How to Create a Meal Plan

closeup of hands cutting vegetables for pasta

One of the best ways to save money on groceries is to plan your meals and your shopping list ahead of time. If you would like to start meal planning to save money and time then check out this simple guide to show you how to create a meal plan!
One of the best ways to save money on groceries is to plan your meals and your shopping list ahead of time. The reason this helps to save money is because with a plan in place, you know exactly what you’re going to get before you go to the store and avoid impulse purchases which can get pretty expensive.  Meal planning not only saves you money, but it saves you some time and stress. It takes the pressure off of trying to figure out what to make for dinner after a busy day.  If you would like to start meal planning to save money and time but are not quite sure where to start, you have come to the right place! Here is a simple guide to show you how to create a meal plan:

1) Choose your shopping duration. Do you want to shop once a week, every two weeks or maybe just once per month? You decide what works best for you and your family. To save even more money you can plan your shopping trips around your favorite store’s sale cycle so that you can always catch the best deals.

2) See what ingredients your already have. A great way to save money on groceries is to “shop” your own kitchen first. Walk around your kitchen with a notepad and jot down anything in the pantry, fridge, etc. that you can use in meals.

3) Make a meal list. Now that you have an idea of what ingredients you already have, you can start brainstorming some meal ideas. You can make meals that you have made before that you already know your family loves or get creative and browse Pinterest for some fun new recipe ideas. Jot down all of the meals that you come up with and pick the amount you need for the time between shopping trips. For example, if you plan on shopping once per week, you will need a week’s worth of meals to last until the next week when you go shopping again.

4) Make your list. Now that you have all of your meal ideas, just go through them one by one and jot down the ingredients you will need to buy to make the meals on your shopping list. Once you have your list compiled, you are ready to go to the store!

5) Make a meal calendar. Write down the meals you are making on a calendar hung on your fridge or somewhere in your kitchen that is easily accessible. A dry-erase calendar works great for this because you can easily switch meals to different days if needed.

A meal plan doesn’t need to be set in stone. Each night look at the meal plan for the next day and get the ingredients together so that when it’s time to cook, everything is ready to go for you.

If you still aren’t quite ready to plan out your own meals, we have made it SUPER EASY for you!  Check out some of our menu planning options…they even come with a printable shopping list! 🙂  Get the plans HERE.