“Moooooommmmm, what’s for dinner?”

Oh, the dreaded question after a long day that seems to settle on your slumped shoulders like a heavy wet coat.

Do I hear an Amen?

But what if you could take a glance and know exactly what was planned for dinner and know you have all the ingredients?

Would that still be a dreaded question?

What if you pointed to a list and then recruited your little one to wash the veggies for the salad while you prepped the chicken?

What if you didn’t have to dread cooking simply because you spent a little time the weekend before and did some planning?

Meal Planning doesn’t have to be hard, and could even be fun with these great tips and helps.

Meal Planning Tips and Help

Create One List in One Place

Your family has favorite recipes. How about creating a master list (and where the recipes are located – recipe card, recipe book, Pinterest) and make a quick reference to choose from when you’re thinking about your upcoming week?

Make Theme Nights

This idea came from halsanutrition.com and I love it!

How about:

Potato Night
Taco Night
Soup and Sandwich Night
Grill Night
Kids Cook Dinner Night
Breakfast for Dinner Night
Crockpot Night
Pasta Night
(and my favorite) Leftovers Night

Take Action Tip:  Include your family on this. Give them a list of options and let them pick what they want for the week.


Create “Food Zones” in your refrigerator and pantry

Having an organized fridge and pantry will save you time and money.
A fridge with zones keeps you from having food get hidden and then going bad.

Create zones like a ‘sandwich zone,’ ‘snack zone,’ and ‘leftover zone.’ Store all your food in clear packaging so you can see it quickly at a glance.

For your pantry, you can create zones for meal prep. Have a pasta zone, soup zone, baking zone, breakfast zone,

Take pictures of your pantry and fridge before you go shopping

Have you ever gotten to the store and wondered if you needed butter or spaghetti or sour cream?

Eliminate that by taking a quick pic of your pantry and fridge/freezer so you can see what you need when you’re walking the aisles at the store.

This tip works really well when you organize your fridge and pantry in food zones!

Double your recipe and make two at once

When you make recipes that freeze well, make two and freeze one!

If you’re already making one casserole, just buy the ingredients and make two. It will take a little more time, but you will love the feeling of having your freezer full of meals waiting for you on those busy nights!

Destress TipsTake Action Tip: Buy disposable aluminum pans, cover with foil and write on the foil the name of the recipe, the date, and the baking instructions.


As with anything, these tips will really work if you use them.

If you have some great tips please share them in the comment section below!

Happy Meal Planning!