Meal Planning for The Busy Girl

Today, we’re sharing meal planning tips and tricks for the busy girl!

Our Meal Planning for The Busy Girl Inspiration…

A few years ago, 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.

Then two of the littles developed major asthma and allergy issues. As you can imagine, this forced my sisters 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 no matter what their dietary needs.

Here’s a look at meal planning for the busy girl (or busy family) in just a few easy steps…

Step 1:

The first step is deciding how you want to plan your meals . So, gather your calendar supplies and your favorite cookbooks.

You can choose by the week, month or year.

Step 2:

Next, assign each day of the week a different food group or category.

For example:

  • Monday – Vegetarian or Ethnic Inspiration
  • Tuesday – Mexican
  • Wednesday – Salad
  • Thursday – Soup or Slow Cooker
  • Friday – Easy Family Favorite, Try Something New, or Dinner Out
  • Saturday – Sheet Pan Saturday or Seafood Saturday
  • Sunday – Pasta or Southern Supper Favorites

Step 3:

Check your calendar for upcoming dates you and your family will be celebrating and fill in those dates.  That way, you can make the menu special for that day.

For example:

  • Birthdays
  • Anniversaries
  • Fun food holidays like Fat Tuesday or Super Bowl Sunday

Step 4:

Once you have those dates in place, 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 that are family favorites or quick and easy meals.

Remember to 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.

Most everyone (or so I’m told) has a repertoire of at least 20 meals that can make without even using a recipe.

I hate to cook but I’m working on it ?

Step 5:

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 totally get it because I come from a family of picky easters.

That said, it’s a good thing to try new experiences and break out of your comfort zone.

Step 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.

Step 7:

Next, 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’ll 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.

Keep in Mind…

If you’re supposed to have a Chef’s Salad on Wednesday but you have a really crazy day and decide to pick something up on the way home, place whatever meal you had scheduled on the meal plan for the following week.

That way, you’ll already be ahead!

Consistency is Key…

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 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.

As always, making small changes to your daily habits and positive routines will help to create a happy and more organized year for you and your family.

Just thinking about it makes me all kinds of excited. I truly believe small changes can generate huge impacts!

I hope this meal planning for the busy girl guide have helped.  Let us know if you have any tips or tricks you want to add!

Other Healthy Habits and Positive Routine Posts You Might Enjoy:

Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,


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  1. 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

  2. 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!

  3. 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

  4. ha ha I’m dying over the “Vicki flies by the seat of her pants” line. If I cooked that good I would be whipping out whatever I felt like at the moment too! Hugs, CoCo

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