How to Create Meal Plans
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How to Create Meal Plans

Posted on Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 at 6:12 pm
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Creating meal plans ahead of time is a great way to prevent food waste and impulse buys and save money on your grocery bill! Knowing how to create meal plans is a great way to save money on your grocery bill. Planning meals ahead of time will help you avoid impulse shopping at the grocery store and prevent food waste. I always end up with the wrong ingredients when I try to plan meals as I shop. Not to mention, cooking at home is far cheaper and healthier than dining out!

How to Make a Meal Plan

Where to Start?

The best way to create a meal plan is to start with a calendar. Ask yourself what nights you will have time to cook dinner, and what nights you won’t. I like to cook extra on my free nights so that I will have leftovers on my busy nights. Next, jot down what meals you want to cook each night and what ingredients you will need to buy. Check you fridge before you add anything to your shopping list – you never know what might be hiding in the back of the cupboard!

What Does a Meal Plan Look Like?

Below is an example of one of my weekly meal plans. I write down only the ingredients I need to buy, so it can double as my grocery shopping list.

  • Monday: Chicken Parmesan. Need 4 boneless chicken breasts, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and 1 jar spaghetti sauce.
  • Tuesday: Chicken Parmesan leftovers.
  • Wednesday: Lasagna. Need lean ground beef, 1 onion, 1 can of tomato paste, 1 jar tomato sauce, Italian parsley, ricotta cheese, and lasagna noodles.
  • Thursday: Lasagna leftovers.
  • Friday: Veggie Stir Fry. Need 2 carrots, 1 red bell pepper, 2 zucchini, garlic, green onions, and soy sauce.
  • Saturday: Chicken Caesar Salad. Need chopped romaine lettuce, 1 chicken breast, croutons, and Caesar salad dressing.
  • Sunday: Hamburgers and Fruit Salad. Need lean ground beef, burger buns, sliced cheddar cheese, and various in-season fruit.


Meal planning ahead of time is really easy and will help you save a lot of money (and time) at the grocery store. Say goodbye to impulse buys and spontaneous last-minute meal planning while shopping!

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