Meal Planning Basics

What is this Meal Planning thing and why should I care?

Well, at the risk of sounding condescending, it is planning meals in advance 🙂 This saves time and money as well as many other benefits. {Read 7 Reasons to Meal Plan.}

Meal Planning can be done either weekly or monthly. There are benefits to either option. The important thing is that you find out what works for you and your family. We plan weekly using what is in our pantry & freezer as well as looking at the store ads.

So, what do you need to start menu planning?

  • Pick a block of time in your week that you can truly plan. This way, you will not be interrupted {much} and you can devote the time to meal planning and developing a grocery list. Remember, this should reduce stress, so planning at 5:00 p.m. on a Monday is not an ideal time 🙂 After the first few times, it will come very easily.
  • Look at what you have already in your home. You typically can start piecing together some meals utilizing what you have. Next, look at the store ads. {Have your grocery list ready!} Stores advertise the best sales on the front and back page of their fliers. If a meat is on sale that you normally don’t cook with, this is an opportunity to pull out the cookbooks or go to Pinterest and find out what you can do with it! I have made several new dishes using this method. This keeps the menu fresh too!
  • Have your family’s schedule accessible. This allows you to plan quick meals on swim night or reminds you that you don’t need to plan for Friday as you are going out that evening.
  • Bring in your family to help!
    If your husband and/or kids have meal ideas, incorporate them! This shows them the value of menu planning as well as includes them in a “grown-up activity.”
  • Post your menu!
    Whether you type it up and print it or write it on a scrap piece of paper, make certain that this menu is convenient for your family. {Ours is on the side of our refrigerator.} This way, whoever is cooking that night knows in advance what to do.

Valuable Resources

Most of all, remember to be patient and give yourself grace. If you miss a week, just start again! There are still nights I miss and it very much so acts as a reminder of the importance of having a meal plan. 🙂


Good luck and happy planning!


One thought on “Meal Planning Basics

  1. Pingback: DIY Lunchable – Cheaper & Healthier | Fun & Frugal Mama

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