Meal planning is the simplest and easiest way to achieve your weight loss goals while saving money on groceries.

It doesn’t have to take a long time, be expensive, or stressful. You can have a healthy and delicious meal daily without worrying about what you’ll have to prepare for dinner later.

What Is Meal Planning?

Meal planning is deciding what you’re going to eat for the whole week beforehand. Basically you’re taking the stress out of “What’s for dinner tonight?

You can meal plan for:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Snack
  • Dinner

But most of your time and energy must go into meal planning for dinner.

Your meal plan can be as simple and detailed as you want. To get started you may need a journal to help you with your meal scheduling that you’re going to adhere to.

Meal planning can be broken down into three (3) categories: picking recipes, shopping for the ingredients then it’s time to prepare your meals.

The best time to start meal prepping would be late Friday evening to Sunday once you have all ingredients at hand.

If you wish for all of this is automated then this paid subscription is for you:

If you hate to meal plan because it’s time-consuming then HelloFresh will send you fresh ingredients, step-by-step recipes along with nutritional info to help you make healthy delicious meals in record time. You have endless recipes to try!

How To Get Started With Meal Planning:

Get a meal planner template with the days of the week along with ingredients or make your own using a journal. Here’s one for free:

2. Check your calendar or schedule to see when you’re much busier. During these time you’ll plan an easy meal for the family. Or where the entire family may not be able to have sit-down meals. You can then decide whether you decide to have leftovers.

3. Find easy dinners to make along with family favorites that everyone will eat and love.

4. Then on a sheet of paper, right down the list of items to get at the supermarket to make your meals or on your meal planner.

Tips To Having A Successful Meal Plan:

Try meal planning app such as:

  • $5 Meal Plan – you’ll be sent a weekly menu of meals that will cost about $2 per person or less. This will help you save on time and money.
  • All Recipes Dinner Spinner – If you have problems finding recipes then this free app is for you. With over 50,000 recipes, you can never be bored!

Try theme nights to spice up things and make organizing much easier. I got this idea from Getty Stewart:

  • Meatless Monday
  • Try it Tuesday – a new recipe to try.
  • Kid-Friendly Wednesday – meals that you know your kid(s) will love.
  • Quick & Easy Thursday – meals from the freezer, slow cooker meals, sandwiches, or leftovers.
  • Pizza Friday – can be homemade or take out
  • Free for All Saturday – when everyone feeds themselves
  • Big Dinner Sunday – a traditional Sunday dinner

Use a grocery delivery service:

Shipt – this is a grocery delivery service that you can use on the internet or with an app. If you’re trying to stick to a weekly grocery budget and monitor your spending then this is for you.

Amazon Fresh – If you already have an Amazon Prime account then you can use this grocery delivery service for free.

Easy Meal Types For Beginners:

Slow Cooker Meals

For delicious flavorful meals on a lazy night try slow cooker meals. If you’ll be out for about 10 hours and wished to come home to hot ready meal then this option is perfect.

Before going to work put the ingredients for your recipe in your slow cooker.

Examples of meals to cook in your crock pot: beef stew, soup, meatballs, pork chili, and tuscan chicken.

IDEA 1:

IDEA 2:

IDEA 3:

Freezer Meals

If you have any extra time on your hand during the week then this type of meal plan would be perfect for you. With this meal plan method, you’ll freeze ingredients for specific meals to make prepping much easier.

This allows you to make batches of your favorite meals at your own convenience. Very easy to do and minimal clean up after dinner. If you’re creating a meal plan for dieting then freezer cooking can help stay on top of your game.

Instead of buying convenient meals that are costly and high in preservatives, make your own with fresh ingredients.

Example:

15 Minute Meals

We have those days, where it’s almost bedtime and dinner isn’t prepared and we have no idea what to make. Adding 15-minute meals to your meal plan will help you during those hectic times.

Bonus:

Ingredients you can start with for healthy eating on a budget:

  • Protein: Chicken, lean ground turkey, lean ground beef, pork chops, boiled eggs, bacon, lentils, cheese
  • Starch/ Carbs: Quinoa, Brown Rice, whole grain pasta, whole oats
  • Vegetables: Spinach, broccoli, kale, asparagus, cauliflower (can make cauliflower rice), carrots, celery
  • Fruits: Strawberries, apple, banana, blueberries
  • Healthy Fats: Avocado, olive oil, almond butter, walnuts, peanut butter
  • Snacks: Yogurt, fruits, nuts, granola

With these ingredients, you make splendid meals!

Bottomline

Meal planning is a great way to save money on groceries while making the best of your time.

No longer will you wonder, “what’s for dinner?” Meal planning will turn a hectic night into a calm one.

You need help to meal plan or just don’t have the time, check out the $5 meal plan.