How to Meal Plan

Dinnertime doesn’t need to be stressful.  I’m going to show you just how easy it is to create a meal plan for your family.  *This post may contain affiliate links*

How to Meal Plan for busy families

Do you wish you had more time to spend with your family and less time in the kitchen?  So many busy moms struggle with getting dinner on the table every night. Meal planning is your answer to what’s for dinner

Why Should You Meal Plan?

  • Save Time:  By planning out what you’re going to eat all week, you will know, ahead of time, what your family will be eating and can plan accordingly.  It also prevents those last minute trips to the grocery store to pick up something for dinner tonight!
  • Save Money:  By having a meal plan in place you can better plan your grocery store visits.  Meal planning allows you take advantage of sales and coupons.  Plus, you won’t be going to the grocery store on your way home from work when you’re hungry.  You can also cut down on your family’s take-out bill.  If you have a meal plan, you’ll be less tempted to order out because you don’t have anything to make for dinner.
  • Eat Better:  Meal planning will help you allow time to prepare healthy meals, side dishes and salads so you’ll be less tempted to make processed foods from a box.  You can easily increase the amount of fruits and veggies that your family eats too.   And, let’s not forget that you can cut back on the drive-thru too!

How to Start Meal Planning

  • Consider Your Calendar:  I usually prepare my family’s meal plan on Sunday.  I take into consideration my husband’s work schedule, my son’s activities and any other appointments or commitments that we have.   If we have a particularly busy night, I incorporate make ahead meals or easy crock pot recipes.
  • Don’t Forget About Leftovers:  We always have left overs.  So, I make sure to include them in my meal plan.  Sometimes I use them for lunch and other times I have a buffet night where we eat up everything that wasn’t finished.
  • Include Side Dishes:  Don’t forget to plan out side dishes and salads on your meal plan.  You don’t want to come home to delicious Slow Cooker Pot Roast and not have anything to serve with it.
  • Make Your Grocery List:  I always make my grocery list as I’m putting together my meal plan.  That way, I know just what I need to put my plan into action.

Meal Planning Tips

  • Try new recipes.  What’s great about meal planning is you can actually plan to make all of those yummy dishes you’ve been pinning on Pinterest.
  • Get your family in on it and let them choose what’s on your meal plan.  Allowing kids to take an active role in meal planning and prep will encourage them to eat better and try new things.
  • Make sure you plan time to prepare some make ahead meals or freezer meals.
  • Check out my weekly meal plan posts — each week I share my weekly meal plan with my readers.

Ready to start meal planning?  Grab my FREE Meal Planning Printable!

 Here are some other meal planning resources you might like too:


Do you need some easy recipes to get you started? Be sure to check out these pages on It’s a Keeper:

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