How to Save Hours Each Week!

Meal Planning Made Simple

Menu planning is something we intend to do when we get around to it or “when I’m get organized.” But this is backward thinking, menu planning should be your first step to getting organized.

A lack of meal planning means wasted money, extra trips to the store, frustration and cooking boredom. We are all faced with meals three times a day, seven times a week, it should be planned. Don’t put it off any longer.

Reasons to Meal Plan

Save Time and Money

  • Reduce grocery and gas bills by meal planning. A simple list of meals means an easy grocery list for the grocery store, which cuts down on impulse buys, wasted food, and needless trips to the supermarket.
  • If you don’t plan, there will be days you end up harried and hurried with hungry kids and opt for a trip to a fast food restaurant (which can take more time than preparing a meal). The more harried and hurried the more fast food trips.
  • Having a shopping list will make it easier for you to clip coupons.
  • Stock up on sale items like hamburger, chicken, jars of spaghetti sauce, etc.
  • Save the ultimate amount of time and money by using a book like OnceA-Month Cooking or Frozen Assets: How to Cook for a Day and Eat for a Month.

Make Healthier Meals

  • Eating out may be convenient but fat-laden fast food is not nutritional (it’s a huge part of the reason our nation is experiencing an obesity epidemic).
  • When you pre-plan your own meals, you can choose healthy options. You control the flavor and the fat and amount of sugar, you can grill or broil instead of fry. Planning ensures you are cooking a healthy meal every day of the week.

Easier Meal Preparation

  • With a meal plan you always know what meat to take out of the freezer to defrost the night before and you’ll have the ingredients because they were listed on your shopping list.
  • The easiest meals for me are made using my crockpot in the morning. I love smelling it cooking all day and simply setting the table at dinner time.

Teach Your Children Skills

  • Include children in the meal planning process to teach them organizational skills and how to assemble a balanced meal.
  • They can help to plan the meals and learn about the different nutrition groups.

Reduces Stress

  • How frustrated do you get each night at meal time rummaging through the freezer and pantry? Once you menu plan won’t have to worry about everything that goes into making a meal.
  • My dear OCD hubby asks me daily (usually before breakfast) “What’s for dinner?” I used to get irritated and roll my eyes but since I started meal planning I can give him a cheerful answer.
  • There is something secure about having dinner organized and on the table at the same time every night. It brings peace to you and your family.
  • Our family meal times are jeopardized by rushed schedules, overworked and exhausted parents. Meal planning allows us to have a special family time to share, rekindle, and reconnect.

Meal Plan Online!

  • Meals Matter -Meals Matter is a really neat free meal planning website featuring recipes and personalized nutrition tips. Users can create family cookbooks, shopping lists and plan out menus. They offer a ton of articles, recipes and ideas for creating healthy and easy meals. They also offer a free Nutrition & Fitness Challenge ( a three-week self-directed program). Each week of the Challenge you will receive an email that guides you through the steps that will help you achieve your goals.
  • Pepperclip – Pepperclip offers a free place for you to organize your personal recipes, share with friends, and make your trips to the grocery store easier by writing your lists for you. Your list is made from either recipes you typed in or from recipes other pepperclip users have added to the website. Once you type a recipe, it is saved in the system forever and you can use it again for shopping lists in the future.
  • Organized Home – If you prefer organizing on paper this site offers printable menu planners.
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About the Author

Homeschool mom to 11, Marmee to 14 and author.

Comments (3)

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  1. I have been trying to get better about meal planning. Thanks for the links to help in my menu planning!

  2. Sheri says:

    Great post, Robin! I’ve been trying to streamline my meal planning as well.

    mealfire.com is something I discovered recently and it has been very helpful in corralling all the recipes I use from around the web, as well as an easy way for me to create a menu plan using their calendar feature.

    I just purchased a used Palm Centro from ebay as a cheap cell phone upgrade (no Verizon data plan required, can sync with calendar, contacts, listen to music, etc..). I am hoping to learn how to sync my mealfire.com menu plan calendar to it. It would save me tons of time when I’m on the go.

  3. Sharon Thoms says:

    Nice post Robyn. I’m going to definitely check it out. I have an organizing blog myself http://routinehabit.com and I have a menu plan Monday blog hop each Monday. Would love for you to add your blog to our list. I use another free menu planning app named ZipList.com It seems that it is very similar. Again thanks for sharing your wonderful blog and hope to see you sometime.

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