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Meal Planning

Overview

Use this form to plan meals and organize your grocery list.

Planning your meals can help you eat healthier foods, go to the grocery store less often, save time at the store, and save money.

What's in your plan? It's up to you!

Here are some tips from people who have mastered the art of meal prep.

  1. Get out your cookbooks or look at recipes online to plan several main meals. Make a list of these menu ideas on a menu planner. Plan some quick meals for busy nights. You also can double some recipes that freeze well. Then you can save half for other busy nights when you don't have time to cook.
  2. Check your pantry for all the ingredients called for in recipes. Write down all the ingredients you need to buy. If you notice you are running low on certain basic items, put these on your grocery list too.
  3. Now fill in foods that you use to make breakfasts, lunches, and snacks, such as eggs, cereals, breads, tuna, milk, and juice. List plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  4. Post this list on the refrigerator. Add to it as you run out of foods or think of other things you need.
  5. When you go to the store or shop online, use the list—and stick to it. You save money by not making impulse buys. But you don't need to be so rigid that you pass up a good sale item.
  6. When you get home, cut out and post the menu planner in your kitchen. You may want to write down page numbers from recipe books or print out online recipes for quick reference. This way, whoever gets home first can start dinner.
  7. When the week is over, keep your menus. In a few weeks, you can go back and repeat the meals you liked.

The first few times you do this, it will seem like a fair amount of work. But the rewards are worth it. You'll soon get faster at planning your meals.

Menu planner

Plan your meals for at least 3 days.

Plan your meals

Breakfasts

Lunches

Dinners

Day 1:




Day 2:




Day 3:




Day 4:




Day 5:




Grocery list

Write down any basic food items you need and the ingredients for your meals. Reorganize this list, if needed, to match your grocery store's layout.

Plan your grocery shopping

Produce

Bakery and bread



Meat department



Milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, dairy



Deli

Frozen foods



Cereals and snacks



Canned foods



Condiments

Baking, oils, seasonings



Pasta, grains, dry beans



Beverages



Other

Credits

Current as of: September 20, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.

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