of meals ready to be made at any time.
Why is meal planning important? Ohhh so many reasons! To read more on why you should meal plan check out my post ‘7 Reasons Why You Should Meal Plan.’
How do you meal plan?
Well darling it’s easy! I promise. It may be a bit at first, but you’ll catch on fast I promise.
STEP 1: Meal Ideas & Shopping List
The first thing you’ll want to do is make a list of meal ideas. Scroll through Pinterest or look through your cookbooks and find some new and old meals you want to make. If you’re on a tight budget, then I suggest you go through your pantry first and take inventory. Then you’ll design your meals around what you already have. This will help you lower your grocery bill.
If you want to take your meal list a step further, you can make a themed list. For example;
Monday = Crockpot Day
Tuesday = Pasta Dish
Wednesday = Asian Food Day
Thursday = Mexican Food Day
Friday = Leftovers Day
Saturday = Comfort Food Day
Sunday = Soup Day
This will make planning your meals a little easier.
While you are making your meal ideas list start a shopping list according to the meals you have chosen to make. Once you have this all planned out go grocery shopping but be stubborn with what you do and don’t buy. Stick to your list! Don’t add or buy unnecessary items. For more tips on saving money while grocery shopping read my post “15 Grocery Shopping Hacks That Will Save You Hundreds”
STEP 2: Meal Calendar
After you have your list of meals you can transfer them to your meal calendar. You can do this in the order you plan to make them or at random. Just put 1 meal on each day. You can keep your meal list and skip the calendar if you want. I just like having the Calendar view instead of the list. For me it helps keep things visually organized. Just do what’s best for you.
STEP 3: Choose Your Week of Meals
At the beginning of the week choose 7 meals from your Meal Planning Calendar and write them on your Weekly Menu.
TIP 1: Choose meals that contain ingredients that expire sooner rather than later and put them in order accordingly.
TIP 2: Laminate the Weekly Menu printable so you can easily change meals if needed and use it week after week.
STEP 4: Prep
Take 5-10 minutes each night and prep for the meal the following day. Take necessary items out of the freezer, chop the veggies if needed, etc. Doing this 5-15 minutes of prep the night before will help you tremendously the next day.
- Laminate the Weekly Menu
- Organize the meals so that the ones with produce are made first. This will keep food from going back before you get a chance to use it.
- Plan a minimum of 2 weeks of meals at a time. This will mean less trips to the store meaning less money you will spend.
- Don’t forget to add lunch, breakfast, and snack foods to your shopping list.
- You can use this same method for breakfast and lunch as well if you like.
- Read my post ‘15 Grocery Shopping Hacks that Will Save You Hundreds’ to help you save even more while shopping.
If meal planning is a foreign concept for you, then I challenge you to try it for just 1 week, that’s it. At the end of the week think back on how your week went. Did life seem to run a little smoother? Where you less stressed? Less irritable? Did you enjoy your meals more? How about your money, did you spend less on food this week than you normally do?
If you don’t answer yes to all of the above I’ll be shocked. Meal planning helps take one more “what to do” task off your already clustered list as a mom every single day. I don’t know about you but anything that will help my mom life run a little smoother is a winner in my book.
To get your updated Meal Planning Printables fill out the form below.
Download Your FREE 'Meal Planning' Printable Set Below!
Make sure you confirm your subscription 1st then give it 5-10 minutes for the email with the download to make it to you.