Meal Planning Basics
5 Simple Steps to Create an Easy Meal Plan
Meal Planning! It’s that thing that we all know we should do, a lot of us want to do, but ugh, sometimes… it’s just hard, right?! Sometimes you just need some meal planning basics and you’ll be well on your way!
I’m here to show you in 5 simple steps how you can create an easy meal plan that will actually save you time!
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1. Inventory your pantry, freezer and fridge
What do you already have on hand? When I surveyed my spice cabinet last week, I saw I had a ton of things! I didn’t need to purchase a box of baking soda, I already had two! The same goes for your pantry and your freezer! Take a few minutes to scan these areas. What do you already have that can be added to your weekly meal plan? It doesn’t have to be fancy! Grilled chicken, rice and a veggie can go a long way!
2. Pull from your stash of favorite family recipes (or create your collection now!)
Does your family have tried and true recipes? Use those! When I create my weekly meal plan I pull from a stack of recipes that have worked for my family. I try to keep things interesting by swapping them in and out. Once you have your list, use your weekly meal planner to write out the meals you’ll be eating and what you’ll need to shop for. Do this for a few weeks and you’ll have an entire month’s worth of family favorite meals AND their shopping lists! Huge time saver!!
Two years ago I sat at my kitchen counter completely frustrated and overwhelmed with the thought of creating a healthy meal plan for my family! I decided that this project would be a labor of love. This video explains how I first created my own family favorites recipe collection and meal planning system!
3. Grab your calendar
Make note of any activities or commitments your family will be involved with during the week. If you have night activities or aren’t going to be home to make dinner, you will want to note these on your meal planner! Tip of the day: DO NOT try to cook 5 fresh meals during the week. I usually do 3-4 meals that I can use as leftovers on other nights. We also do pizza once a week! It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does have to work for your family!
Here are a few of my absolute favorite kitchen gadgets that save my meal prep on nights and weekends!
4. Make your list
If you haven’t downloaded your weekly meal planner yet, do it now! 🙂 Then, quickly scan your stack of recipes that you’ve collected and write out what ingredients you’ll need. Since you already scanned your freezer and pantry, you won’t be buying duplicates! Another helpful tip is to keep a list of weekly staples on your phone in the “notes” section. That way you aren’t writing over the same thing week in and week out!
5. Scan money-saving apps.
Money-saving apps like ibotta have changed the game for me! I started using it at the beginning of the year and have already earned over $15 in cash back! I haven’t purchased anything other than I would normally buy and it’s super easy to use. Between coupons, apps like ibotta, and shopping in-store specials, there are tons of ways to save!
OK friends is meal planning a foreign language to you? What’s your #1 meal plan issue? Let me know in the comments!
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