Making a Meal Plan


I am a list maker. I love to make lists and attempt to keep organized in that way. My husband will give me grief about the amount of lists I make. One for groceries, one for household items, my to do list, my “upcoming projects” list, and my packing lists for trips; just to name a few! Honestly, I feel that after 3 kids, I have no memory and I am so scatter-brained that if I don’t have a list, I am just a hot mess!

The greatest piece of advice I received when I got married was from a very dear friend who was also a newlywed. She told me, “You will save yourself time, money and a huge headache if you make a meal plan every week.” I completely dove into my marriage with that wisdom and am so grateful I did. It has been wonderful to have a meal plan and to be able to make a grocery list from said meal plan. (I even have a *list* of our monthly favorite meals in case I need help!) It has been a life saver! Now, I have a dry erase board on the refrigerator that lists my intentions for meals each night. I love not hearing “Mom (Or “Hun”)! What’s for dinner?” every. single. night. They know to look at the board!

How do I go about making a meal plan? I grab my trusty tablet, a pen, my list of faves and pop a squat on the couch! I fold the bottom of the top sheet up a couple inches and label “M, T, W, Th, F, S, S” down one side. Then I start to look at all of the recipes I have pinned. I try to limit myself to 1 or 2 new meals a week. I have a family of picky eaters, so I have to be real careful about how many different things I try to introduce at once!

Monday night is always spaghetti night. Spaghetti, meatballs and garlic bread. We have dubbed it “Sketti Monday”. I’ll be honest, pizza is usually on the menu one night a week. Whether it’s frozen pizza, make-your-own mini pizzas, French bread pizza or Little Caesar’s $5 deal!  The kids love it, it’s cheap and it’s easy. Works for me! My family loves pasta and bread. Seriously, any carb will do! I try to break up the pasta meals in a week. But, at least three times a week, we do have pasta. Chicken alfredo, homemade macaroni and cheese, lasagna, spaghetti; all of these are favorites! Another favorite that I love to serve: cheesy ham and potatoes. Simple and delicious!

I would encourage you to make the effort to have a meal plan. It helps the checkbook and having a plan eliminates scrambling at the last minute to throw something together! I don’t like when 4:30 comes and I’m digging in the pantry trying to throw something together, or making a last minute trip to the grocery store. Make a plan, make a list and take a little stress out of your life!

What are you cooking up this week?


  1. i’m also a list maker – but i’ve tried the extreme menu planning before where i go crazy and plan a month out and use spreadsheets and all that and it just left me crazy! thanks for giving me an easier solution! now…just need a gourmet chef to go with it!!

  2. I love lists! I went as far as making a checklist for all my lists this year – a little crazy sounding, but helpful for me. I have a menu board I put together this summer that has been a lifesaver. Love the idea of 1-2 new meals each week.

  3. Great post Rachel! I love to meal plan and I love to make lists-sometimes I add things to my list when I have already done them just to feel a sense of accomplishment….crazy lady over here.

  4. Even though I know the blessings of meal planning, I seem to go in and out of devotion to it. I feel like I’ve gotten a handle on what foods are staples in my household; and since I keep my pantry stocked with those things, I can usually get by without planning too far ahead.


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