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.
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 planner that I use to help and you can use this free tool too by clicking the button below.
We were wasting so much time and money each day because we didn’t have anything planned out.
We noticed how much money we were spending on food and realized that we couldn’t keep up this lifestyle because we were spending more than we were making.
It was time to make a change so I started my first meal plan. I sat down with a piece of paper and a pen and then tried to figure out what we were going to eat. It was horrible. I couldn’t think of a single thing.
It was like I was suffering from meal planning block (if that’s a thing…).
I couldn’t believe how difficult it was to create.
But I couldn’t give up because I was tired of:
- scrambling to make something decent out of what’s in my fridge
- battling weight gain and feeling discouraged that the family isn’t eating better
- wasting money on restaurants, food that goes bad, and too many last-minute grocery store runs
- and feeling like cooking is a burden instead of a joy
Meal planning tips you can use
Here are the following steps I took to finally conquer my meal planning goals.
Create a recipe vault
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 created a step by step post about that you can check that out here.
Once I had about a months worth of dinner ideas in one place it was time to move to step two.
I know this sounds weird but I needed to start stocking food in the fridge, freezer, and pantry for this to work so once I knew what type of meals I would be making it was easy to see what type of foods I needed to stock.
It’s good to have canned goods, pasta, and frozen veggies stocked because I’m constantly needing them.
Create a full menu
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.
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 quick was I needed to be flexible with the menu. 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.
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 that you can print out and use to help you create a weekly meal plan. Click the button below to grab the free meal planner.
I want to thank you so much for stopping by. Below are a few other posts that I thought you might enjoy!
Have an amazing day,