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This is the surprisingly easy way to make a meal plan…You know you need to cook for your family, but you lack the creativity, time, and ingredients to make delicious meals that are both satisfying and fit within your budget.
It’s funny how we all need to eat at least three times a day and yet meals seem to catch us moms off guard many times.
I know I’ve promised myself over and over again that I won’t be caught without a meal idea for my family.
And yet, meal planning seems very difficult.
But making a meal plan is very important.
With a little planning and some creativity, you can start feeding your family well right away!
Here is the surprisingly easy to make a meal plan.
I think meal planning in general, stumps us all.
I’ve always said that if I could afford to hire a maid, on nanny, or cook, it would be a cook, hands down!
But I’m sure it’s my lack of planning that makes me feel that way. And the chances are, if you feel the same way, you probably just need a plan.
If you can find a few meals that you like and that work well for your family, then you can build off of them.
Eventually, you can start to cycle one or two extra meals in here and there to add to your repertoire.
Then, if you cook a little extra each evening you can use leftovers for lunch.
Use Pinterest for Your Meal Planning
I don’t love meal planning, but I do love Pinterest!
One of my favorite ways to make a meal plan is by harnessing the power of Pinterest.
Because I can literally be having fun on Pinterest and meal planning without even realizing it!
I’ll break down the system I use for you in three parts.
Once you get the hang of it it’s really simple. And did I mention fun? Because Pinterest! Who doesn’t like Pinterest?
Set Up Your Categories
Assuming you have a Pinterest account, you’ll need to set up boards that fit the categories, lunch, supper, kids food, snacks, etc.
Think in terms of whatever food you will be feeding your family.
Now the Fun Part
Now comes the fun part.
Whenever you have time to scroll through Pinterest, even if it’s just for a few minutes here and there, look for recipes to put into each of those categories.
You don’t need to stress out about menu planning at the moment.
For now you’re just having fun using Pinterest!
You could even scroll through your Pinterest feed and enjoy looking at all kinds of other things and just pick out recipes as you see them.
Or if you’re short on time, and you need to be more intentional, then search for kid-friendly breakfasts, or lunches for kids, for example.
Whatever you do, just keep putting the recipes into the appropriate boards.
The neat thing is, you’ll feel like you’re just enjoying Pinterest, but you’re actually working on your menu plan.
At this point you don’t even have to think about meal planning.
Time For the Actual Plan
When you decide that it’s time to actually make up your meal plan, you’ll need to open up Pinterest again.
This time you’ll need to create a board called Menu Plan Week One or something similar.
Now you’ll scroll through the recipes you collected when you were scrolling through Pinterest menu planning but not really menu planning! 😉
Pick out the appropriate amount of meals according to how many days you are planning for.
I like to menu plan one week at a time, so I will essentially end up with 21 meals in my board.
Essentially you’ll have seven each of:
- Snacks if you prefer to plan them
When you’re finished putting your chosen meals into your Menu Plan Week One board, then you’ll need a piece of paper.
I just use a blank piece of copy paper and a pencil.
Now we’re gonna set up your plan:
- Make two lines down the paper vertically, dividing the paper in threes.
- Across the top, label breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- Divide the paper horizontally into seven sections, one for each day of the week.
- Label each day of the week
If you aren’t planning an entire week’s worth of menus, then you can adjust it accordingly.
Let’s Put it Into Action
Scroll through your Menu Plan Week One board and start assigning meals to the appropriate places on your grid.
For example, if you have a breakfast casserole chosen, then you would put it on the grid for Monday, breakfast. (Assuming you want it then.
Next, open up the recipe, and jot down any ingredients you don’t have on hand. You’ll need a separate piece of paper to make your list of ingredients.
This will become your shopping list.
Continue to do this until your grid is filled up and you have a week’s worth of meal plans. And an entire shopping list.
Now you will have your recipes all stored in one place in your Pinterest account.
This will make it very easy for you to assemble your recipes after you have gone shopping.
Check Out This Very Helpful Meal Planning Service
I’ve taken it a step further and started using Plan to Eat to store my recipes. It’s awesome since I can have instant access to all my recipes in one place.
I love Plan to Eat!
What do I love about it? Let me take a second and think!
This is actually my meal planning program of choice and it pairs really well with my Pinterest meal planning system. It has so many awesome features! You’ll have to check it out!
How Will Meal Planning Change Your Life?
It sounds like a funny question, but having a weekly meal plan can really help you simplify your life and make your job as a mom so much more enjoyable.
Taking just a little extra time to know what you will feed your family can save you time and money.
You may even find joy return to the otherwise mundane task of cooking for your family.
For me, meal planning has made me feel much more organized and has helped me feed my family healthy and delicious meals!
For other tips and tricks about homemaking and meal planning, check out my new book, The Homeschooling Housewife, Juggling it All, One Priority at a Time. I’ve been told that you don’t even have to e a homeschooling mom!
How will meal planning change your life? Are you ready to start planning your meals using the surprisingly easy way to make a meal plan? Comment below and let me know! Let’s do this together!