How To Organise Your Meals : Monthly Menu Calendar Free!
Meal planning for beginners.
Meal planning for beginners is a weekly step by step guide to help you get and stay organised, in March, we shall be discussing all aspects meal planning and how to implement each step.
What is a meal planner?
Meal planning will mean different things to different people, to some it might mean getting a healthy meal on the table as quickly as possible, to others it might be having a month’s worth of meals planned far in advance.
Meal planning to me means putting procedures and habits into place each day to enable you to smoothly transition from your hectic workday into mealtimes without any last minute panics or quick dashes to the supermarket.
A meal planner is a tool to use to enable you to forward plan your meals, it can be created around your family schedule and could be a weekly meal planner or a monthly meal planner depending on how advanced you’d like it to be.
The benefits of using a meal planning calendar.
Today we live in an ultra-busy world, we work longer hours than ever before, we have busier social lives than our predecessors did, and we spend more family time together than any other generation, focusing on after-school activities, sports clubs and parties more than ever before.
Even though we have healthy food readily available to us whenever we would like it, many of us grab the first sugary or salty snack that we can get our hands on, and we are a nation of junk food addicts who are used to super speed food served in a blink of an eye.
Any super organised person will tell you how much they rely on their meal planner to help them stick to a healthy meal plan and avoid having to make pallid unhealthy ready meals in emergencies.
The benefits of using a meal planner are:
- Super speedy meals whenever you need them
- Healthy home cooked meals packed full of goodness
- Always knowing what’s for tea every evening
- Wider choice of meals
- Less food wastage
- Less impulse purchasing in the supermarket
Meal planning can be very daunting and overwhelming, if you are trying to plan out meals for the week or month in advance using a weekly meal planner or monthly meal planner can help you get organised and purchase all the ingredients you need to batch cook your meals. Meal planning is far easier than scrambling around trying to find something in the kitchen at 5 pm after a busy day at work and definitely worth the effort
Making a meal plan is a bit like going out for a run, the hardest part is starting!
If you missed my post about shopping for all your pantry staples you should read it here first, so you have all the ingredients you need before you start meal planning.
Making a weekly meal planner.
- Grab a pen and write down all the meals you like to eat throughout the week, it doesn’t have to be fancy just a quick list of 7 meals you and your family like to eat regularly.
- Write a quick list of the activities you attend each day and evening.
Now you’ve got a basic outline of the days you are busy, and the days you are free, and the meals you like to eat.
Weekly meal planning calendar
This weekly menu planner and grocery list is a simple way to plan healthy family meals a week in advance and is designed to work well with my free planner pages which you can download here
Weekly Meal Planner.
This is a slightly more in-depth planner than the weekly menu planner and is excellent if you have small children who have snacks and packed lunches for school as it includes a space for breakfast, lunches and dinners. This is a must for budget meal planning!
Themed meal planning calendar
Organizing your weekly meal planner by themes such as country, a favourite family night, meat or vegetarian nights can take the boredom out of meal times and can inspire some fabulous dishes and get the creative and culinary juices flowing!
The Family Meal Planning calendar
My advice would be to start simply, so you don’t get overwhelmed, try planning and shopping just for a week until you get the hang of it. using a family menu planner is a great way to get the family to eat together and a great place to start because you are not having to learn new dishes and probably have a lot of the ingredients already in your pantry.
I have put together a beautiful FREE bundle of different meal planner templates, try different plans to see which works best for you!
Monthly menu calendar
How to use the weekly meal planner
Use my FREE weekly meal planner to jot down the activities you have on this week.
On the evenings you are busiest, schedule the quickest and easiest meals to make from your list and schedule the meals that are hardest to make onto the evenings where you are free.
Jotting down the meals which take a lot of preparation onto the quieter days on your planner ensures that you have plenty of time on those days to prepare the time-consuming meals.
Meat can be frozen and thawed the night before you need it, ready, to chuck into the slow cooker the next morning!
If you followed the steps in my last post, for meal planning, you should have stocked up on most of the ingredients already!
In my post Healthy Meal Prep Ideas, I will be sharing with you some amazing meal prep to make it easier and quicker to knock up those healthy meals in minutes, I’ll also be sharing with you my tips on how to prep those healthy meals for the next step in our meal prep extravaganza! Don’t miss it, subscribe today to receive our updates!
If you’re a beginner why not try downloading some of our beautiful meal planning FREE templates to see which would fit into your weekly schedule. They’re simple and super versatile for every busy parent.