INSIDE: Want to start meal planning but don’t know how? This ultimate guide to meal planning has the answers! In it, I’m sharing every meal planning post I’ve ever written. Whatever your meal planning struggles might be, you’ll find the solution here. There’s even a set of FREE meal planning printables for you to download too!
(This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link your cost will remain the same but I will receive a small commission. This helps A Simple and Contented Life to keep going. Read my full disclosure policy here. Thank you for your support!)
What’s for dinner mum?
When it comes to managing home life, getting dinner on the table can be one of THE MOST stressful tasks. One of those tasks that has to be repeated every single day, there’s SO much to it. Just where do you start?
- How do you figure out what to cook when?
- What ingredients do you need to buy?
- When’s best to go grocery shopping?
- How do you make your grocery budget stretch as far as possible?
- How do you make sure what you’re dishing up is balanced and varied?
- Where do you find the time to prep everything?
- And what about those fussy eaters – just how do you encourage them to eat what you put in front of them?
If you find meal planning a little stressful, you’re not alone and help is at hand! In this post, I’m sharing every meal planning post I’ve ever written. Whether you’re just starting out and feel a little overwhelmed with all things meal planning or you just want a little inspiration, this ultimate guide to meal planning will help. Simply scroll through and pick whichever post you know will help you most!
My ULTIMATE guide to meal planning…
Each month inside the A Simple and Contented Life Facebook group I host a free live masterclass on a topic my community have told me they are struggling with. After the class, I upload the video to my YouTube channel and share it here on the blog. And guess what? One of those classes was all about meal planning!
If you’re new to meal planning, this masterclass is THE BEST place to start. In the video (which lasts for about 30 minutes) I share the strategies I use each week to help me get dinner on the table with minimal stress and fuss.
In this masterclass I show you how to:
- Be more intentional about what you cook for your family.
- Find recipes that the whole family will love – even your fussy, picky eaters!
- Come up with a wide variety of meal ideas so you’re not cooking the same dishes each week.
- Create your very own list of go-to meals so that you’re never stumped for ideas on what to make.
- Always have the ingredients you need to hand – no matter what you’re cooking.
- Knock up quick and easy meals when you’re pushed for time.
- Make the food you buy go further.
- Occupy your kids so that you’re free to prep and cook without the whining and squabbles.
- …and MUCH more!
You can even download the slides from the class for free so that you can come back to them later! Check out the meal planning for busy families masterclass here.
The first post I wrote on the meal planning, it continues to be my most popular. Why? Because it shares five simple steps that will have you going from overwhelmed to organised in just a few days! My favourite step has to be creating a list of go-to meals. I can’t tell you what a difference this has made to my meal planning! Thanks to my list of go-to meals, I’m never short of ideas of what to cook! Want to know what the other steps are? Head over to the post Five Small Changes to Make Meal Planning a Breeze to find out!
The next post in my ultimate guide to meal planning? Meal planning secrets every busy mum should know! When it comes to meal planning, I’ve learned a lot over the years about what works and what doesn’t work for me and my family. But I also know there are still lots of great tips out there. And so, wanting to know what they are, I went looking!
I reached out to my fellow bloggers and in this post, I share what they had to say. From getting started to keeping things flexible and making life easier, these tips are pure meal planning genius! Which ones have you tried?
Getting started on meal planning is one thing but keeping the momentum going is another! If you struggle with getting organised and STAYING organised on the meal planning front, this post is for you. In it, I share the strategies I use to get into the habit of meal planning and make it a breeze too. Including how I:
- Set aside time to plan and prepare.
- Stop mealtimes from being a stressful affair.
- Use themes to make meal planning easy.
- Use as few ingredients as possible.
- Shop from my pantry first.
- Make my meals go further.
- …and MUCH more!
We want to provide our kids with a diet that’s balanced and varied. But constantly coming up with new dishes? That can be tough! Just where do you find ideas for new meals to make? If you’re fed up with cooking the same dinners week-in-week-out and need some new inspiration, I hear you. And this post has you covered! In it, you’ll find ten new places to be inspired – including some you’ve probably never thought of! My favourite is number five, what’s yours?!
When we’re stumped for ideas and need a little inspiration, where’s the first place we head? Pinterest of course! There’s no denying that when we need ideas, Pinterest is one of THE BEST places to go. But as well as pinning things for inspiration, did you know you could also create boards to help you with your meal planning?
In this post, I reveal the meal planning boards I use to make my meal planning a breeze that I highly recommend creating. You’ll find a few other boards in it you might want to create too. There’s also a FREE Pinterest boards checklist for you to download as well! Be sure to snag your copy and start creating those boards today!
Speaking of Pinterest…
While you’re there, be sure to follow my meal planning board! You’ll find lots of great pins on meal planning plus hundreds of pins full of ideas for things such as what to put in your child’s lunchbox, crockpot recipes, cooking tips and tricks and much more!
There’s also a board FULL of recipes and meal ideas I highly recommend you follow too. Conveniently organised into sections, you’ll never run out of ideas of what to cook ever again! Ideas like:
- Quick and easy weeknight dinners.
- Fun meals to make with your kids on the weekends.
- Cakes, cookies and desserts.
- Healthy lunch ideas.
- Dishes with chicken, beef, pork and fish.
Why not spend half an hour scrolling through, pinning the ones that take your fancy?! Check out my Recipes board here.
Encouraging your kids to eat when they don’t want to can be a real challenge. So many of my mum friends and members of the A Simple and Contented Life community struggle with this. And that’s why I had to include it in this ultimate guide to meal planning. If you have fussy eaters in your family too and you struggle with getting them to eat, this is THE POST for you! In it, I share nine great tips that will have your kids clearing their plates in no time. No matter how fussy they are!
Getting your child to help in the kitchen is a great way to spend quality time together. It encourages them to eat their meals better too. But what if they don’t like cooking? Then what?! How do you encourage them to get involved? If you wish your child spent more time in the kitchen but don’t know how to make it happen, this post will help. In it, I share five fun and easy ways to get cooking with your kids that you can try today! My only question is, which one will you try first?
We could all do with a little help on the meal planning front at Christmas. And that’s why my post How to Make Christmas Meal Planning Easy is the final post in this ultimate guide to meal planning. Consider this your ultimate guide to meal planning especially for Christmas! From figuring out what to serve to how to prep in advance, this post is packed FULL of tips to help you make your Christmas meal planning less stressful and more enjoyable. Tips like how to:
- Creating your Christmas meal plan.
- Stock your pantry and freezer with staples to get you through the holiday season.
- Planning your meals for either side of Christmas.
- …and MUCH more!
The best part is that the strategies used can be applied to any holiday or special celebration you have coming up. Why just save them for Christmas? Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, Thanksgiving or another special occasion, follow these steps and you’ll have the meals you want to eat planned in no time at all!
Your meal planning struggles sorted…
There you have it, my ultimate guide to meal planning! If you wished you were more organised when it came to meal planning, or you’re new to the idea and don’t know where to start, these posts are guaranteed to help! Simply head over to the one that deals with the area you’re currently struggling with most. Better still, why not pin it too so you can come back to it later!
Love meal planning posts?
They’re my favourite too! I regularly write on this topic and so if you don’t want to miss out, be sure to subscribe to my emails. That way you’ll be the first to know when I publish a new meal planning post! Simply fill in your details below and I’ll send you my meal planning printables as a thank-you!
That’s it for this post! Do you meal plan? Has this post inspired you to give it a try? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time…
Did you like this post? You’ll LOVE these too!
- How to Get Organised and STAY Organised
- How to Create a Family Life You LOVE – Out NOW!
- 30 Surprisingly Easy Ways to Have a Better Day