Meal Planning 101

We are getting geared up for the kick off of our Meal Planning workshop series here at Summit! We are excited to bring the basics of meal planning to you and also provide the opportunity to build upon that knowledge each month to help you become a meal planning expert.

The Basics:

  1. Start by printing out a blank calendar for the month.
  2. Add in all upcoming events for that month. By doing this, you will be able to plan more realistically for your family’s schedule.
  3. Add in easy and favorite meals. See if you can use the leftovers form these meals for something else also.
  4. Go through your freezer, fridge, pantry, etc. and make a list of what you have that needs to be used. Add those recipes using those particular items into the plan.
  5. Next, find out what coupons you have and what sales are going on. Incorporate those sales into your meal plan.
  6. Make sure you are using fresher ingredients towards the beginning of the week so they don’t go bad before you can use them.
  7. We recommend starting off planning week-by-week. Some seasoned meal planners might plan for an entire month at a time. We just find that schedules can change and can throw a wrench into your meal plans.

Expanding your meal planning skills:

  1. Create a master list of meal ideas. You can do separate lists for breakfast, lunch and dinner if you desire.
    • Check out this link for some beginner ideas
    • You can also scroll through Pinterest which has an overwhelming amount of recipe ideas you can use
  2. You want to develop an arsenal of tried and true recipes that you can use for quick meal planning.
  3. Keep your budget in mind. You don’t want to go overboard. Try finding recipes that use fewer or similar ingredients as much as possible
  4. Designate a day for meal prepping to make your week run smoother
    • Check out this link for prepping chicken
    • Try batch cooking so you can freeze sauces and things for later us
  5. Make rotating themes to help you get out of the meal planning rut. Some dinner theme ideas you could use are:
    • Pasta night
    • Taco night
    • Ethnic night
    • Salad night
    • Soup & Sandwich night
      • There’s nothing like a bowl of tomato soup paired with a crispy, gooey grilled cheese!
    • Crockpot night
    • Casserole night
      • Check out this link for some awesome Casserole ideas!
    • Freezer Meal night
      • Check out this link for some great Freezer meal ideas!
    • Seafood night
      • Shrimp scampi, fish tacos, Baked tilapia… Check out Pinterest for some great seafood recipes!
    • Grill night
      • Burgers, brats, hot dogs… perfect for a summer night!
    • Leftovers night
      • Reusing things from past meals is the easiest way to stretch your grocery budget.
    • Breakfast for dinner
      • How could you go wrong with pancakes or bacon?
    • Kids cook dinner
      • Have your child/children pick out a recipe they’d like for dinner. If they’re older, have them cook on their own. If they’re younger, spend some quality time together and cook with them!
      • Follow this link to get some ideas for some kid friendly recipes
    • Take Out night
      • For those crazy nights, sometimes it truly is easier to just grab something.
    • Restaurant night
      • We can all use a night out. 🙂
    • Sheet Pan dinner night
      • Check out this link for some sheet pan dinner ideas!
    • Meatless/Vegetarian night
      • Don’t let the thought of meatless scare you! A meatless dinner could be a fresh mozzarella, basil and tomato panini with a balsamic glaze!
    • Pizza night
      • Get creative! There are so many different types of pizza you can make at home.

If you enjoyed what you read here, come join us for our meal planning workshop series! Call our office or visit our Facebook page for more information!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *