-Meal Planning Made Easy-

-Meal Planning Made Easy-

Meal planning is all the rave. People are looking for ways to be organized and feel less stressed during meal time. Life is busy for most of us, and meals take thought and time to prepare, especially if you want healthy meals.

About three years ago our family was looking to make some healthier choices. I also needed some structure in my weeknights. Meal planning seemed like an easy, doable option.

There are many reasons why I love meal planning. For instance, buying only what we need, instead of buying whatever looks good at the moment, has saved us a few bucks. Also, taking time to think about the ingredients I want my family eating, verses popping in a frozen pizza, guarantees my family a healthy meal. Lastly, I spend zero time thinking and fretting about what I’m making for dinner, and for me, that was the most annoying part. In this case, half the work has already been done, so it’s just about pulling out my ingredients on hand and preparing the meal.

Here are a few tips that have helped me over the years. Check out other meal planners and their ideas. I have included some links bellow. Find what works best for you and your lifestyle.

Tips For Meal Planning

  1. Start small- Choosing 3 or 4 days a week is fairly realistic. You can do more than that, but I’ve found it’s better to add on days after you’ve established a solid routine.
  2. Be consistent- Did you know it takes roughly 21 days to form a new habit? Consistency is important when you’re working in a new system. If you don’t give it a fair amount of time, you won’t see how beneficial it is.
  3. Find resources- I personally love Pinterest for finding most of my recipe inspirations. Searching for recipes, or really anything for that matter, is easy, and the possibilities are endless. Plus, Pinterest provides a way to organize the things you love and keep things simple to find. There are plenty of other resources such as, cookbooks, blogs, google, Food Network, and much more.
  4. Pick an organizer- I can be a little snobby when it comes to how I organize my weekly menu. Prior to meal planning, I would usually find a random scrap piece of paper in the junk drawer and scribble out my grocery list. Can you relate? I like to have order when I’m making my grocery list, and being able to see what meals I have planned for the week. This simple menu planner was gifted to me by a good friend for my birthday one year, and I love it. It has everything I need to stay organized while planning.
  5. Plan according to your schedule- Most recipes will give you a rough idea of how much time it takes to prepare and cook. This is helpful when choosing recipes that fit your schedule. Save the time-consuming ones for your less busy days.
  6. Select a planning day- I have found it’s important to pick out a designated day to plan your menu. If you don’t, you’ll likely not do it, letting a week slide without planning. This takes diligence and consistency but as I mentioned above; you’ll see the benefits once you’ve established your routine.

I hope you feel encouraged to give meal planning a try. Honestly, I can’t imagine my life without it. I am not a professional meal planner by any means, just a mom and wife trying to simplify my day. Make sure to check in with my weekly menu page for updated meal planning options. Happy Planning!

Below, I’ve added a few links that might be helpful for planning your weekly menu! If you have any questions, please use my contact page to reach out!

Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Two Peas & Their Pod

The Foodie and the Fix

Damn Delicious

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