Meal planning can often be a dreaded chore. There’s too many options, too few options, etc. I completely sympathize with you! Before I employed my current approach to meal planning, I felt the same way! My method isn’t fancy and there’s no real “secret sauce” to it. It’s a very common sense approach to meal planning. Here’s what I do:
- I look at what ingredients are already available at my house. Starting with the fridge (as those perish faster), is there anything that needs ate up? If so, I know I will be using that ingredient in at least one of my dishes for the upcoming week. I then move on to the pantry and finally the freezer. So for example, let’s say I have a box of spaghetti, frozen peas and fresh ham that needs dealt with. Then I would, more than likely, google recipes using those items. I, actually, just did that and found Damn Delicious’ Ham & Peas Pasta with Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce so that takes care of a meal for the week.
- The next thing I do is look back at my planner to see what meals we’ve had lately. As I refresh my mind, I’m less likely to pick one of those meals again. That helps keep dinner time fun and inventive. No more weekly meatloaves over here!
- Finally, I look at my budget. We limit ourselves on our groceries, so we can’t buy 10 ingredients for one dish. It’s not realistic for us. Going back to the pasta meal mentioned earlier, if that meal required a lot of ingredients I don’t have on hand then it’s probably not a good pick for my budget. If you’re budget isn’t as tight this week, maybe you’re not too concerned about it.
Using this common sense approach makes meal planning much more enjoyable and easy. Try it out and let me know if it works for you!
3 thoughts on “My 3-Step Meal Plan Approach”
Are there any PDFs or paper organizers that you find useful during meal planning? I struggle with what to use for the easiest approach to organizing my meals and lists. Thanks!
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I really don’t use too many. I may look into creating some. For the holidays, I do have some meal plan type pages in the Holiday Prep packet on my Etsy. That’s etsy.com/shop/organizedchaos4