How to Create a Meal Plan

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There are two things that I struggle with as a busy mom, eating right and knowing what to serve my family for dinner each night! Thankfully, I’ve made some changes in my life recently and my husband and I decided to start meal planning. We’ve been meal planning for two weeks now and we are convinced that meal planning is the way to go moving forward. I’ve experimented with making several new recipes over the last two weeks that I would have never made before starting our meal plan! I even pulled out my slow cooker and served two delicious slow cooker meals recently.

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The truth is, I was so tired of eating the same thing night after night. We were buying way too much ground beef. The reason for this is that we love to serve food like spaghetti, tacos, chili, and hamburgers. What do they have in common? They all use ground beef! I knew it was time to add other foods including chicken. I also wanted to cut out more meat and add more “meatless meals” to our weekly meal plan.

If you are a busy mom and you are interested in creating a meal plan for your family, here are a few of my own personal tips to share with you.

1. Pick a night to plan your meals for the week.

We like to plan on a Friday and shop for our groceries on the weekend. That way, everything is available and on hand for the upcoming week.

2. Select your meals.

Decide what you are going to make. I like to browse Pinterest for ideas. I try to serve chicken one night, beef one night, pork/sausage one night, and then have one meatless night. We save Friday for leftovers or eating out at a restaurant (or pizza delivery!) I also recommend creating a list of family favorites and picking from that list. It’s easy to forget all of the delicious meal options you can make if it’s not written down.

It’s also a good idea to “shop from your pantry” and come up with as many meals as you can with all of the food and ingredients you still have in your pantry, refrigerator, or freezer. This is a great way to stretch your grocery budget!

3. Write down all of the ingredients.

Read through each recipe and write down all of the ingredients that you’ll need. Browse through your pantry/refrigerator/freezer to see what you already have and scratch those ingredients off the list.

How to Create a Meal Plan

4. Go grocery shopping!

Head to the grocery store and purchase your ingredients for each meal.

5. Decide what days you will make each meal. 

Plan out your meals and what days you will have each meal. Post your final meal plan to your refrigerator so that you don’t forget what you are going to make each day. 

6. Be patient.

It can take time to get used to meal planning. Be patient and try to stick with it as long as you can! Have fun in the process and know that your time is well spent coming up with delicious meals to feed your family. You can even get the kids involved during the cooking process!

What tips do you have for creating a family meal plan? 

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  1. Jackie says

    I do try to meal plan, but don’t do it every week. I find that when I plan ahead, i usually spend less money at the food store.

  2. Casey Garvey says

    I try to plan ahead but I fail miseabley in the cooking department. I just seem to fail more than I concuer!