We all need organizing tips in one area or another, and these focused just on meal planning are just what you need to make it easier to manage one of your largest household chores. Whether you are meal planning for two or four doesn’t matter. Organization is what keeps you from spending too much money and wasting food. These tips will help you to stay in budget and have great food on your table.
21 Organizing Tips For Meal Planning
Create a master list of family favorites to rotate week to week. This will include classic dishes like tacos, spaghetti, pot roast, etc. that everyone in your family enjoys.
Organize favorite recipes by main ingredient (rice, beans, chicken, beef, pork, etc.)
Divide those recipes by ingredients for easy calculations on your shopping list
Use a spreadsheet or calendar to track what you have on your list month to month so you rotate meals out regularly
Create a pantry and freezer stock list and update as you add more items or take away from your stock for recipes.
Check shopping list against pantry and freezer before going to the grocery store
Invest in online menu plans for more options.
Stick with the majority of your meals being family favorites and add new recipes in sparingly until you know you will like them.
Enlist help for freezer meal preparation to make it go easier. Kids can help with slicing, dicing, measuring, etc.
When creating freezer meals, prep all vegetables and meats at the same time then divide up for individual meals.
Invest in quality freezer storage bowls, bags, or vacuum seal devices to keep freezer burn away.
Use proper labels on freezer storage bags that include date prepared, dish, ingredients, and expiration date. This helps you to direct teens or your spouse to grab a meal out of the freezer to thaw and prepare when you aren’t available.
Organize in freezer by type of meal (soup, chili, entree, pasta, sauce) so you can access what you need easily.
Limit options so you aren’t overwhelmed when shopping. Stick with a few basic meals and add in only a handful of new or different items each week. This is a favorite in our organizing tips for meal planning since it keeps your budget and stress levels low.
Create meal plan around local sales and seasonal foods. This will include more fresh produce and things that are grilled in the summer, and more soups and stews in winter months.
Bulk shop when great deals on seasonal items to make extra meals for another month.
Utilize a Crockpot, Instant Pot, Pressure Cooker, or similar easy device for cooking recipes hands-free while you are at work or limited on time.
Include basic breakfast and lunch menus in your meal planning to make sure you are covering all needs when grocery shopping.
Plan for leftovers to be used for lunches or a second evening meal.
Utilize large cuts of meat like pot roasts or a whole chicken to create multiple meals. A pot roast can then be shredded for tacos, or diced and added to stews. A whole chicken can be shredded for quesadillas or a homemade chicken salad.
Get your family involved in the process so you have less burden on yourself, and fewer complaints at meal time.
These are some basic but great organizing tips for meal planning success. These tips will help eliminate frustrations and the time-consuming struggle of deciding what’s for dinner.
More Meal Planning Tips:
- Meal Planning For Busy Moms
- Busy Moms Guide To Meal Planning
- How To Make A Meal Plan
- 21 Meals For Under $100