Finding ideas for meal planning is often a place where people get overwhelmed and stressed with meal planning. This is because it’s super easy to fall down the Pinterest or google rabbit hole when you’re searching ideas for meal planning. However, part of becoming a meal planning pro, is finding ease and simplicity with finding your meal planning ideas.
Keep reading for some tips to make finding ideas for meal planning simple and easy.
Start with what you know.
Grab a piece of paper and a pen. Write down all the meal ideas that you can think of that you’ve made in the past, that have been enjoyed, and that you might like to make again in the future.
Now, where do you currently like to get your meal planning inspiration?
Think about where you are currently getting recipes or meal ideas. Do you like cookbooks? Do you like to google recipes based on ingredients that you need to use? Do you collect recipe ideas on a pinterest board? As you are thinking about where you currently like to get recipes or meal ideas, think about whether or not you like your current process for finding inspiration or if there are any changes that you want to make.
If you like your current process for finding inspiration, awesome! Take a moment and think about the meal planning inspiration resources that you like the most and write them down. If you don’t like your current process, that’s okay. Think about why and what you might want to change.
Here are some of my favorite meal planning resources…
- Milk Street: Tuesday Nights
- The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Super Easy
- Clean Eating for Busy Families (don’t love the name but the recipes are really good)
- Skinnytaste: One & Done (hate the name but some of my favorite air fryer and slow cooker and instant pot recipes are in here)
- Growing Up Cajun (for Red Beans & Rice and Po’Boys)
- The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime
Next, narrow down the possibilities.
Based on where you are currently getting your meal ideas, are there specific resources that you tend to gravitate towards? Are there resources that always seem to be successful and well liked? Once you’ve identified your go-to meal planning resources, I recommend putting them together somehow – if you have a couple of cookbooks that you like, put them on the kitchen counter together; if you have websites that you like, bookmark them. These are going to be the resources that you use the most. They’ll be the ones that you pull out first when you’re working on meal planning but they don’t have to be the only resources that you use. It’s totally okay to switch things up from time to time.
Then, make your selections.
Now that you’ve got your few go-to resources for meal planning, you’ll be able to easily make meal planning selections. Each week or month, depending on your meal planning rhythm, sit down with your favorite meal planning resources and your list of past ideas. Use these to make your list of meal ideas for the upcoming week/month.
Don’t forget to save the ideas that you really like.
As you go, don’t forget to keep a list of the ideas that you really like. We can add these new ideas to the list of past ideas that you wrote down. We’ll talk about how to keep all of these meal ideas organized in a future post.