When I got married my planning routine was totally flipped upside down. For one, I moved in with my husband, Joey, which already messes with your routine. Also, we were in a global pandemic! Lastly, now I had a whole other human to cook for. I could not figure out a meal planning system that worked for us that didn’t make me feel like I was in the kitchen forever, or constantly grocery shopping.
- Meal Planning system Video
- Meal Planning system Mission
- Meal Plan system Criteria
- full-year Meal Planning System
- Seasonal Meal Planning system
- Weekly Meal Planning system
- How to create a full-year meal planning system
- Lunch meal Planning system
- Breakfast Meal Planning system
- Weekend Meal planning system
- Shop my Six Month Meal Plans
- Tips for a balanced full-year meal planning system
- Pin it for later – full-year meal-planning system
- About Me
Meal Planning system Video
Meal Planning system Mission
This put me on a mission to find 2 things: healthy, filling meals and a meal-planning system that worked for us in our new stage of life.
My meal planning system ensures we always know what’s for dinner; have tons of variation in our meals, and eat healthy all year long.
Meal Plan system Criteria
I started this plan when I was pregnant with our first and I knew I wanted something that anybody could replicate coming into our home when I was postpartum. Or that my husband could easily copy when I was recovering. I also wanted something that only took me 5 min per week from start to finish when it came to meal planning.
full-year Meal Planning System
I start with a binder with dividers, sheet protectors, and sticky tabs. Then, I determine how many meals I need each season – I split my seasons between Fall and Winter and then Spring and Summer. For us, I only want to repeat the same meals 4 times each 6-month block which means I need about 65 meal ideas for the whole year if I plan for 5 meals per week.
Seasonal Meal Planning system
I split my meal plan into Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer so that I can have seasonally appropriate meals for each block of seasons. Then, I divide my recipes up by week. To do this, I stick a sticky tab for every 5 recipes.
Weekly Meal Planning system
Each week I look at the meal lineup for the week ahead. I make my grocery order on the Fred Meyer app and schedule it for pick up for Sunday morning. I do this every week and I never have to use my brain power to plan meals.
There are times where we trade meals out if they just aren’t working for us anymore. But I always have meal ideas or recipes I’ve created that I can replace it with. Then, when that week is over, I just take those pages and stick them to the back of that season’s section.
How to create a full-year meal planning system
- Get a binder with sheet protectors, dividers and sticky tabs.
- Determine how many meals you need each month.
- Find that amount of recipes your family loves.
- Fill the binder with those recipes separating each week with a tab.
- At the beginning of each week go through the ingredients you need and make a grocery list.
Lunch meal Planning system
My lunches are just what we have for dinner the night before. I love this method because I don’t have to ever spend all day in the kitchen meal-prepping for the week. I just make extra dinner!
Breakfast Meal Planning system
I keep breakfast meal planning super simple. I just have a running list of breakfasts we enjoy and I choose which one or two sound good for that week.
We usually have a couple of different options throughout the week so we aren’t eating the same thing for breakfast all week long. Breakfast is the only meal I bulk meal prep and I do this on Sundays after picking up my groceries, or while I’m making dinner.
Weekend Meal planning system
On the weekends, we do a combination of things for our meals. First, we use up the smorgasbord of leftovers from the week. Second, I have what I call “easy-button meals” that are always stocked in my pantry or freezer. These are healthy options that are quick and easy to make. Lastly, the weekends are when I get to have fun creating new recipes!
Shop my Six Month Meal Plans
I designed this plan to take out all the stress behind the question “what are we going to eat?” A meal plan that makes it possible to only eat out when you WANT to – not because you have no other option.
This plan was designed with working parents, stay-at-home mamas, and busy people in mind! Each recipe only takes about 30 minutes or less of hands-on time and most can be prepared start to finish within 30 minutes flat.
I made this meal plan to fit everybody’s cooking style whether you like to cook from scratch or semi-homemade. Head over to the shop check it out!
Tips for a balanced full-year meal planning system
- Balance out your proteins each week.
- Vary your seasonal veggies each week.
- Mix up easy meals with more difficult ones throughout the week.
- Use similar ingredients in the same week. e.g. dishes that use cilantro, or something that you don’t typically use all of for one dish.
- Know how many lunches you need and make sure you have that many meal prep-able dinners.
- Plan for one protein, one veggie and one starch or grain at each meal.
- For your Spring and Summer plan, think seasonal veggies and fresh meals. This is the time to use fresh herbs and maybe even harvest fruits and veggies from your own garden!
- For your Fall and Winter plan, think seasonal veggies and hearty meals. This is the time to whip out your crockpot or dutch oven for soup, use warm spices and prepare some clean comfort food for your family!