Friday Five - My 5 Step Process to Meal Planning


I can’t say that I enjoy planning our weekly dinners and grocery shopping, but I have found what works best for me to make it a little more enjoyable and maybe even a tiny bit fun. Here are the five steps I take to plan our weekly dinner menu.


1.     I have a weekly order of produce send to us from Misfit Market. I love this company because we get tons of organic produce for half the price. It’s always a surprise what we will get, that’s the fun part for me! Once I open the box, I go through and think of meals I can make with each thing. It’s usually a mix of recipes I make often and new recipes I find online based on what’s in the box. It keeps things interesting ;) Use This code to save on your first box!

2.     I use the MealsUp App to plan out our weekly menu and store all my recipes. That way I can click on what dinners we are having each day of the week, add the recipes to the app if needed, and it creates my shopping list for me! This has been a game changer. My best tip is to have a plan when you go grocery shopping. If you don’t, you’ll most likely end up over shopping or have a lot of meals that you don’t have all the ingredients for… which results in either a lot more trips to the store or a lot of spoiled food. I know from experience, haha. So wether you use this app (or one like it) or you just write your meals out on paper, this will save you time and money.

3.     When planning meals, I try to think of things that use the same ingredients, so nothing goes to waste. An example of this is, I will buy a bag of naan and use it with chicken tikka Masala, as well as for personal pizzas, and flat bread sandwiches. That’s just one example.

4.     I like to shop at Costco for meats in bulk and freeze them. This means, again, less trips to the store which is a win in my book. I go to Costco every about every 3 weeks and I run to either Trader Joe’s or Hanford’s for the rest of the ingredients I need every 1-2 weeks.

5.     I prep what I can. If I know I’m going to have a super busy week, I plan to make meals that I can prep ahead of time so that I can just throw them in the crockpot, Instapot, or oven easily. Other times I’ll just do a little prep like pre chop the veggies or make sauces ahead of time. And I almost always prep my breakfast smoothies, because if I don’t, then I don’t eat breakfast.

Bonus tips:

  • You may like ordering your groceries online and either having them delivered to you or having a “personal shopper” have everything ready for you to pick up.

  • Make extra dinner to have for lunches throughout the week - This is my favorite thing to do. I couple of recipes I love to make at the beginning of the week so that I have them all week for lunches are fajitas, turkey stuffed poblano peppers, soups, or lasagna.

  • If you have an Amazon Echo Show you can ask it to find recipes with a specific ingredient. I do this a lot when I don’t know what to do with something that came in my Misfits Market box.

There you have it! That’s my process for meal planning, I you enjoyed reading it. Let me know in the comments if this was helpful and if you would like to see more blogs like this one in the future!