Practical Tips for Making a Meal Plan that Works!

January 6, 2020
Written by:
Courtney Newman

Wondering how to create a meal plan? Truthfully, meal plans are my saving grace.  They save my sanity, my budget, my evenings, and as a result, reduce my stress!  I wouldn’t know what to cook for dinner without a meal plan, and I also wouldn’t know which groceries to purchase.  Without a meal plan, I would wander down each store aisle, following a grocery list to restock pantry staples while also picking up random food items for complementing meals.  In the end, when I don’t have a meal plan, more food is wasted than I’d care to admit. It sits in my fridge, just waiting for me to create a meal in which to include it.

Print Your Free Weekly Meal Planning Template Below!

Steps For Creating A Meal Plan That Works!

For those of you who haven’t jumped on the meal planning wagon yet and don’t know how to create a meal plan, I know it seems like a lot of work.  I’ve been there! Thankfully, after several years of committed meal planning myself, I can say I’m a genuine convert, and I couldn’t go back.  Sitting down at my computer for about twenty minutes a week to meal plan has simply become a weekly habit for me. Here are a few great steps to pull together your meal plan! Create a Meal Plan that Works

  • First, consider the food already in your house.  An essential aspect of meal planning is shopping your pantry! Start with what you already have on hand to save money and reduce waste.
  • Next, take stock of your available grocery money in your budget for additional ingredients.  If you are shopping on a budget, you’ll have to choose recipes with limited ingredients, or several ingredients already in your kitchen.   
  • Finally, search for workable recipes.  By workable, I’m referring to recipes that fall within the parameters of your budget, utilize ingredients you already have, and allow for busy weekday evenings — or whichever events are on your schedule!
  • AND – don’t forget to print your free weekly meal planning template to help keep it all organized!

A meal plan at its root is meant to help families utilize the food they already have, shop smart for which groceries to purchase, and reduce the stress of planning dinner!

Strengthen Your New Year’s Goals With A Meal Plan

The New Year is a great time for new goals.  If you are determined this year to resolve your finances,  strengthen your organization, and create more quality family time, meal planning is a good solution and a stepping stone!  Here’s how:

  • Save money on unnecessary groceries by purchasing only the necessary ingredients.
  • Eliminate the stress of scrambling to think of a meal for dinner.  A meal plan is a good example of organization at its finest.
  • Enjoy more quality time with your family.  Meal planning means shorter shopping trips and more relaxing dinner times!


Courtney Newman

Courtney Newman is a homeschooled graduate with a love for writing. She is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in Health Science at University of the People. Other than writing, her hobbies include reading, yoga, visiting the beach, and meditating. She lives with her husband and pets in coastal Virginia.