First Steps to Meal Planning

I’ve been meaning to do weekly meal plans for ages but I only end up doing it for a week or so and not doing it again till about 6 weeks later. Loads of bloggers are doing it. Infact not only are they planning their meals just for 1 week, they are planning all their meals for an entire month! All the women (and men) that do this say it keeps them organized and best of all, helps them save money! So I’ve decided that one of my 2012 new year resolutions is going top be to try to do monthly meal plans. – My first attempt at this for January went to pot. As on the 2nd January my 1 year old son broke his leg by getting it stuck in the bars of his cot! So me and my husband have been taking it in turns to stay over with him at the hospital. He finally came home 2 days ago and is healing very well. So I’ve now abandoned my plan for this month and I’m going to start a fresh in February.
So My first tip for meal planning is to get yourself some recipes. You can either go through your cookbooks and magazines, go to the library or just search online. Then collect all your recipes and organize them. I made my own recipe folder from a photo album and use This free printable recipe template

Second thing to do is get yourself some meal planning sheets. Here are some I’ve found

Eat Sheet Menu PlannerWeekly Menu Planner (List)Printable Monthly Meal Planner

Then my Third I do is go to (this is only available in the UK try ziplist if in US)and I find things that are on offer and use this sheet here that I made to record them and what date the offer ends. I normally shop online at but also pick a few things up from my local Sainsburys and by doing this helps me save even more money!
Then I get to work on my monthly meal plan based on my recipes and what’s on special offer. I have also had a try at batch cooking and freezing meals. But I’m still working on this one. I have only tried a few meals.
These both turned out really good!!
I will have to start doing this again, will keep you posted.
There you go! Then I normally stick the weekly meal plan on the fridge for all the family to see. Another tip that I’ve just started doing is to start preparing dinner at lunch time. Before i did this I would be all rush. Going to pick my eldest up from school, get back then help him with his homework while trying to entertain the other 2, and so by the time i started dinner, time was getting on. Which normally ended up with us having dinner slightly late. This might not sound so bad, but then this meant it was later for a bath and bed for the kids and the younger two (1 & 2 years) would get over tired then it would be difficult to get them to settle down for bed. So, I started getting things ready at lunch time like peeling and cutting all the veg. So now at dinner time it’s a lot quicker, easier and less stress!!


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  1. I like the idea of a menu planner printable. I’ve just been writing or typing mine out, but I’d a lot rather use something cute like this!

  2. Great idea, but I always struggle with meal planning. I’m fine for a few weeks, but then everything gets on top of me and it always gets discarded!

  3. Some nice links here – thanks. I find it really hard to cook in the evening so am open to all suggestions, although I work in the day but could possibly prepare the night before.

  4. I’m terrible at meal planning for more than a week in a row! I’d love to read a followup on this about whether you managed to keep it going