How-To: Weekly Meal Plan
March 15, 2021
Learn how to meal plan for the week in 3 simple steps.
Make Meal Planning Manageable
Having a Meal Plan would make your life SO much easier but you just can’t find the time?
Meal planning can feel overwhelming, but I believe it’s a necessary step to making dinner time feel more manageable for just about everyone. Rather than suggesting that all of you make the exact same recipes each week with the same grocery shopping lists I use, let’s look at things differently.
I believe in adopting a few simple strategies that will make meal planning a breeze. Let’s face it. Our families all have different likes, dislikes, dietary restrictions, and schedules. Following these simple steps will set you up for success and help to eliminate that dreaded phrase of “what am I making for dinner tonight?!”
The 3 Step Meal Planning System
- Sunday Kitchen Shop – As your week wraps up, pick a specific time each weekend that you’ll plan your meals for the upcoming week. For me that’s Sunday morning. Stick to it, carve out the time, and set the expectation that you do this every week (hopefully without a toddler hanging on your leg). After picking a dedicated time, shop your own kitchen. Open your refrigerator and your pantry going through both perishable and non-perishable items that either need to be used up or you know you’d like to incorporate into your meal plan in the coming week. For me, it helps to take these ingredients out and place them physically on the counter while planning
- Seek Inspiration – Next, take this time to think about your family’s favorite recipes that incorporate some of the ingredients you have on hand. Or consider seeking inspiration from your favorite instagram accounts, recipe websites/blogs, or good ole’ fashioned cookbooks. I like to take these recipes and compile them digitally into a weekly document. Most weeks I’ll print them out and find this the easiest method for making my recipes. This also sets you up for success when it comes to step 3.
- Schedule Recipes + Grocery – Schedule your selected recipes for each day of the week that you plan to cook. I’m a big fan of online grocery delivery and pick-up. I will usually open up a tab for my local grocer and a big-box store near me. I’ll go through each recipe and put the needed ingredients in my cart and either schedule grocery delivery or pick-up.
This has been a game changer for me with a young family. It eliminates trips to the grocery store that used to eat up hours each week. I hope that my recipes can be one of your sources for recipe inspiration! Each week I’ll send out a weekly meal plan with suggested recipes that are ideal for simple family dinners.
My 5 Recipe Categories
Most weekly meal plans will include one of each type of these recipes:
- Sheet Pan Recipe
- Bowl Recipe (Grain Bowl, Protein Bowl, Hearty Salad, etc.)
- One-Pot Meal (Soups, Stews, Slow cooker, etc.)
- Skillet Recipe
- 5-Ingredient Recipe
I hope you’ll find this page to be a helpful resource for all of your planning inspiration!