Simplifying meal time and getting dinner on the table faster is every mom’s dream, but when you don’t know how to meal plan, it makes things a little more complicated. If you’re looking for a tried-and-true way to feed your family healthy meals quickly every night, this guide has everything you need to know to create better meal planning routines for moms.
What is Meal Planning?
Meal planning is a simple way to figure out exactly what (and when) your family will eat. You can create a meal plan based on your family’s schedule and dietary preferences, which is especially helpful if you have young kids who have after school activities or food allergies.
The basic steps of meal planning are:
- Create a list of your family’s favorite recipes and meals.
- Decide which type of meal plan you’ll use (weekly or monthly).
- Add your schedule, like kids’ sporting events, practices, and meetings, to your meal planning template or printable meal planner.
- Schedule your weekly or monthly meals based on your activities and the amount of time you’ll have to meal prep, cook, and clean up after dinner.
What are Meal Planning Strategies?
When you’re first learning how to make a meal plan, there are two main types of meal planning: weekly meal planning and monthly meal planning.
In weekly meal planning, you’ll create a calendar for the week with your family’s meals. Typically, meal plans are used for dinner, but if you’re a stay-at-home mom or have lots of young kids and family home during the day, you can also plan breakfast, lunch, and snacks, in addition to the typical dinner meal plan.
To create a one month meal plan, you’ll use a monthly calendar and decide which dinners you’ll eat for an entire month.
How Do You Make a Meal Plan?
Benefits of meal planning
There are many benefits of meal planning, but the three main reasons why most people create meal plans is because:
- You’ll use all the food in your house (no more wasted leftovers or wilted veggies rotting in the refrigerator)
- You’ll also save money because you’ll be eating home more instead of getting expensive carry-out
- Meal planning is usually healthier because you can control what you’re eating, instead of slurping down a pound of butter as part of your favorite restaurant dish
Meal Planning Tips
Meal Planning Alternatives (what to do when you don’t feel like making or following a meal plan)
Meal Planning Templates
Learn how to meal plan the easy way with these meal planning templates and printable meal planners.
One Month Meal Plan
Meal Planning websites
Meal Delivery Services
Meal Planning Apps
MyFreezEasy is my favorite meal planning app. You can select done-for-you meal plans based on your family’s dietary preferences, your cooking method, or even the type of food you want to prepare.
I also use the MyFreezEasy app for easy meal ideas on nights when I know I need to make “chicken” but have no idea what kind of chicken I want to cook. 😉 The Instant Pot recipes are also perfect for nights when you forget to thaw your meat.