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How to Meal Plan Like A Boss

Learn to meal plan like a boss!

 

How do you get dinner on the table, every night, without getting bored with your meals, stressed about your plan, or just have things fall apart and order pizza?

Does the thought of sitting down and making a meal plan make you cringe, cry and pull out your hair?

Does your current meal planning technique continue to fail you, or does it take over your life?

Learning to meal plan is the key to sticking to your grocery budget, your diet plan, and keeping your weeks running a bit smoother! Meal planning looks differently for every one, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create a plan that is perfect for you!  The goal is to make this process effective and easy for you, whatever that might look like. And I’ll teach you how!

Free Meal Planning Printable

Why You Should Be Meal Planning

The whole point of meal planning is to create a tool that simplifies your life! Who wouldn’t want to do something that saves time, money, and sanity?!

Sitting down and planning your meals allows you the freedom to:

  • Not have to think about it the rest of the week (which we could all totally use, right?)
  • Not getting stuck in the monotonous routine of the same meals each week (tacos, tacos, tacos)
  • Not continually going out to eat because you don’t have anything to eat at home
  • Cuts down on screaming temper tantrums because its 4:30 and your children are dying of starvation
  • Spending too much time at the grocery store because you don’t know what to buy
  • Reduces impulse purchases (goodbye, Double Stuffed Oreos!)
  • Helps you stick to a budget because you are buying only the things you need
  • Reduces the amount of trips you take to the store because you forgot items

 

Learn how to meal plan in 6 easy steps!

How To Make Meal Planning Work For YOU in 6 Simple Steps

Ok, so lets break this down and figure out how to make this system work for you!

Take a moment and think about how often you want to plan your meals and go grocery shopping. Every week? Every two weeks? Once a month?

If you only want to shop once a month, you totally can! But you will also need to get creative when it comes to milk, bread and produce (you can totally freeze them). You can also decide to plan for two weeks or a whole month at once time, but still go grocery shopping every week. Its totally up to you and what works best for your life.

Grab a piece of paper and write down all your favorite meals. As many as you can think of! (You can always come  back to this later and add more). Hint* Get the awesome printables I made for you at the bottom of this post! 

The point here is to simplify meal planning and make it as quick as possible for you. By creating a master list of your favorite meals you make it easier to rotate through all the things you love – instead of only being able to think about tacos.
 

Now go back through and organize all your recipes into sections, either by type of meat or by kind (like casserole, soup, crock pot meals, etc). Again, this is to help you rotate through your meals in a simple way but to still give you variety in your menu. Try making a master list for each season. I don’t know about you but my favorites are different for summer (hello, grill!) and winter (hello, crock pot!)

Grab a calendar (I’ve included an awesome free 5 page printable for you here!) and decide how many meals you need to plan for, and how many people are eating those meals. Decide if you want to plan out your daily snacking needs or if you want to just grab a few extra things. Our groceries look a lot different depending on school and work schedules, and you need to plan accordingly.

Think about the week ahead. What kind of week is it? Are you crazy busy Tuesday with afternoon and evening activities? You probably don’t want to plan on making a brand new 6 hour, 30 step lasagna from scratch that night. You are just asking for everyone to cry, whine, and eventually throw down some cereal for dinner. Is it a hurricane outside? Probably not the best idea to grill. Don’t make things more complicated than they need to be!

Start filling in your menu!
Start with breakfast first (because that is the easiest).
Then start filling your calendar in with dinners that you pull from your meal rotation list. Adding a variety of meat, different kinds of meals (salads, casseroles, crock pots, etc) will keep your menu feeling fresh.

Then fill in lunches (making sure to include leftovers you might have!) and snacks.

Extra Awesome Tips:

  •  Add one new recipe every week or two, if you feel like trying new things. Not only does this give you and excuse to try out the 16,000 recipes you have collected on Pinterest and torn out of magazines, but it helps you to add new favorites to your list!
  • Take into account using ingredients for more than one meal – roast a giant pork roast and use it for multiple meals throughout the week. If you buy a big tub of ricotta cheese but only use half, how can you add the remainder to your menu?
  • As you place meals in your menu, jot down the ingredients you need on your grocery list. This helps to save time, and helps you realize how you can use your ingredients to your advantage.
  • Plan for eating out! I mean, really. If you have a doctors appointment at 10:45 and swimming lessons at 1:00, you are not going home to cook lunch. Nope, you are headed straight to Chick-Fil-A, my friend, and don’t even pretend you aren’t. Just go ahead and add it to your calendar!

FreeMealPlanningPrintable

 

Guess what? You are now ready to take on meal planning like a boss!

 

And, because I love you and you just made it through all of that, I have some awesome freebies for you! I have created a super helpful set of printable worksheets to really help you!

Included are:

  • a 1 page cheat sheet
  • 2 different meal planning calendars (a weekly and monthly)
  • 2 pages of planning pages

 

Want an awesome Meal Planning Workbook with 5 pages of awesomeness to help you create the meal planning system that works for you? Of course you do!

meal-plan-like-a-boss-graphic

 

Get your Workbook by CLICKING HERE! – print and use as often as you like!

 

 

 

 

Learn how to make meal planning easy and stress free and fit your life style! Free Printable workbook included! 
How to Meal Plan, Learn to Meal Plan Like A Boss, Meal Planning 101

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Christen
    December 11, 2015 at 11:49 AM

    I'm a HUGE fan of the meal plan. You can't go wrong. It saves me a ton of money at the grocery store each week!

  • Reply
    Nicole
    December 12, 2015 at 7:49 AM

    I don't always meal plan, but when I do, it's better for my budget and waistline!

  • Reply
    Kelli @ The Sustainable Couple
    December 13, 2015 at 4:48 PM

    I meal plan every week, and couldn't agree more with your tips.

  • Reply
    Marla Meridith
    January 24, 2017 at 5:05 PM

    Such a great post, now if only I could be so organized!

  • Reply
    Maria
    January 24, 2017 at 10:14 PM

    This is going to help me SO much. I just started doing this and I am saving $100 a week! Thank you.

  • Reply
    17 Clever Tools to Simplify Meal Planning – CB2 Fitness
    September 20, 2017 at 2:55 PM

    […] out the Gingered Whisk’s blog by clicking on the graphic above or on this link.  You don’t want to miss their step-by-step process on how to meal plan, she does such an […]

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