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Meal Planning for the Lazy

Updated on September 1, 2012

Some Helpful Tools

Why for the Lazy?

You don't have to be lazy to read this hub; anyone who wants help quickly, easily and successfully plan meals for their family can benefit. I have never been a great cook, but I have always been pretty organized. These tips can help even the laziest cooks look like culinary stars to their families!

Figure out what to make food for your family




Meal Planning

I do menu planning once a week, but you could plan even further in advance if you'd like. I've seen people plan for 2 weeks and even a month.

1. Make a Menu Board. (Optional but helpful) You could just use a calendar and write on it each week / month, but I made a board that I can reuse over and over. I think it looks nice in our kitchen as well. I like that if anyone wanted to see what was for dinner, they know exactly where to look.

a. This board has two different pockets filled with meals in two categories: Crock Pot and Non-Crock Pot. Meal cards have the name of the meal printed on one side and the ingredients / recipe on the back.

b. You simply clip the meal onto the day you want to eat it. (Credit for the idea can be found here.)

2.) Write down any current Recipes you enjoy making and eating. If you're doing the board, print them on small cards as described above. If not, put them onto regular index cards and store in an index card box. (You can categorize these too if you'd like.) Make sure you include the ingredients!

3.) Find Meal Ideas. I have found no better place to search for breakfast / lunch / dinner / dessert / snack ideas than on pinterest!!! If you're not on, you should get on. Not only can you see what all your friends have pinned, but you can also search and find many recipes according to your specifications. {Click HERE for 54 Meal & Snack Ideas for Toddlers!}

4.) Transfer these ideas to the little cards / index cards. This will be a work-in-progress as you will always find more recipes to add.

5.) Dedicate some time each week to find recipes, put them on your menu board / calendar. Turn over each card and write all needed ingredients onto your grocery list. STICK TO YOUR LIST if you want to stay within a budget. Plan one night a week, if necessary, to eat leftovers.

6. & 7.) Grocery Shop and Cook. I recommend enlisting your spouse for help. :)

8.) Repeat. Create a routine by doing the planning at the same time each week. This way you won't forget and have to scramble to come up with something to eat at the last minute.

***) OPTIONAL: Have your family help you plan! You can easily make this into a game! Have your children and spouse each choose one card that they'd like to eat the following week. Of course, that person has to help make it!


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    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Hi, I find by planning the meals everything goes more smoothly and I do not waste so much time standing at the stove. I like you am not the best cook but I like being organized and ready. Wonderful tips, Stella

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i always plan before the weekend, dine outside!

    • caseymel profile image

      caseymel 4 years ago from Indiana

      Great ideas! With two small kids, I have a hard time getting food on the table. I need to get a meal plan in place in my house soon! (-:

    • ForLoveofCupcakes profile image

      Jamie Jensen 5 years ago from Chicago

      I found the idea on pinterest! If you go to my site there's a link in that post to the tutorial. :)


    • mommygonebonkers profile image

      mommygonebonkers 5 years ago

      How did you make the board, by the way? Love it!

    • ForLoveofCupcakes profile image

      Jamie Jensen 5 years ago from Chicago

      Moonlake & Mommygonebonkers I'm so glad this hub helped you!! Mommygonebonkers - since you work so many nights during the week, I highly recommend crock pot meals. This has been a lifesaver for me! Coming home to dinner already made is sooooo nice especially after a long day at work!

      Best of luck :)


    • mommygonebonkers profile image

      mommygonebonkers 5 years ago

      Love Love Love!!!!!

      I HAVE to do this!! My husband works during the day and I work 3-4 nights a week, and I like to have dinner ready before I leave (husband's specialties are ramen and ramen).

      I have done the meal planning before to help me grocery shop, but really need to get more organized and consistent, this will help tremendously with that!

      So excited to get started, thank you so much for the great idea!!

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 5 years ago from America

      My sister-in-law always made a menu and their meals were done right by that menu. My other sister-in-law made the same meal everyday of the week so she had no problem remembering. Friday was tuna fish sandwich and tomato soup. Me I do everything at the last minute. I use to write the menu down, promptly it. So I just gave up.

      Your hub is great. Voted Up.