Wanting to start learning how to meal plan? Menu planning is not hard, and it takes very little of your time and it makes those crazy nights less crazy.
More and more people are menu planning. Are you?
Some have been doing it for years, others a few weeks/months, and still others just flat out refuse! I love the excuses that I’ve heard for NOT planning a menu:
- I don’t have time
- I never stick to a menu
- My family’s too picky
- It’s too hard to plan a menu
Those are just a few that I LOVE to hear! I have made plans for 1 week, 2 weeks, and for 1 month. I really like to do the monthly menu plan because I like not having to think about what we’re going to have for dinner for a whole month. To do this, even for 1 week, you need to know what meals your fixing for your family. Track your meals on a calendar for a whole month. See what patterns develop and then plan around that with a few new meals thrown in for variety.
Flexibility is the real key to doing successful meal plans. It’s really like all things in life. If you aren’t flexible then frustration sets in and no one is the winner.
Another key thing to remember about meal plans is to focus on the foods that you know your family likes. If your kids are huge fruit/veggie eaters, then focus on that. If they aren’t fans of soups then consider making something you KNOW they will actually eat.
Also, if your day isn’t going to plan at all, it’s okay. Switch around your menu and grab the items from the pantry and prepare one of your quick meal ideas (like Spaghetti or Tacos) and start back on track the next night.
One thing I’ve learned when it comes to meal prep is that I have to set aside one afternoon to prep all of my meals out for the week. It’s honestly easier than you think. By doing all of the prep work on one specific day, it’s all done for the rest of the week.
The thing about meal planning to remember is that you can make healthy meal plans. You can plan out a delicious meal that is waiting for you in the slow cooker as you come home from work.
Meal planning ideas just aren’t for dinner either. You can do weekly meal plans for breakfast and lunch as well.
I’ve researched a few sites and came up with these great posts that feature a lot of great tips about planning meals.
MEAL PLANNING TIPS
- Meal Planning 101: How To Meal Plan – Getting Started
- How To Get Started Meal Planning
- 15 Tips for Better Weekly Meal Planning
- 5 Brilliant Apps to Make Meal Planning Easy
- How to Make a Money-Saving Meal Plan You’ll Actually Stick To
- Healthy Eating Meal Plans (From WholeFoods)
- Six Steps to Successful Menu Planning
- Your Four-Week Dinner Plan
MEAL PLANNING APPS & TOOLS
- Meal Planner Pro | Your Free Meal Planning Solution
- Plan to Eat: Meal Planner and Grocery Shopping List Maker
- Paprika Meal Planning App
- Pepperplate Meal Planning App
- The Mealboard Meal Planning App
- Meal Plan Magic
- Meals Plus
MEAL PLANNING / RECIPE RESOURCE BLOGS
- Meal Planning Magic
- Plan To Eat
- Don’t Waste The Crumbs
- Life, Love & Thyme
- Art from my Table
- It is a Keeper
- Crystal & Co.
- 100 Days of Real Food
If you’ve never tried menu planning, give it a try. It’s not that hard, and it will help make a busy schedule a little easier to manage by knowing that dinner is already planned.