Meal Planning

Preparation and meal planning is key to eating healthy. Below is a link to ready-made meals, blank meal planning forms and tips for doing your own successful meal planning. 

5 Day Meal Plans
Here is a link for 5 day meal plans.  Just select the plan you want and then you can see the recipes, the prepping recommendations, and the shopping list: Meal Plans (The Kitchnn)

Blank Forms

Tips for Successful Menu-Planning

  • Set aside a regular time each week to do it. 
    Pick a time that works for you.  Begin by collecting a pad of paper and pen, and your cookbooks or websites with recipes.
  • Make an overview of the week.
    Write down the days of the week along the side or top of the paper (or use a menu planning for linked above) and note anything in the upcoming week that affect your regular eating schedule.
  • Then make a decision for what to prepare on each day.  It is helpful to have traditions such as Saturday is always pizza night, etc. 

It is helpful to think in terms of categories, or cooking styles for example:

  • Soup or Salad
  • Ethnic
  • Pasta
  • Casserole
  • Quick & Easy
  • New Recipes
  • Left-overs
  • grilling
  • crock-pot
  • stir-fry
  • roasting

If you pick one from each category or style, there will be a good variety, and by putting the Quick & Easy meals (tacos, hamburgers, spaghetti) on busy days, dinner will get done on time. It is also great to add a new dish each week to add interest and variety. Also, if you tend to have a lot of leftovers from your meals, plan one day as LO (leftover) day. 

  • Make a note of where the recipe is found as you write down the menu for each day.  Remembering which book or site a certain recipe can be found is helpful, especially if others will be helping out with the meals.
  • Create a shopping list. 
    As you write down a menu item, look at the recipe and review it, record down what you need to get from the store. If you’re unsure about how much of a spice you have, or whether or not you have frozen chicken breasts in the freezer, now’s the time to check. 
  • Look for opportunities that let you get two meals for the effort of one. You can do that by using the leftovers from one meal in the next meal (roast chicken today is chicken chimichangas tomorrow), or doubling the recipe and freezing half for another dinner on a day when you absolutely don’t have time to cook.