Creating a meal plan can save you time and money in the kitchen. However, setting up a meal plan that you can stick to can be quite overwhelming. I want to give you meal planning tips showing you how you can finally start meal planning like you’ve been wanting to. To make this even easier for you check out the meal planning free printable below.
If you struggle with setting a plan and sticking with it I’m going to walk you through the steps I took to create a weekly menu that I was able to put together in a few minutes and I was finally able to follow through with.
I didn’t do this alone, I did create a meal planning printable free that I use to help and you can use this free tool too by clicking below.
Meal planning tips you can use
Here are the following steps I took to finally conquer my meal planning goals.
Create a recipe vault for your meal plan
This was a game-changer for me! If you haven’t heard of a recipe vault before it’s a group of you and your family’s favorite dinners that you can choose from. I like to add them to my recipe binder to keep them all organized.
Once I had about a month’s worth of dinner ideas in one place it was time to move to step two.
I know this sounds weird but this meal planning tip will help you stock food in the fridge, freezer, and pantry for this to work so you’ll have meal options on hand without having to constantly go to the store.
It’s good to have canned goods, pasta, and frozen veggies stocked because I’m constantly needing them.
Meal planning free printable
Once I took inventory it was easy to create a full menu. What I mean by a full menu is having breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks planned out. The meal planning free printable has space for you to create a full menu.
By doing this, I know I won’t be running out of food or throwing food away at the end of the week. This helps save time and money.
One thing that I learned really quickly was being flexible with the menu is important. Not every day is going to work out the way that you think it will. Things come up and sometimes you need a quick meal on a day that you didn’t think you’d needed it.
I found that if I just planned out meals for 7 days and then didn’t “assign a day” to the meals I was more successful with my menu.
Meal plan with leftovers
Leftovers really have become one of my BFF’s. These are free meals allowing you to save time and money.
I try to make a double batch once a week and then have a leftover night for those really busy nights. If we end up not using the leftovers, I pop it in the freezer for another day.
Create themed days
The last meal planning tip that really helped me was creating themed days. These are meals like taco Tuesdays, Pizza Fridays, etc. I was more specific at the beginning and now I’ve become vaguer with them so it’s more like Mexican, Italian, Quick Meal, etc.
This way I’m able to switch the menu up and cycle through more meals keeping us from getting too bored with meals.
To help you get started, I’ve created a meal planner printable free that you can print out and use to help you create a weekly meal plan. Click below to grab the meal planner free printable.
I would love to know, what things do you do to help you create a meal plan for your family? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below.
I hope you find these meal planning tips helpful!