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If I told you to make a weekly meal plan right now, how easily could you do it? Not easy, right? Day 3 of the 4 Day Saving Series will teach you how to meal plan fast. I’ve even included a meal planning template! Stay tuned tomorrow for a great way to up your dinner game in a modern way.
Day 3: 30 Minute Meal Planning Template for the Busy Mama
Meal planning can be overwhelming. It can also be time consuming if you don’t know where to start. I am here to tell you there is an easier way. A way you can make your weekly meal plan within a half hour each week. Yes, that’s right. Under 30 minutes. Here are some great tips to get you started and I’ve even included a free meal planning template to make meal planning be faster and more efficient. Pair everything with my post about Meal Planning tips and you’re golden!
Know the Meals You Want
The first tip to make a successful weekly meal plan is to know what meals you regularly make. What better way to know these quickly than by making a list? Write down all the regular entrees and side dishes you make along with those you want to try. What types of food do you like? Add those foods in to make this perfect your family. I have also included a meal planning template and list of 90+ meal ideas to get you started! Sign up above and get this delivered right to your inbox!
Use Couponing Strategies
I didn’t include a couponing article in this saving series for no reason. It is possible to coupon in less than an hour a week and my Couponing 101 post will show you how. I even created a weekly and monthly couponing guide to use alongside the free meal planning template to help you through the process. Learning is so much easier when you have a step-by-step guide. Check out the post here.
Match up Ingredients
This is taking a page out of my Meal Planning tips article and for good reason. Overlapping ingredients is truly the key to making a successful meal plan on a budget. I’ve created new free meal planning template to match up the dishes that use the same ingredients. Once you fill out the template, all you have to do is pick and choose items on it each week and you’re good to go! You honestly never knew meal planning could be this easy.
Create a Flexible Weekly Meal Plan
While it is important to create a healthy meal plan full of fruits and vegetables, it is also important to make it flexible. What if something comes up? What if you made way too much yesterday and have unexpected leftovers? Each week I include a dish where the ingredients stay fresher longer – think homemade or frozen pizza, chicken, tacos, etc. All those meals include ingredients that have a shelf life longer than a week.
If something comes up, such as a party, an outing, or any other unexpected situation, thrive on it. Don’t let it throw you off and think your meal plan has failed. Next week’s meal plan just got one day easier! I love when things push out my meals or we have to do a quick pasta or grilled cheese and soup night due to something coming up. It means I only need to plan for 6 days next week! That means a cheaper and easier week. Plus there’s nothing wrong with boxed mac and cheese for dinner one night. The kids will love it.
Include Your Family
Speaking of kids, they can actually help you. So can your husband. Every week I ask my husband if he would like anything specific for dinner. Sometimes he mentions something he’s craving and sometimes he’s no help. This gets him excited about dinner and makes him feel involved. It also takes some of the meal planning off you, which means less work! My daughter is too young to tell me what she wants to eat, but I will include her once she can tell us. We may have more chicken tender nights, but they’re perfect for those quick dinners after her gymnastics. And it’s less stress wondering if your picky eater will eat dinner tonight. I call that a win!
Find Your Own Way to Meal Plan
Everyone meal plans differently. You will hear some people meal plan weekly, some monthly, and some even annually. Use my free meal planning template to help you learn how to meal plan. Once you become a pro (it won’t take long!), make meal planning your own. Test yourself and try doing 2 or even 3 weeks at a time. I personally choose to meal plan weekly. It works best for me and my family.
Get Your Own Free Weekly Meal Planning Template
Are you still nervous about meal planning? This free meal planning template will walk you step by step how to meal plan along with 90+ dinner ideas to get you started! Fill out the form below to have it delivered right to your inbox.