How To Organize a Simple Meal Planning Checklist [For Beginners]

Creating a simple meal planning checklist makes your life so much easier. What foods do you like the most? Are there specific foods that you cannot eat at the moment? Creating a simple meal plan is doable and can be achieved right away with thinking and organizing of resources such as ingredients that are readily available for you.

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Table of Contents

How to meal plan if you are busy

When working a job sometimes we can only have enough minutes for breakfast. Your schedule is very vital when it comes to successfully planning your meals. 

Organize meal planning list

Make a list of recipes that you frequently use as they are already by your taste standards and judgement. If you plan to adjust ingredients you can do so already in this meal planning stage. New recipes can be observed and when have some free time you can explore.

Time Management when planning meals

Time management for meals are what should be your focus at when planning simple meals.

When you decided to have your dishes or meals set them up for your schedule. As you can tell that a well balanced meals that has your favorite foods, we should also include fruits and vegetables which are needed by our bodies.

Schedule recipes

Schedule recipes throughout the week to sort out cooking times daily or reheating ingredients on a pan or microwave.

When you already have a schedule of meals that you already have a recipe for jot down the ingredients needed for everything.

Check your inventory such as your pantry and cupboards. Do not get unnecessary food that is not on your checklist. Avoid duplicates and start to be organize with your time and grocery list.

Grocery shopping Times Assigned

You are now ready to go grocery shopping.

When shopping for ingredients always check the label or nutrition facts before purchasing. Gauge the price average of your food before putting into your cart.

Budget Meal Planning

Always stay on budget and only buy what you need to avoid overspending. Very important part of grocery shopping is the expiration date. Even if you are shopping at your favorite grocery store or a famous grocery place, never forget to read when the items will expire to avoid food wastage.

Some items are already on sale and we might be more hasty when putting it on our shopping cart. Chances are the items are already close to it’s expiration date and the food cannot be eaten anymore.

After having the process of simple meal planning you can cook in batches or set a cooking schedule to be organized. 

Basic meal planning steps

You can easily have simple steps when it comes to meal planning. When thinking of a menu to serve your family or your own simple meal plan never forget to eat nutritious and foods you will love.

You can have an interview with your husband and kids on what foods would they want for this week. Your husband could say he wants some meat for his dinner and kids would like box of cereals for their breakfast.

You can easily fill up your meal planning bank of food recipe meal ideas easily having your own family as contributors.

Structured Meals

Having a more body structured meals done by food categories you can organized meals for main dishes, breads, pastas, rice, fruits, vegetables, soups, salads, desserts and many more that you can think of.

Family Meal Planning

Ask yourself what are family favorites that they always request and looks for some food items could be sides like french fries or mashed potatoes with gravy.

Add what you think is best for your family’s meals wants and needs. Before doing groceries always check your inventory as I would say.

Your pantry and kitchen cabinets can hold more important ingredients that can add more spice into your home cooked meals. Do not ignore what you have in stock on your food storage as you can save more money when grocery shopping.

Meal planning and organizing goes hand in hand in Scheduling. Although hard with organizing meals it is so worth it to not waste money from grocery items that will just be a waste. 

Check Seasonality and Holiday Meal Planning

If you are planning a party or a special get together with your friends and family, simple meal planning is the key to be organized.

Always check seasonality and holidays which some specific ingredients will be needed like turkey on Thanksgiving. When outdoing grocery shopping you will stumble upon the clearance section and grocery promotional sales.


Save money And Budget Meals

To save even more dollars bring a coupon with you to enter more discounts and less on your final price receipt. Budget savvy and bargain hunters can use their promo coupon codes when shopping for groceries.

I understand that buying frozen or ready to eat foods are convenient and time savers. Eat fresh and cooking from scratch is a much healthier way into diving deep with making a simple meal plan.

You can actually save more money when you buy the ingredients and cooking them from start to finish. You will have a complete control of spices and what goes in and what ingredients that are added on your meal plan.

Creating a weekly meal plan

Creating a weekly meal plan could be extensive, organizing a simple meal plan is much better.

Envision a wide array of ingredients to use in cooking. Your go to recipes are trusted already by your taste buds and tested already to save time and effort.

Although there is nothing wrong with trying new food concept or food recipe.

Healthy Meal Planning

List out and take into consideration any health food advisory of doctors or food meal diet plans for you and your family and follow them.

Selecting meals by food parts of a meal plate such as grains, protein, and vegetables is a good start and basic foundations of meal planning.

Having a balance meal to keep us feeling full and satisfied is very important. Do not skimp and overspend on ingredients and your food budget.

Weekly Basic Meal Planning

Making an organized lists on what to put on Mondays to Sundays which are planned ahead is so good. It takes out more of the guessing game and saying you do not have anything to eat.

Avoiding Fast Food

Which leads a lot of people to order at fast food restaurants and making this a routine and become unhealthy.

Making meals out of ingredients you already have plus mixing foods you will grocery shop for.

Setting aside a food meal budget planning is very effective.

Maintain an Organized Meal planning

Maintaining your basic meal plan week by week is now manageable after completing this steps and tips.

You can mix it up and add more recipes for the next week and just repeat your meal plan list to stay on budget and keep you and your family well nourished and fed right.

Meal planning for beginners

If you are a complete beginner when it comes to meal planning do not fret as you have found the answer you are looking for.

Meal Planning Style

I know that planning your meals are your main focus now. Think of foods that you really like eating for the week and start from there.

Instances are your favorite foods will make you feel more full and satisfied. Going in and making a more balanced choices with your meals to make meal planning healthy. What is your meal planning style?

You can figure that out when thinking of times you can cook and have time to grocery shop. Are you more of a weekly meal planner or a daily meal planner?

Making your Pantry stock ready and filled

To avoid limiting yourself of endless cooking possibilities try to make your pantry filled with basic pantry items like rice, pasta, potatoes, herbs and spices.
Indicate and add stocks of food items that you and your family already eats.

Organize family Menu Preferences

Some families likes to eat fish more or have more vegetables on the side on their every meal such as breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Your common food meals and family meals preferences are the main thing to strategize and organize with.

Stock up on Food Staples

Having fridge staples in stock like ground beef or sausage links as easy to cook meals are handy and will not leave you feeling hungry. Next, Make your kitchen and cabinets ready and stock up for cooking.

Batch cooking Meals

If you like batch cooking meals for your family and saving them on Tupperwares or containers, you will like being more organized in your kitchen.

As much as the others will say to cook a yummy dish you need to have the right ingredients that will make the dish work and delicious.

How to Meal plan if busy

We all have crazy busy schedules and working full time 9-5 jobs cooking should not be one of our problems right?

You should delegate a time for planning your meals either on your break time at work or opening up a notes app on your phone making a list from Monday to Sunday.

Much better to organize your simple meal plan for a whole month already to prepare and shop in bulk when you are busy.

Shopping for ingredients should be done on another day. Grocery shopping for me feels therapeutic. Meal planning should include going to the grocery store on days you have available.

The key is to not get distracted with other items especially when you are on a budget. We all have been there when we see a new item on a grocery shelf, try to regain focus and think that you should not break your budget as your money needs to be spend on other important aspects in your life too.

Always think that Food is Medicine in a way that you should love your body and make your meals nourishing and flavorful to enjoy.

Organize meal planning


Upon entering your week to meal plan have a notepad and pen to jot down meal recipes to include on your cooking list. You can actually multitask if you are already confident in your cooking skills.

For food this week having a menu planning is essential so you will know what foods to have. When selecting recipes, you can start cooking in sequence as you will need an extra burner or a food cooking in an oven.

Other ingredients like meat should be marinated for hours before cooking.

Gauge foods that will take time and settle against foods that can be cooked fast. Find a cooking strategy that you already know what to do. Shopping for ingredients would overlap and in that way you can double down on ingredients or maybe use half of a packet on another dish.

Organize food measurements

Use your resources wisely and always look for food measurements like mL or grams. Meal plan menu for a week are divided into the days and also the meal times your family eats.

Snacks are often at a hands reach to be enjoyed and eaten by your family.

Whereas breakfast, lunch and dinner would need some cooking time or assembling of ingredients which you need to take an account for.

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