5 Tips to Meal Planning


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Crystal Paterson

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Because who doesn’t want things to be easier. Am I right? As a mom, dinners can be hard. Cooking dinner can be enjoyable for some people. For me, it’s not. I’ve learned a lot from my mom, and I’m an okay cook. I love sharing my recipes and stuff. But honestly, I don’t enjoy it. It stresses me out. Meal planning helps me organize my thoughts. It helps me remember to take out stuff the night before so I’m not rushed the next day finding stuff. 

It doesn’t always work out, plans change and I forget sometimes, so I have other options in case, easier less stressful options like Tacos, Spaghetti and Chicken Caesar Salads. So, hopefully to help you out. Here are my 5 tips to meal planning. And don’t forget to subscribe to my email for a template and a sample of our meal plans. 

5 Tips to Meal Planning

1. Meal plan around your life.

The first and most important thing. Meal planning isn’t going to make your life easier if it’s full of dinners that are time-consuming. Require trips to the store, because you don’t have the ingredients at home already. Make sure it fits your week. Not the other way around. You want easy meals on busy days. New meals can be for days when you’re home and have time.

2. Have some regulars.

My husband enjoys consistency. Same meal on the same day kind of consistent. I am not. So we compromise. Taco Tuesdays (Or a day that works.) Or spaghetti Saturdays or a family favorite on the same day each week. It takes the daunting 7 days meal plan down to 6. Baby steps.

3. Check your pantry, fridge and stuff first.

Start there. Make your grocery list as you go afterwards. It uses stuff up. Keep food budgets within ranges. 

4. Have some back ups.

Sometimes plans don’t work. Things happen, so being prepared will help with the stress. If you’re like me and get stressed when 4 o’clock comes around and there’s nothing thawed or prepped. I like to have regulars as our backups. Quick and easy options. Or premade frozen dinners in case.

5. Don’t worry if each plan doesn’t work out or if things change

Life happens. That is what frozen waffles, cereal, or boxed macaroni and cheese. Put it on your calendar or on the template in pencil! Things change.

our calendar on our fridge to help keep track of what we are having. I have the template in my day planner.

How To:

It’s quite simple. I write it all on my calendar. Better yet, a template you can add to the fridge (subscribe to my email for a FREE template.). Keep the template in your day planner so you can have it with you all the time. I either take a look in our fridge or add it to the grocery list. Try and make the first few meals based on what is about to go bad in the fridge. Veggies, leftovers, stuff like that. 

Find out what frozen meats I have, add any favorites or easy meals based on what’s on the calendar for the week already. With the whole calendar on there, I can see what we had the week before, so I can keep things a little different. 

Love, Crystal

*This post contains affiliate links. Our family receives a commission based on any purchases through these links at no additional cost to you. We appreciate your love and support. 

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  1. Tess

    Love these tips so much! The one about check your fridge and pantry first is so important, that’s how I keep fruit and veggies from going bad before we eat them!

    • Crystal Paterson

      Yes! And it’s super helpful for me to know what not to buy from the store!

  2. Casey

    Awesome tips! Thanks for sharing, I will have to keep these in mind for next week!

    • Crystal Paterson

      Yes! And using the template you get if you subscribe to my email list is super nice to have too!

  3. Erika

    These are GREAT tips! I also do the “staples” for simple easy meals during the week.

    • Crystal Paterson

      Yes! Thank goodness for them!

    • Crystal Paterson

      Yes! Thanks for reading! Hope they help!

  4. Hollyanne Simon

    Love these tips so much. I ALWAYS check my fridge first!! It’s like. Crucial. If i don’t and just use my note i forget stuff i needed!

    • Crystal Paterson

      Right! Everytime!

      • Kaycee

        Love all these tips! Meal planning is surprisingly something I’m pretty good at. That’s a busy time in our house so I have to be prepared.

        • Crystal Paterson

          Yes it’s super nice to have everything planned!

        • Samantha

          Awesome tips to have!! I want to start meal planning soon since I get incredibly distracted throughout the day and tend to grab something quick. This way I know I’m actually eating a decent meal!

          • Crystal Paterson

            Yeah it’s been a life changer for us! So less stressful for me. Hopefully my template and sample can be helpful for you.

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