Meal Planning – A How-To Guide

Meal Planning - A How-To Guide


Meal planning can sometimes seem like a daunting task, but it really doesn’t have to be… Follow this simple meal planning guide, and you will learn how to eat well and save money at the same time!


Yes — If you are anything like my husband and I, we eat out everyday for lunch…. breakfast too!


And at night, we find it way too easy to give in to our daily cravings of whatever might come our way…. Maybe it was that Burger King that we drove by on the way home from work, that DQ commercial that we just saw on TV….


Or perhaps, we just feel unorganized and lazy and nothing seems more appealing than my absolute favorite go-to meal: Pizza!


Well, guess what…. those days are over! It’s time to shape up, it’s time to start saving money and it’s time to eat a little healthier!


So here’s how we are going to do it….. with a WEEKLY MEAL PLAN! I’m not only going to show you an easy way to do it, but a super-versatile way too, so you don’t get super-bored and give up!




Ready, set, go!



Step One – Create the base:

  • Designate each night of the week for a type of meat, (or protein if you don’t care for meat!) or a certain meal “type”.
  • I would define a meal “type” as something like tacos, or casserole, or even crock-pot!
  • By doing this, you are predetermining what you are going to need to purchase or take out of the freezer ahead of time.


Step Two – Make a list of side dishes:

  • You can use this list and switch up your choices for different nights of different weeks, and this way, you’re sure to never get bored!
  • Let’s face it — This isn’t the 1950’s and we don’t want to sit down and eat meat, potatoes, carrots — every single night!




To give you an idea, here is what the base of my weekly meal plan looks like:


Meal Planning - A How-To Guide



Now I’m going to give you some different ideas for these different categories, which include links to some of the best recipes out there! Go ahead, try them out! Eat yummy and save money! 😉



Chicken Recipes



Taco Recipes



Casserole Recipes



Pork Recipes



Beef Recipes






Side Dishes




Four Ingredient Gourmet Burgers (The quick and tasty burger hack!)

3 Ingredient Meat-Loaf

Get More out of your Hamburger Helper

Honey Apple Roasted Ham (A very quick and easy, delicious recipe!)

Steak Marinade! Perfect for Grilling!



Meal Planning - A How-To Guide




*This post may contain affiliate links.

18 thoughts on “Meal Planning – A How-To Guide

    • We’ve been using it for a few weeks and so far it’s totally helping us cut out all of the fast food! Thanks for reading! 🙂

  1. I have been using this method for over 50 years and believe me it has saved us money, time and was fantastic when we were paid only once a month. I could see what I needed to buy at a glance. Now that we are retired my husband and I take turns cooking and we know exactly what we will be needing and what the other needs to defrost. It’s fantastic, a life saver.

    • Oh I’ve definitely been doing a lot better since we started following this plan! We kind of fell of the wagon while we were on holidays the last couple of weeks, but I’m ready to start fresh again! LOL… Glad to see that it has been working as a long-term plan!! 🙂

    • Oh my goodness…. Feeding three teenagers, that’s a challenge all by itself!! LOL… Hope this helps! 🙂

  2. We could determine a menu by the meat.
    Mon Leftover meats (Casserole, stir fry, etc)
    Tue Beef (Tacos?)
    Wed Vegetarian
    Thu Pork
    Fri Fish
    Sat Cheese (Pasta, fondue, etc)
    Sun Poultry

    • Hi Cindy! Absolutely! I know that actually works well for a lot of people! Happy meal planning! 😀

  3. Meal planning is something I REALLY need to get more into. I do the same thing that you guys did- I eat out two meals per day! It’s super convenient and delicious but not conducive to saving money, which I need to do. I love that you gave so many recipes, too. I’m gonna be here for a while checking them all out!

  4. We are not big into eating out but definitely could use this to plan out our meals for the week and ensure that we have leftovers for lunches at work.

  5. These are some seriously great ideas for meals! I find knowing what you want to make ahead of time really gives you the option to get things to the table much faster!

  6. Pingback: Don't Skip Your Coffee! Saving Money in your Twenties DOESN'T Mean Breaking Up With Starbucks • Uninspired

  7. Great article! Definitely learned on how to create my own meal plan from this. So love the recipes also! Thanks for posting!

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