Meal Planning Made Easy

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I’m going to level with you right off the bat. Meal planning has been the bane of my existence since my discovery of Pinterest. Those lovely folks that have their meal plan calendars plastered all over, make it look effortless.

It’s not. It’s really, really not.

Although, I know it’s worth doing because it saves time, reduces stress, and saves MONEY.

Finally, after trying and failing to keep a steady plan, I have come up with something that will actually work for me…and its EASY. And it may just work for you too.

This is the secret to make Meal Planning super Easy!

First off, planning meals for seven days is extremely daunting. Good news! You don’t have to plan for seven whole days. Plan for four. How did I get to that wonderful, low number you ask?

Out of seven days for a week, two are for eating up leftovers, and one is a freebie (eating out, eating at a friends, or eating up the random food you have in the back of the freezer).

Now to plan for those four days.

Everyone has their favorite, go-to meals. Make a list of all of your easy meals. Then add some recipes you would like to try sometime. When you have to put together your meal plan for the week (and write up your shopping list), just look at your “favorite meals” list and plan accordingly. It’s as easy as picking and choosing four things off of a list. And since these are all favorite meals that you’re familiar with, you probably know what you need from the store to make them (and you know what side dishes go well with them).

I have included my list below and I have them categorized by meats. That way, I just choose one recipe from four categories. This is what my list looks like:

Chicken
Shredded

This method of making shredded chicken is fool-proof! So easy and delicious!!
Quesadillas
Tacos
Salad
Enchiladas
Sandwiches
Cubed-
Teriyaki
Nuggets
Stir Fry
Fetticcini Alfredo
Fajitas
Baked-
Italian Seasoning Bake

Beef
Super Easy, Delicious 5 Ingredient Chili.

Ground Beef-(all ground beef recipes can be substituted with ground turkey, bison, etc.)
Chili
Midwestern Stromboli
Korean Beef
Meat Mix (tacos, nachos, spaghetti, etc…)
Spaghetti
Roast-
Pot Roast

Pork
Pulled Pork sandwiches
Pork tenderloin

Seafood
Fettuccine Alfredo
Italian Seasoning Shrimp
Maple Glazed Salmon
Baked Tilapia

Vegetarian
Black Bean Patties
Black Bean tacos
Bean Chili

Leftover Dishes (if you want to “repurpose” a meal.)
Midwestern Stromboli
Homemade Hot Pockets
Homemade
Now all you have to do is sit down for a few minutes and write up your list. To make it even easier, just ask every member of your family to tell you their favorite meals-I bet each of them have at least two or three favorites!!

So, what’s going to be on your list?

June 22, 2016
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8 Comments

  • Reply Lauren

    This is how my husband and I attempt to plan each week.. anything over 4 meals and we are destined to fail. hahaha

    June 22, 2016 at 11:54 am
    • Reply Tarynn Playle

      Ha! Yes! Four seems manageable. But five days? I give up!

      June 22, 2016 at 11:56 am
  • Reply Jen

    You are brilliant and this just got pinned!

    June 25, 2016 at 3:26 pm
  • Reply Tricia

    This is what I do! I plan out Monday through Thursday (minus the leftovers since my husband doesn’t like them. I usually eat leftovers for lunch). Friday is typically a freebie and my husband likes to cook on the weekends- Yeah! It makes things so much easier.

    July 1, 2016 at 1:19 pm
    • Reply Tarynn Playle

      That’s awesome!! It’s so much easier having a plan. That’s great your husband cooks on the weekends! My husband likes to cook too.

      July 1, 2016 at 1:20 pm
  • Reply Leanne

    Thank you for the inspiration. Great post!

    August 13, 2016 at 12:14 pm
  • Reply Mama By Fire - My Whole30 Tips - Mama By Fire

    […] 2. Prepare. The whole30 is all about planning! Plan out your meals!! I know meal planning isn’t for everyone, but I have found a way to make it less overwhelming which you can read about here. […]

    May 4, 2017 at 7:32 pm
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