How to Plan Meals!

I want to share with you how I plan meals for the week. Planning out our dinners and meals for the week has become an awesome tool for our family.

  • It saves us money.
  • It reduces the “dinner rush” anxiety for me – what’s for dinner?!
  • It MAKES us more time.
Start with your inventory!
Use a printable planner to visually organize your meals!

I understand that the type of meal planning I do may not fit to everyone’s lifestyle. I don’t have to leave the house to work – and I can begin dinner at a time that I set for my family. If you can make this general plan fit to your schedule – then a meal planning process can also benefit your family.

First things first – Choose a day where you can plan out meals for the rest of the week consistantly. If you have a set ‘grocery shopping day’ – I would plan our meals the day before you shop to utilize food you already have.

I take my handy meal planner and go through my fridge, freezer, pantry and baking supplies I keep next to the stove (oils, seasonings, condiments). I take note on things we have enough of to use up in the inventory section while jotting down anything I notice we are pretty low on that I use regularly (butter, eggs, etc) on the shopping list.

Plan main dish second!
Utilize your inventory for meals first!

When I know what we have in the kitchen to use, I will begin planning out the protein or bulk of the weeks meals with what we already have – Chicken on Monday, ground beef on Tuesday, pork roast on Wednesday…..

Add needed ingredients to list!
Add anything you will need to the list for your shopping trip!

Now go back through and adapt what side dish ingredients you have available to add to these meals – couscous and carrots with our chicken on Monday, tomato sauce and pasta for spaghetti with the ground beef, potatoes and carrots with the roast…

Do you best to get creative with what you already have but when you simply cant make a meal work because you have ran out of¬† ‘in-stock’ ingredients – this is when you can add items to your shopping list. It makes your trip at the store focused on solely what you will need for the meals you’ve planned this week – rather than getting to the store and throwing everything you WANT into the cart.

Now you’ve returned from the store, meals in mind for the week with all your necessary ingredients. I recommend you proudly display your planned meals for the week to redirect all the “Mom- what’s for dinner?!” crap – maybe on the fridge?

Post completed meals!
No more- “Whats for dinnerrrr??”

Enjoy this free printable to start organizing a meal plan for your family!
Don’t forget to pin this meal-planner to re-use later!

Inventory + Meal Plan + Shopping List
Use this inventory list, meal planner and shopping list to get your meals organized for the whole week!

(Right-Click > Save As)

How I Plan Meals for the Whole Week
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Young mommy of two handsome boys! I thankfully get to spend my days at home with them while I learn new ways of resourcefulness, money saving, parenting hacks, and family friendly home-making.

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