Making Time for Meal Planning (because, let’s face it, we have to)

At the end of each month, I make a point of getting out my planner and planning the upcoming month. The months vary a little, however, there are a few things that don’t change. Like cutting the kids’ nails on Saturdays (yes, I actually write it in my calendar), cutting the boys’ hair on the 3rd Saturday of the month, and every Wednesday, I write down, “Meal Plan”.

Why? Because if I don’t make time for meal planning, it won’t happen.

Making Time for Meal Planning


This post contains affiliate links, see my full disclosure here.

Meal planning is a crucial part of my week. If I don’t have a plan or haven’t prepared food ahead of time, our days fall into chaos and confusion.  Here are a few tips to help you make time for meal planning.

Make it a priority

Pick a day of the week and set aside 20-30 minutes to make your meal plan and grocery list. If you put it into your weekly plan or even as a reminder on your phone, you’re way more likely to actually do it.

Once you establish a habit of meal planning at a certain time, it will become second nature and you won’t have to think about it.

Have a designated day

My designated day for meal planning is Wednesday. If you can find a day during the week to inventory your fridge, pantry, and freezer, you’ll be able to optimize your plan and seriously cut down on waste.

Get the kids involved. Have them help you by making inventory lists (older children) or throwing trash away (littles can do this!). Go a step further and wipe everything down. Give the fridge a good scrub once a month, you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes!

Have a conversation with your family

This is a great (and incredibly easy) way to meal plan. Simply ask your family what they’d like to eat for different meals. Giving them a say so in the planning will play a part in them eating the food.

This also ensures you’re making foods that will actually get eaten. I know I’m not the only one who can’t stand making a meal that no one eats!

Making your meal plan can be done anywhere

Meal planning can be done just about anywhere. Sitting at the dentist’s office, in the car, on your lunch break . . . pretty much the only risk in planning out and about is losing your list or plan.

Which brings me to my next point.

Have a meal planner

For years, I would make meal plans and grocery lists, only to lose them or forget them at home. That’s why I created the Meal Planning Made Simple Planner. This planner has everything you need to make meal planning simple and never lose your list or meal plan again!

If you need help getting started, the Large Family Frugal Meal packs just a great way to take the first step.

These packs have the whole week planned out for you.

  • breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner
  • new recipes for cheap, easy, family-friendly meals
  • a shopping list

Click here to find more about the meal packs.

Looking for more meal planning posts?

How to Meal Plan in 4 Easy Steps (weekly and monthly menu printables)

How I Feed 8 People on $150/Week (with sample menu)

21 Things You Should Make From Scratch

5 Benefits of Cooking From Scratch

45+ Homeschool Lunch Ideas (with a printable list)

15 Staples to Keep on Hand and Over 25 Dishes to Make With Them!

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