This Is The Best Way To Begin Meal Planning If You've Never Done It Before

I used to think meal planning was a waste of time. Wrong! Read on for steps you can follow to begin meal planning, the easy way!

I used to think meal planning was a waste of time. Wrong! Once I nailed meal planning, our lives got easier! Read on to find the steps you can take that will get you planning like a meal planning master.

Real talk: I used to think meal planning was stupid and a waste of time.

When it came right down to it, my biggest problem was that I really didn’t know where to even begin meal planning:

What if I didn’t want to eat what I had planned?

What if I made too much food?

What if we decided to meet friends that night instead?

What if something else sounded better at the grocery store? 

Couldn’t I just wing it?

Now, I look back at myself and laugh; meal planning has, if anything, made my life easier! Now I know what I will be spending that week at the grocery store, I know what we’re having for dinner that night, and I know just how I can ‘pivot’ to a different dish if something comes up or we change our minds last minute.

While I thought meal planning was hemming me in, it was really freeing me up in ways I could never have expected.

I’ve been writing on this page about just how I plan meals for our week since I started it, in 2016. But my meal planning journey began after my first daughter began eating solid food, when I was tired of throwing meals together at the end of an already long day, and hated how I would sometimes reach for the easiest thing to give her when I didn’t feel like cooking (she ate a lot of banana and avocado dinners back then)

In this post, I’ll be dropping all that knowledge into one big, fat list.

If you’re new to meal planning, there’s info here to get you going. If you’re in a rut, I got you covered there, too. And if you just need some inspo to figure out what the heck you’re actually cooking this week, I have cheat sheets and idea lists galore!

For those ready to begin meal planning:

My Top Three Meal Planning Basics

My top three meal planning basics are juuuust a little different from the standard recommendations you might read about when creating a weekly meal plan.

This Is the Ultimate Pantry Essentials Checklist

What's in YOUR pantry? Here's a handful of some of my go-to items, products, and ingredients that help me cook simple, quick dinners and meals

How to Start Meal PlanningI loved chatting with Angie Trueblood of MealPlanningMama! You'll love her advice on where to start meal planning (even if you're new at it!)

How to Decide What To Cook

9 Best Quick and Easy Cookbooks Every Busy Cook Needs

Need some inspiration for a quick and easy dinner this evening? Here's a list of the 9 best cookbooks for the busy cook, with recommended recipes for each!

Cook ‘Family Meal’ Just Like a Chef

In the restaurant biz, 'family meal' brings all staff together before the start of a busy shift. Here's how you can take the concept into your own kitchen- plus recipes to use!

‘Don’t Throw That Out!’ Repurposing Leftover Ingredients

Stop! Don't throw it out; follow this guide to repurposing leftover ingredients instead. Check out a cheat sheet, guide and printable list of recipes!

If You Meal Plan Already, But Want Inspiration

The 5 Minute Meal Plan

How I create my '5 minute meal plan' each week, using a super simple system! Once you have it set up, you won't believe how easy it is to use.

How to Get Out of a Meal Planning Rut

Getting Out of a Meal Planning Rut with Tiffany from "A good way to get out of a planning rut is trying a new spice. I tried 2 new spices and they inspired several recipes that were all amazing!"

Converting Recipes? This Way is the Best!

Converting Recipes? It's easy with this handy cheat sheet! Just click to download (it's FREE!)

I hope these will be helpful for all you meal planning beginners!

If you’re interested in receiving free, quick, simple recipes you can make that night, don’t forget to sign up for my mailing list – the box is below. Happy eating!