Meal Plan Like A Boss

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When you read the words “meal planning,” how does that make you feel? Do your palms get sweaty and your insides clench? Does the overwhelm descend before you’ve even started? For many people, that is exactly their reaction.

We have found meal planning to be absolutely essential if we want to eat healthy, unprocessed food. If there is no plan, we’ll end up picking up something that isn’t as healthy (or cheap) as we could make at home (hello, greasy pizza delivery!). If we have a plan and have the ingredients in the house, we know we can get a yummy meal on the table quickly. That doesn’t mean meal planning is always easy, but I have a few tricks up my sleeve that help.

Schedule meal planning time

In our house, everyone knows that on Saturday morning we are going to gather together to discuss food for the week. If you have a time scheduled each week to plan, you’ll never find yourself standing in the grocery store wondering what to feed the starving kids pulling on your legs. Get it on the calendar and stick with it!

Post the plan

We have a big whiteboard in our kitchen where we can write out the meal plan for the week. At night as I’m washing dishes and tidying up the kitchen, a quick glance at the board can tell me if I need to pull out meat to defrost, or if I need to do any other prep for the next day. Everyone can glance at the board and know exactly what is going in our bellies for the week.

Use your Google calendar

I also like to enter the plan in my Google calendar each week. If you don’t have a Google calendar, you probably have some kind of calendar that you can access from both your computer and your phone. I love having my meal plan with me wherever I am! As you are standing in line at the DMV or wondering when your boring work meeting will be over, you can be checking your meal plan and reminding yourself what dinner is tonight.

Use grocery shopping apps

Have you ever gotten to the store only to find you’ve left your list at home? I love to use the Out of Milk app for grocery shopping for this very reason. As we are creating our meal plan, I can quickly add the ingredients to my shopping list on my laptop, and that same list will show up on both my phone and my husband’s phone. Or I can create a list from home and he can stop at the store on his way home from work, and he will already have the list. This is just one of the many app options out there that help you not lose your list!

Get the whole family involved

This is huge! If you only apply one tip from this post, let it be this one. Gather the cookbooks, pull up your favorite Pinterest boards, and get the kids (and hubby) busy picking out recipes. Your picky ones will be much more likely to eat the food that they help pick out themselves. Plus, you’re teaching them valuable life skills. Parenting win!

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Save a list of your favorite recipes

If you have some kind of list of your family’s favorites, it’s super easy to go back to that list time and time again looking for ideas. This can be a Pinterest board, index cards, or some kind of a binder. Do whatever works best for you.

Use online shopping

So many grocery stores are now offering online shopping as a service. Some will deliver, some will bring the groceries out to your car, but either way it saves you so much time! Even if no stores near you offer online shopping, everyone has access to Amazon Prime or Thrive Market. There are so many great options now for shopping online, now go use them!

Creating and sticking to a meal plan is one of the very best ways to improve your health and the quality of the food that you eat. It can be a fun bonding time with family, and it can save you money! I hope these tips help you step up your meal planning game, and even start to enjoy it!

What strategies do you use when it comes to meal planning?


Emily Allen - Integrative Nutrition Health Coach


Emily Allen is a former obese girl turned Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She lost 70 pounds by cutting processed food, an experience she documented on her site, Emily now teaches families how to cut processed foods and live their healthiest lives. She teaches cooking classes, does public speaking about healthy living, and has even appeared on local news programs featuring her recipes. Emily believes that anyone can live a healthier life, no matter their schedule or budget. You can find her on her site, on Instagram, on Pinterest, and on Facebook.


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3 Responses to Meal Plan Like A Boss

  1. Heather says:

    I love this post! I am totally a Pinterest addict when it comes to meal planning. I usually make a plan Friday mornings, so I can shop online and pick it up after work. If it’s not done in time for that, I shop Saturday. As long as I plan and take a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon to prep for the week, we are set for the week. I get home very close to dinner time, so I have things I can either put in the crockpot, throw together quickly, or easy things that my husband can put together while I’m on my way home. I definitely have a lot of room to grow in this area, but I can really use these tips you’ve given. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us!

  2. Desi says:

    Ha ha Jenny! I loved when you said that, all the time that we would save! Online grocery shopping is clutch!!

  3. Desi says:

    Nidia! Way to go 4 years!!! That is great. I have never heard of Flipp?! I need to check it out. Thank YOU!!

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