Meal planning can be overwhelming and as a result my planning business is thriving as I help clients organize, shop and prep for weekday eating success. For this I am thankful.
However I’ve come to realize that some people simply need a few ideas to get them started on their way to planning success and so,today, I wanted to share some simple ways to set you up for meal planning success!
Before you do any planning, you need to choose your recipes. In my opinion, this is the most important step in meal planning. This step can feel overwhelming, but I assure you that it’s not when you let these strategies guide the way in selecting the recipes for your meal plan:
First, pick recipes for the kind of meals you need. Although this may sound obvious, it can be easy to overlooked. Like many things in life, meal planning is most successful when you keep things simple. Choose recipes based on the kind of meals you need for the week ahead. Take a look at your calendar, do you have late night meetings, lots of after school activities for the kids or Monday afternoon off? I look to the crockpot for weeknights when I know making dinner will be hard. The crockpot cooks dinner while your taking care of your busy day because it’s totally hands-off , just set it and forget it. Easy- right?! Another idea for nights when your short on time to cook are sheet pan dinners. Whether it’s budget dinners, vegan options, or meals with make-ahead potential, choose the recipes that meet your needs.
Second, before you start searching for recipes, write down a list of what you want the recipe to do for you. It might look something like the following:
- I need a recipe that is budget friendly.
- I need a recipe that’s kid friendly and not out of a box.
- I need a recipe that’s got spinach in it because I need to use up the package I have sitting in the fridge.
- I need a recipe that I can make in the crockpot or the sheet pan.
Third, now that you’ve narrowed down what you’re looking for, you’ve got to find the recipes. You can use a site like MealDiva, look through Pinterest, or flip through a magazine or cookbook that you love. A few of my Facebook followers said they like to use Food Network and the Chow as well.
Keep in mind that you won’t be making a physical list like this every time you begin searching for recipes. This simple technique will start you off on the right track and a way to make your plan. Eventually, this will become second nature for you!
If you need help meal planning, MealDiva is here for you! Let me know if you have any questions! Enjoy!