Meal Planning for The Busy Girl

About this time last year, my sisters and I decided we would all meal plan together. We were super excited, traded recipes, called each other when things wrong, way wrong (hello, Moroccan lettuce wraps) and shared a weekly grocery list too. For a while there, we were rocking and rolling as they say. Then April rolled around and my nephew started having some major asthma and allergy issues which all but forced my sister and her family to eat completely different than the rest of us.

It only took a few trips to the grocery store…

“What do you want?”

“I don’t know. What do you want?”

…for me to realize going without a meal plan was not going to be an option. Talk about a total time waster. Thankfully, we came up with a solution that so simple any family can use this meal planning system no matter what their dietary needs. Meal planning for the busy girl (or busy family) in just a few easy steps, here we go…

The Busy Girls Easy Meal Planning Guide-1

The first step is deciding how you want to plan your meals. You can choose by the week, month or year.

The Busy Girls Easy Meal Planning Guide-2

Next assign each day of the week a different food group or category. For example:

Monday – Chicken

Tuesday – Ethnic

Wednesday – Salad

Thursday – Fish or Shrimp

Friday – Soup, Chowder or Chili

Saturday – Dinner Out

Sunday – Southern Favorites or Try Something New

Then start filling out your weekly or monthly meal plan based on your tried and true recipes. These will be menu items you currently make like family favorites or meals that are quick and easy. Most everyone (or so I’m told) has a repertoire of at least 20 meals that can make without even using a recipe (I’m working on it, Mom).

The Busy Girls Easy Meal Planning Guide-3

Fill in any holes with a new recipes or a meal you’ve been wanting to try. This may be hard for picky eaters. I’m already a little bit worried about Sundays to be honest because I’m one of those people but it’s always a good thing to try new experiences and break out of our comfort zone, right?

The Busy Girls Easy Meal Planning Guide-4

Remember to check your calendar for upcoming dates like celebrating birthdays, anniversaries or fun food holidays like Fat Tuesday or Super Bowl Sunday so you can make the menu special for that day. Get your family involved by asking them what they like to eat. Yes, they may say mac and cheese one night and hot dogs another but that will be one less meal you have to plan. Besides, we had lobster mac and cheese as part of our New Year’s dinner and it was good.

The Busy Girls Easy Meal Planning Guide-5

Keep in mind if you have say Chef’s Salad already planned on Wednesday but you have a really crazy day and decide you decide pick something up on the way home, place whatever meal it was in this case Chef Salad on next week or month’s list and you’ll already be ahead!

The Busy Girls Easy Meal Planning Guide-6

Once you have all of the days of the week/month filled out, make a grocery list. This is also a great time to consider what you’re having for breakfast each morning or what supplies you’ll need for packing lunches and snacks.

The Busy Girls Easy Meal Planning Guide-7

Then check the list to see what you already have in the pantry, spice drawer, refrigerator or freezer so you’re not buying multiples of anything at the farmer’s market or grocery store. Likewise, you want to check to make sure you have enough ingredients to make the meal. There’s nothing more frustrating than needing 6 eggs to make a pound cake and realizing you only have 4.

The Busy Girls Guide to Easy Meal Planning-8

Super simple right? I usually take one day a week to review my meal plan and grocery list. Most of the time it’s Sunday afternoons but you guys can pick whichever day is best for you. If you’re looking for a Meal Planning Kit, this one from Amy J Delightful Designs is super cute and reasonably priced too.

The Busy Girls Easy Meal Planning Guide-9

You guys, for real, 2017 is going to be our best year yet! We’re making small changes now that are going to add up to a big, happy, organized year which makes me so excited for us.

The Busy Girls Easy Meal Planning Guide-10

See you guys back here tomorrow. I’ll share what we’ve been up to behind the scenes and all of our favorite things from around the web. Until then, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,

CoCo

Comments

    • says

      Yes! That was a big problem for us too, Stacey. It was just easier to pick something up on the way home than to plan things out. I know there are times that will happen but I’m definitely looking forward to healthy meals where I can laugh and linger as long as I want to 🙂 Hugs, CoCo

  1. bonnie says

    i definitely do not plan as many meals as i know i could. most of the time i eat whatever they have at the deli because i just dont want to be bothered. it looks like this would only take one afternoon so i’m willing to try it.

    • says

      You can totally do this, Bonnie! It took one afternoon to meal plan for the entire month. Now, that’s not to say it won’t take you a little bit of time each week to make a grocery list or that you can’t go to the deli if your day gets crazy but it will save you time in the long run because you won’t have to go to the store as often. Keep me posted on your progress!

  2. sarah says

    I swear this could help 40 % of my stress if I just sat down to do this each week. Our cabinets, freezer and refrigerator are so full right now I probably wouldn’t even need to shop. Thanks for the motivation!

    • says

      You are so welcome, Sarah! I know it’s tough to find a few extra minutes especially when you have a family but it’s totally worth it in the long run. Hugs, CoCo

  3. says

    Hey CoCo – wow…you are super organized! Jenn does weekly meal planning…and Vicki does not. Being that Jenn works full time and blogs, she needs to know what’s for supper before she even leaves the house in the morning. Vicki flies by the seat of her pants and cooks depending on mood 🙂 We think both systems work for us.