Community Forum: Meal Planning Made Easy!

In last month’s survey – we asked you what topics you want to dig in deeper on and Meal Planning was #1 – so let’s do it!

Here are some tips to start meal planning – but comment and let us know your struggles with it and your tricks to making it easier!

  1. Create a list of the meals your families loves – use this as a starter
  2. Create a Pinterest Board for Recipes You Want To Try – this way – every time you see one of those amazing videos on Facebook – you can go right then and there and save it for later! Here’s a link to my meal planning board of ideas.
  3. The day before you grocery shop – go to your favorites list and your Pinterest board and write down the recipes you want to make for the week.
    1. You can also use a white board calendar for this. I just usually email myself my plan for the week.
    2. Another fun idea – designate each day of the week to a specific meal type or meat. Here’s a starter list:
      1. Sunday – Pork
      2. Monday – Chicken
      3. Tuesday – Hamburger
      4. Wednesday – Slow Cooker
      5. Thursday – Tacos
      6. Friday – leftover/eat out/treat day
      7. Saturday - Seafood
  4. Look through the recipes and add anything you might need from the store to your grocery list.
    1. Make note of any items you can prep ahead of time. Then you’re committed more to making that recipe!
  5. Once you’ve gone shopping – prep anything you can. If there are vegetables that need diced or meat that needs to be broken down – do it the same day you shop so it’s ready on meal day!

 

So there you have a starter list – what do you think? Do you meal plan? What are your struggles? What are your tips? Share with us and we’ll keep going!

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61 Comments
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Mario W.
I don't usually meal prep for the week. I decide the night before or day of. It's just me and my girlfriend. When we go shopping, we buy meats and vegetables and a starch of some kind. So basically we have a meat, veg and starch most nights. With the meats, we purchase chicken thighs, legs and pork chops, hamburger, Cornish hens, turkey legs, turkey wings and occasionally steaks, seafood and fish. We separate into two servings (i.e. 2 thighs or 4 legs or 2 pork chops) and freeze them to make for easy thawing and one-time servings. I love cooking for her and myself.
Jennifer C.
I use an amazing site called pepperplate that makes my planning so much easier AND organizes my recipes and creates my list. You can type in your recipes or import them. I do admit this part in particular takes some time but is so well as worth the work. If you are like me, you are probably already looking at a million recipes a day so it doesn't take much more to save it on pepperplate. Then plan you menus and print out your grocery list. AMAZING.
Dzenita O.
I have started meal prepping after I found myself making the same meals over and over again. This way I find that I get a bit of variety throughout my meals and it takes away from the hassle of coming home and figuring out what to cook.
Arianna W.
Meal prepping works great for my family! At first it was a little tricky since my partner has SIBO which doesn't allow people to eat leftovers due to bacteria growth from day to day. What has worked for us though is meal prepping freezer meals. You'd be surprised what you could freeze! Freezing right away stops the bacteria quick enough and stops more bacteria growth. This keeps your food tasting fresh for longer! Happy prepping!
Lori F.
No don't really meal plan .There is just two of us and I don't care much for leftovers .So usually its just night before planning .
Julie M.
I have a list of all the favorites (about 50) and they are sorted by Soups, Mexican, Italian, Asian, etc. I usually look at my calendar and see when there are things planned and plan around that. I always have 1-2 days were we go out or order in. Then I decide from the list the recipes for the week and make a grocery list. I like meals that I can make and have leftovers that will make something different the next day. I like the idea one suggested of FYOF! That's a great idea! I also like trying new recipes but don't like wasting the time if it doesn't turn out well. It's nice to get recommendations or check out reviews. I need to do this more often.
lahoma m.
I sometimes find myself cooking the same thing over and over. I think I'll try a little something like this.
Amanda R.
I usually cook anything pop up in my head
Sherry P.
I struggle with this. During the week its just me. I don't like to cook. It's either take out or micro meals. Get's boring after a while. Then, on the weekends my husband is home plus 4 step kids. So my meals have to be hearty and kid friendly. And quick/easy because of their many activities. I've tried the freezer crock pot meal planing. Marginal success. Took 8 hours to prep 12 meals. We end up with way to much or not enough...Pinterest has a lot of great ideas but you have to try them before adding to your list. some winners some losers.
Georgana B.
I like this. It's very helpful. I've not thought about prepping all the ingredients the same day I buy everything.