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How to Make a Meal Planning Chart

Leena Palande Dec 1, 2018
If you want to avoid rushing to the grocer at the eleventh hour, you can make use of the sample meal planning chart presented here. Just note down meal menus and recipes, along with a grocery list to avoid that emergency last-minute scurrying to the supermarket.
In today's espresso world, men and women spend maximum time at their workplaces. Very little free time is left for family and home, or for elaborate fussing in the kitchen. However, wrong eating habits like excessive consumption of fast food can eventually lead to health problems. Junk or highly processed food may prove harmful for the body.
Planning your meals well in advance, choosing the recipes and buying the ingredients accordingly can save your precious time as well as money. Moreover, this can help prevent health complications. Cooking will not be a stressful activity at all, if you start referring to the meal planning chart in your kitchen.

Making a Meal Planning Chart

You can prepare a weekly chart, like the one mentioned later, and hang it in your kitchen for your reference. You can also make a chart for the whole month, if you wish. You can write down various recipes under the categories 1,2,3,4,..., for every day.
Whatever grocery is needed for the whole week, you can buy every weekend as per your convenience. With such a well-planned schedule for a week, you will find it easier to manage everything quickly and perfectly at home.
Remember, each category should have several recipes under them, taking into consideration likes and dislikes of family members.

Sunday

Breakfast
  • Eggs
  • Omelets
Lunch
  • Pizza
  • Low fat milk shake
Snacks
  • Fresh fruits 
  • Steamed broccoli
Dinner
  • Tofu and spinach pasta
  • Fruits

Monday

Breakfast
  • Oatmeal
  • Cream of wheat
Lunch
  • Beef burger
Snacks
  • Fruit juice
  • Dry fruits
Dinner
  • Chicken veggie kabobs
  • Low fat pudding

Tuesday

Breakfast
  • Breakfast pie
  • Quiche
Lunch
  • Meatball casserole
Snacks
  • Low fat fruit yogurt
Dinner
  • Mexican casserole
  • Tortilla chips

Wednesday

Breakfast
  • Green beans
  • Oat biscuits
Lunch
  • Steamed veggies
  • Chicken salad
Snacks
  • Low fat milk shake
Dinner
  • Chicken and mushrooms
  • Fruits

Thursday

Breakfast
  • Mashed potatoes
Lunch
  • Turkey breast sandwich
Snacks
  • Green beans
Dinner
  • Brown rice, poached salmon
  • Salad

Friday

Breakfast
  • Brown bread, jam and butter
Lunch
  • Baked potato with fried onions, mixed veggies
  • Salad
Snacks
  • Green salad
Dinner
  • BBQ chicken
  • Baked beans

Saturday

Breakfast
  • Hot banana pancakes
Lunch
  • Parmesan chicken
Snacks
  • Apple slices and raisins
Dinner
  • Steak and potatoes
  • Low fat dessert

How to Plan Your Meals

Those who cook food for the family on a daily basis, sometimes find it difficult to decide on what to prepare. It then becomes a daunting task for them. No one likes to eat the same food item twice or thrice a week. We all want something new everyday.
You may plan your meals after consulting the family members, taking into consideration their likes, dislikes and preferences. Here are some useful tips for you; if you are interested in preparing a 7 day meal plan.
  • If one of the family members is interested in weight loss or weight gain; then you should take into consideration the calorie count of the recipes you plan to prepare.
  • You can collect dessert and other attractive menu recipes well in advance. This way, you will even be prepared if you have guests over.
  • Information on myriad ways of garnishing, dressing, decorating, presenting is easily available on the Internet. You can go through it and note down some important points.
  • Various books are available in the market, which can be referred to by all newcomers and expert cooks alike for some brush up and polishing of their cooking skills.
  • Here's how to add a magic touch to your mundane meal time. Arrange for an elegant barbecue in your lawn or a romantic candle light dinner by simply planning in advance. Here, planning is important.
  • Keep supper ideas for kids ready, to make tempting dishes for the kids in a jiffy. This will not only leave them smacking their lips, but also make you a super-mom.
  • Liquid diet recipes are to be kept handy, as they are useful when someone is sick or otherwise.
  • Meal planning on a budget does not imply that you have to eat tasteless food or the same food again and again. Delicious and homemade recipes can be enjoyed by all family members, even on a budget.
Nowadays, meal planning services are available at affordable prices which provide us with innovative lunch and dinner ideas along with recipes for unforgettable and enjoyable meal times.

Meal Planning on a Budget

Nowadays, in tough economic times, it's necessary to save money even while buying food items. You always have to think of your budget before planning any activity. You can actually spend money wisely by planning everything in advance. Perfect planning helps avoid wastage of both food and money.
Make a List: Make a list of recipes of the meals for the entire week. Check the cupboards, refrigerator, freezer for spices, grocery and other culinary necessities. Then make another list of grocery, fruits and vegetables that you need to buy.
Be Flexible: Keep a variety of recipes at hand as the plans might change according to the availability of the food items. If you find that some items are available on sale at very low and reduced costs, then you can always change your menu plan accordingly. That is why, it's always advisable to keep multiple recipe options handy on the chart.
Check 'Dented Cans' Section: In the dented cans' section, you can get items at around 30% lesser than the original prices. Most of the time, though cans are dented, food items are completely fine. Thus, you can save a lot through this idea.
Buy Seasonal Food: Fruits, vegetables and other items are expensive, when purchased off-season. It is true that these days, you get any food anytime. But you don't pay more when you don't buy it off-season.
Use Leftovers: Do not throw away the leftover food. Use it in a clever way, while preparing another dish, the next day. This way, you can easily save a lot. You can use half cup of leftover vegetables to make soup or stew or an omelet.
Avoid Unknown Ingredients: Do not go buying unnecessary and exotic ingredients which you will hardly be able to use on a daily basis. This will result in wastage of money and resources. Also refrain from choosing complicated recipe ideas with a lot of unknown or 'never-heard of-before' ingredients.
Plan Ahead: You can cook some of your meals ahead, keep them in the freezer and use them later for quick preparation.

Prepare Ingredients at Home: You can always grate the cheese at home easily than buying grated cheese. Similarly, instead of using ready to cook food, you can buy the ingredients and save your money.

Grocery List

Balanced diet plays an important role in a healthy lifestyle. These days, you can buy grocery online, if hard-pressed for time. You can use grocery coupons to save money. Here are some of the commonly required food items, from which you can make a list.

Breakfast

Eggs, bread, cheese, milk, cereals, fruits, fruit juices, tea, coffee, sugar, muesli, cornflakes, cookies, oats and frozen chicken/meat.

Lunch

Pizza base, pasta, fruits and vegetables, spices, salad dressing, vinegar, cooking oils, salt, cheese, butter, mayonnaise, ketchup, baked beans, rice, spaghetti and flour among others.

Snacks

Potatoes, lasagna, jam, mint leaves, fruits and vegetables, eggs, dry fruits, flours, spices, biscuits, fries, etc.

Dinner

Lentils, peas, fruits and vegetables, oils, rice, spices, cakes/pudding mix, poultry/meat and yogurt.
A meal chart promotes easy implementation of creative and practical meal ideas. With the help of the chart, you can feed your family well and lead a stress-free lifestyle, saving time and money. Moreover, you can spend more time with your family, and you can also have more time and money to nurture your hobbies.