Figuring out how to meal plan? Once you’ve been meal planning for a while, it’s time to recycle your plans and learn how to organize meal planning in a way that works for you (and your family).
What are the factors to consider in planning meals?
- Your family’s schedule
- How much time you have to cook
- Your family’s eating habits – do you have super picky kids? Do you or your spouse only eat certain vegetables? Are you vegan or does someone have food allergies in your house?
- Your family’s favorite recipes
- The availability of food (i.e. seasonal produce, your supply of meat, etc.) – my family typically buys pork and beef directly from a local farmer, so I typically plan my meals around what’s in my freezer (or if I’m running low on a certain type of meat, I plan my meals around when I’ll go to certain grocery stores and their sales).
- How many people you need to feed
- Do you want leftovers?
Steps for Meal Planning
However, these are the basic steps for meal planning:
- 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 plan.
- 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.
Meal Planning Template
Ready to organize your meal plans and actually get them written out for the whole family to see?
Start by creating a meal planning template so you can quickly create a meal plan every week or month, based on what your family will actually eat and how much time you have to cook each night.
If you want to go the really simple route, get a done-for-you meal plan from MyFreezEasy. She makes simple, easy to follow recipes based on your family’s dietary preferences as well as the type of cooking that you want to do.
Printable Meal Planner
Get my free printable meal planning templates here to get started creating (and organizing) your meal plans!
Meal Planning Tips
- Plan designated leftover nights.
- Create a theme, like Taco Tuesday, Pizza Friday, or Slow Cooker Saturday to simplify your meal planning.
- Schedule the easiest meals (like quick Instant Pot recipes or slow cooker “set it and forget it” meals) on nights when you’re busy.
- Reuse your meal plans.
- Organize your meal plans in a binder. Get my Organized Kitchen Binder for a done-for-you organization and meal planning system.
The simplest way to organize meal planning is to:
- Consider the factors in planning your family’s meals
- Follow the steps to create your meal plan based on your own meal planning template or printable meal planner
- Reuse your meal plans (save them in your Organized Kitchen Binder)
Happy meal planning!