Make Your Own Meal Plan

How to Meal Plan for Beginners + free printables! |
How to Meal Plan for Beginners + free printables! |
How to Meal Plan for Beginners + free printables! |

How to Meal Plan for Beginners + free printables! |

Less stress, less waste, less spending.

I sound like an infomercial but I really have felt each of these benefits from learning to plan my meals ahead of time! The thought of asking “what’s for dinner?” every afternoon, trying to come up with a plan, maybe swinging by the grocery store because I can’t remember if I have all the ingredients, THEN starting dinner when I get home sounds exhausting for a plan-ahead and anxious personality like mine. Enter meal planning.

Whether you plan for a week, 2 weeks, or the whole month, meal planning gives you a whole lot of bang for your buck.

  1. Less stress– By spending an hour or two to pick out recipes and assign them to days, you know exactly what you need when you go to the store and don’t have to spend extra time stressing about if you’ve forgotten something. You also know exactly what you’re having for dinner each day. You can thaw things ahead of time, start dinner right away without deliberating what to do, and even plan for leftovers for lunch.
  2. Less waste– This is a big one for me, too. Before meal planning, I would often buy fresh foods and completely forget to use them before they went bad. I also would buy too much food, “just to be safe.” With meal planning, you build your grocery list right from recipes and know exactly when to use the items. While things certainly happen and we still throw out a few things, there is much less waste- including wasted money!
  3. Less spending– It is a universal truth that the more times you go in the grocery store, the more money you will spend. By limiting my “pop in for 1 thing, walk out with 7” trips,  we have streamlined our grocery budget tremendously.  You can’t predict or control prices, but you can limit your unnecessary purchases by knowing exactly what you need by planning ahead. It also saves on going out to eat because you just can’t handle making a last-minute meal or have nothing on hand. Not saying we don’t have a spontaneous date night to Chick-Fil-A every few months, but truly, we hardly ever go out to eat because we are able to eat well at home, and it’s already planned!

Now that I have been meal planning for several years, I cannot imagine doing it any other way. It takes some time investment on the front end, but the money, waste, and above all, stress it saves me are invaluable. There are so many decisions to be made each day (looking at you, decision fatigue)- so having our meals decided in advance is a huge help.

That’s why I’ve decided to put together a meal planning series & free printables to help you develop a system that reaps all these benefits in your life!

meal planning system printables how to

Get the printables & a step-by-step course!



Read the individual steps:

8 thoughts on “Make Your Own Meal Plan”

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jessica! I definitely know that feeling. I think two of the biggest reasons we’ve been able to stick to meal planning (and save money, like you said!) is by growing our “recipe bank” and having meals that are really quick & easy. I would definitely recommend these posts below!

      My favorite easy recipes-
      A variety of other recipes-
      Keeping track of your recipes-

      Hope this helps you! I know it can be rough getting started but it’s totally worth it 🙂 You can do it!

  1. I began doing this when my husband was in the military, I stayed home and we had 2 small children ( later 3). We were in California where everything is higher. Meal planning helped us stay on budget and always know what we had. We did buy in bulk also, once a month we would plan a trip to a butcher shop about an hour away to get fresh ground beef in bulk at the best price in the area. It was a great trip with lots of memories now.
    Now my husband is disabled and stays home while I work. He has taken it steps further by planning the grocery list step up as you would find it in the store. It takes him about 45 minutes to do what I would do in 2 hours because he goes only by the list. This has really saved us money. If it’s not on the list he doesn’t get it. I have really learned to add things to the list.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience, Kathy! I’m so glad that meal planning has benefited your family financially, both when you were doing it and now as your husband does! I order my grocery list the same way and it really helps me save time & stay focused in the store. Great tip!

      Thanks again for reading and hope you have a wonderful day!

  2. It is only my husband, daughter and I in our home but we don’t like the same foods. How do you prepare one meal for three different taste?

    1. Brennan @ Our Home on Purpose

      Oh goodness, Jody! So sorry I’m just replying.

      Thanks for reaching out. Fortunately, my husband will pretty much eat everything but our 9-month-old was just confirmed with several allergies so I may find myself in this boat soon!

      My first thought would be to brainstorm meals that each person likes. See if there are any common ingredients that you can start with and just maybe add seasonings, toppings, or sides toward the end.

      Another great option is a “meat and three” or sheet-pan type of recipe. If one person likes brussels sprouts and other like potatoes, you can have multiple options available in one meal.

      Hope that at least gets your wheels turning! Would be happy to chat further. 🙂

  3. Hi Brennan, I’m a new blogger and stumbled onto your blog while researching for my own. I love meal planning too! Thanks for sharing your great ideas. P.S. I LOVE the look of your blog! Very clean and easy to read.

    1. Hi Abby,

      Thanks so much for your kind words! I appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to comment.

      Enjoyed checking out Six at the Table, as well 🙂 Good luck on your blogging journey to help your readers!

      Have a great day,


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