Meal Planning Made Easy

Meal Planning Made Easy

Are you frustrated every time someone asks “What’s for dinner”? Are you scrambling to figure out what to make at 4:00, only to realize that there is nothing in the pantry? Are you overwhelmed with the idea of meal planning for an entire month? Then this post is perfect for you.

I too was frustrated by all of these, and totally not up for tackling an entire months worth of dinners. Really thinking of 30 different dinners, seemed entirely unachievable. Plus I didn’t know what I wanted to eat tomorrow, let alone three weeks from now. And how in the world do you shop for an entire month (don’t things go bad before you can actually use them?) But once I broke it down into a week at a time, it seems to be much more manageable.

The nice thing about doing it a week at a time, things don’t go bad before you use them. The grocery bill is manageable. And if you change your mind about what to cook, or what you feel like eating, it is easy to change; without a messing up an entire month. Once I started in at a week at a time, it was much easier; plus my family loves going to look on the fridge to see what the plans are, instead of asking me a zillion times a day. Win ~ Win

Meal Planning Made Easy

You will need a few little items:

  • Weekly Planner ~ I really like the ones at:
    • The CreativiDee Workshop ~ Click here for her free planner
    • Rowdy in Room 300 ~ Click here for her free planner
      • Both are really great planners. I love that they are a grid lay out. It makes it so easy to visually see all the breakfasts line up, then lunch, and dinner. Plus they both have places for snacks (which is just as important as a meal, in my book)
  • Shopping List ~ You can use just a sheet of blank paper if that works for you. But I like using the one at The CreativiDee Work shop. She breaks it up into the sections of the store. Makes it quick to get in and out. Click here for that shopping list.
  • Pen
  • Caffeine ~ For me the most important part. You need some fuel to take on this task. Plus I just love my penguin mug and try to find reasons to use it. Thanks Sis!

Meal Planning

Once you have everything you need. Start to plan it out. While it is tempting to do it all in order; for me I find it much easier to do it in the order of stuff that I know I want to cook that week. So if I have in mind that I want tacos on Tuesday, I would start by putting that in. Then if I want French Toast on Sunday, then I add that in. Once I have all the meals that I know I want to cook, I fill in the blanks of what is left. For my mind, this makes it easier to plan it out.

Meal Planning Made Easy

Once you have everything all filled out, all that is left is to plan the shopping list. For me, I break this out per meal, in order. I start with Monday Breakfast (yes I know that both of these planners start on Sunday, but I do all my meal planning Sunday night once the kids go to bed), list out everything that I will need for it. Then move to lunch. By the time that I get back to Sunday, normally all the ingredients that I need are already on the list. Last, I look at my pantry and see if I still have enough of anything so I don’t have to re-buy it. If so I just mark it off my list.

And Ta-Da! That is it. It honestly takes me about an hour or so to get it all done. Because I am catching up on my TV shows while trying to do it lol. After doing this for a few weeks, I am really surprised at the difference it has made in my household. There is no more answering the same question 100 times a days, there is no argument over what we are having for dinner (cause it is there in black and white and in pen), it really made the whole irritations over food/meals disappear in my house.

Stay tuned for some of the kid friendly, quick, workday recipes that will be coming up. Thinking of doing Monday Menu posts.

How about you guys, do you meal plan? Do you do it weekly or monthly? Is this something that you would like to do, if you don’t already? Let me know your thoughts on it.



  • Jaime

    Not only does meal planning save my sanity, it saves us lots of money, too! I shop weekly because I like shopping according to what’s on sale for the week. 🙂

    • Kat Ryan

      It so does save a lot of money. Without a plan, I tend to get whatever I feel like putting in my cart lol. I like to shop weekly too, not only for the sales, but trying to plan out a whole month is just overwhelming for me. Thanks for saying hi.

  • Danielle | Twenty Dollar Date

    I was just thinking how nice it would be to just print those calendars and fill ’em in — and then I saw you had the links to download! Thanks for sharing and making our lives simpler.

    XO -Danielle

    • Kat Ryan

      YEA! You are so welcome. It makes it so handy to just download the forms, fill them in and go. I am glad that the planners will help you. Thanks for stopping in.

  • KP

    Thanks for the links for the printable planners – they will really help!
    I have such a hard time with meal planning. I tell myself every time I go grocery shopping that I should plan better. I hate wasting money on food that I sometimes don’t even eat before it goes bad, because I didn’t plan my meals!

    • Kat Ryan

      Oh I hear you. If I go without a list then without fail I spend way more money, and half of it will be thrown away. Makes me so irritated. I hope that the planners will help you plan better. Thanks for stopping by

    • Kat Ryan

      That is such a great idea. I so want to get into the habit of doing that, but man I have a hard time creating meals for that night, let alone that night plus one lol. But I agree the slow cooker is amazing! Thanks for popping by


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