Weekly Meal Planning

Weekly Meal Planning

Publish Date March 3, 2023

Weekly Meal Planning: The How-tos

A good weekly meal plan doesn’t just take away the stress of having to come up with lunch or dinner every single day, but it also saves time and money, encourages nutritious eating, makes shopping a breeze and so much more.

How Do I Create a Meal Plan?

  1. Decide how many days you want to plan. You can create a weekday plan, leaving weekends open for spontaneous eating, or a full 7-day schedule to keep things easy and organized.
  2. Choose the recipes you want to make ahead of time. Try to include 3 different food groups and emphasize lean meats, vegetables, fruits and whole grains. It’s also helpful to pick recipes that can be cooked in larger batches and pre-packed for the week, or frozen for easier cooking later.
  3. Go through each recipe and identify the ingredients you’ll need to buy at the store. Make a shopping list and try to group similar items together on the list. Pick 1 day each week to be a shopping day, and get all your grocery shopping done on that day.
  4. Finally, be sure to stick to your plan. It may be difficult at first, but as time goes on you’ll become a meal planning pro. And if you notice that it’s harder to stick to the plan on specific days, you can incorporate more quick and easy solutions the following week.

How Do I Plan Weekly Meals for My Family?

Feeding more people doesn’t have to make meal planning more difficult. For example, planning ahead by creating a list of school lunch ideas to choose from each week can be great for families with school-aged kids.

Though perfecting your meal planning technique might take some trial and error, a little persistence in the beginning will more than pay off in the long run. Plus, part of the fun of meal planning is getting to explore new recipes and ideas every week. Here are a few of our favorite ideas for family meal planning:

How Do I Use a Meal Planning Template to Plan Meals for the Week?

Writing down your recipes and shopping list on a meal planning template can help you stay organized and stick to your plan. Our printable weekly meal planner includes space for each day’s breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus room for snacks and a shopping list. The Kroger mobile app has a shopping list feature that makes organization and planning quick and easy. Check out our ways to shop page for more information.

If planning every meal for the whole week seems like too much at first, start by planning a full day, or by planning only lunches or dinners for the week. Even some simple meal planning techniques in the beginning of the week can save you time and money over the course of the next few days.

For more meal planning inspiration, check out our 5 Days of Meals and find recipes for keto, plant-based, paleo, gluten-free and kosher breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks and desserts. Also check out our easy meal planning solutions for even more meal ideas and recipes.