You look inside your cupboards and then pace back to the fridge. What are you going to cook today or even tomorrow? Why didn’t you ever care about making a meal plan?
Today I’m going to share with you the 3 effective ways that I have found to plan my meals as well as a free meal planning printable for you to use that’s available in the library.
Using a Cookbook to Meal Plan
This is actually my absolute favorite way to meal plan. A couple of Christmases ago I asked my husband for a cookbook, but not just any cookbook- a SkinnyTaste cookbook. You see, I had been stalking Gina’s site for quite some time and so when he asked what I wanted I promptly told him. Actually, I’m pretty sure I was the one who ordered it but I wasn’t allowed to open in until December 24th.
With the help of this fantastic curation of mouthwatering meals, I have upped my cooking game. I’ve learned to mix and match meals by adding a part of a recipe with old family favorites.Whenever I lack inspiration, I simply flip through a few pages and look at my notes on top of the recipe page. Once I’ve tried a recipe, I always rate them- this way I don’t repeat a meal my family didn’t like.
You can find my absolute favorite cookbook below: Please note that affiliate links and it doesn’t cost you to click.
So that’s the first way to meal plan, find a cookbook that you love and chose a few meals from it.
Use Your Stash to Meal Plan
There are times when I thought I cooked enough food for 2 days but it just didn’t last. A prime example was yesterday when I made Air Fried Drumsticks and Scalloped Potatoes (c/o SkinnyTaste of course). Even though I made 8 drumsticks and a casserole dish of potatoes, the meal ended with 2 drum sticks and zero potatoes. What did I do the next day for dinner? Simple- I looked in my cupboards and fridge and saw that I had more than enough ingredients for pancakes!
When in doubt, look at what you have. Find meat or protein, a side, and some vegetables or fruits! Or in a pinch, make breakfast for dinner.
Just don’t forget to see what you have on hand before running to the grocery store.
The Rinse and Repeat Method of Meal Planning
The last way I meal plan actually took years for me to implement even though my husband had been dropping not-so-subtle hints from the beginning. What can I say, I can be pretty stubborn. Here’s how it works.
First, think about all the meals that your family loves as well as the meals you’ve tried recently. Then list them all on a piece of paper.
Next, assign a meal per day. What I love to do is make double so it will last for 2 days. We will either eat it the following day or I will freeze it for the following week.
Keep your other meals (breakfast and lunch) fairly simple.
Once you have 2 to 3 weeks filled out, label each sheet as Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3. Then simply repeat the weeks in order(or. Out of order if you want to)
There you have it, those are the 3 ways that I prefer to meal plan. There are other ways to do this but this works perfectly for me and my sanity.
Using the Free Meal Planner
Ready to start meal planning? Simply head over to the library to grab a copy. There are 2 versions available:
- black and white
You will also notice that on the right side of the planning sheet there is a box that says THINGS TO BUY. Simply write down all the ingredients needed for that week that you do not have on hand.
Once you’ve written down all your ingredients, cut along the perforated line and you now have a grocery list.
Looking for a few more templates to help you? Then grab the complete Cleaning Organizer.
- Kids chore sheets (filled out)
- Kids chore sheets (blank)
- Weekly chore sheet
- Weekly cleaning checklist
- Cleaning supplies list
- Notes page
- Yearly Cleaning Schedule
- Room cleaning checklist
- Laundry guide