Everyone (that actually meal plans that is) has their own meal planning style that works for them. If you are reading this, it is probably because you are struggling to find a system that works for you or perhaps you just don’t know where to begin.
I am here to help.
Here I am going to show you how I create a simple meal plan every week.
1. Create a “Meals Master List.”
This is a list of things you know your family already likes to eat and you don’t mind cooking. I have 20 dinners on my master list and try not to repeat meals more than twice a month.
2. Figure out what days you are going to be too busy to cook.
I always look at the week ahead and find which days I have appointments on or extra work to do. These days are the days I keep our meals simple or eat leftovers.
3. Inventory your pantry, fridge and freezer.
Before I decide on what meals I am going to make for the week I look to see what ingredients I already have. This is an important part of staying within a budget and not wasting what you have already purchased.
4. Shop your sales flyers.
To save a little extra cash I try to choose meals that feature sale items from the stores I shop at. I don’t really do coupons, most of what I buy is either fresh food or store brands.
5. Plan out your meals for the week.
Put simple meals or leftovers on the days that you are going to be too busy or too tired to cook. To make life a little easier we always have pizza on Saturday nights and leftovers on Friday nights. Come Friday I am just too tired and burnt-out from the week to try to be Suzie Homemaker. I call it “Fend for Yourself Friday” the kids love it and we use up what we have in the fridge.
6. Time to shop.
I like to shop weekly because I buy a lot of perishable items that we eat up really fast. I also try to stock up on the weekly sale items that are shelf stable. If you don’t like to shop weekly that is fine, just plan out for two weeks or month if that is your shopping style.
Be sure you write down your plan and stick to it! I just write mine in my planner’s monthly calendar.
Do you already meal plan or meal plan differently? If so drop a comment below I would love to hear from you!