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How to Plan Weekly Meals

Planning out lunch, breakfast, or dinner for your family can be overwhelming. Creating a meal plan can help you find new ways to plan your meals while adding authentic flavors and recipes to celebrate your traditions with family.

A detailed meal plan is a calendar that specifies breakfast, lunch, and dinner for each day of the week. Besides solving the “what’s for dinner” question, a meal plan can help track food intake and maintain a well-balanced diet. Meal plans can also provide a grocery list for quick and efficient shopping.

Do you need help planning weekly meals? Read on to see how easily you can incorporate your family’s favorite dishes with a weekly menu or meal plan.

1. Create a List

The first step in building a weekly meal plan is creating a list of your favorite seasonal recipes. If you have complex recipes, make sure you balance it out with easy-to-prepare meals.

Once the list is ready, start building your meal plan by selecting recipes. For the days you expect to be busy, you can plan to make easy-to-prepare meals, saving complex recipes for less busy days.

In addition to being organized, creating a recipe list for your week is a great way to save money at the grocery store. You can check to see if you have any of the items at your house already, then stick to your list to avoid impulse purchases.

2. Find a Cadence That Works

The meal plan created with your recipe list should be convenient and fun, so make sure it doesn’t leave you feeling overwhelmed. If your meal plan is a hassle, it’s likely you won’t stick to it.

If it’s your first time creating a meal plan, start small with a three to five-day meal plan for the week. Since every meal does not have to be elaborate, save complex dishes for the days you expect to have more free time. For example, if you are busiest on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays, plan to make easy meals on those days and save the more time-consuming recipes for Wednesday and Thursday.

Are you having trouble finding easy-to-make Hispanic recipes? Click here to get quick & easy recipe inspiration for your weekly meal plan.

3. Use a Slow Cooker

It’s not always possible to spend hours in the kitchen. Make your life easier by adding slow cooker recipes to your weekly menu. With a slow cooker recipe, you can prep the ingredients in the morning and let them cook in the slow cooker all day until you’re ready for dinner.

An excellent slow cooker recipe is Menudo Rojo. Wash and cut your tripe, being sure not to cross contaminate other fresh items. Place it in the slow cooker with your other ingredients, and let it slow-cook for eight hours. If you have a programmable slow cooker, you can even set it to keep the food warm after it’s cooked.

4. Welcome the Leftovers

A weekly menu would be incomplete without planning to use leftovers. If you’ve reserved Sundays for meal prep or complex recipes, plan to use the leftovers during the week. Beef cheek barbacoa is great in a slow cooker for weekend tacos. Then, during the week, you can use the leftover barbacoa for quesadillas or Barbacoa Sliders.

5. Get Creative with What You Have

Scan your pantry and fridge before making your weekly menu. Identifying the food items you already have at home will allow you to create a meal plan that uses those ingredients. Knowing what you already have at home can also help simplify your grocery list and ultimately save you money.

6. Plan on the Weekend

Try something new! Spend an hour each weekend creating a menu plan for the coming week with both new and familiar recipes. Adding new recipes will keep you inspired and help you discover something interesting to incorporate into your family’s routine.

7. Relax and Enjoy

Once your weekly menu is planned, it’s easier to enjoy your days without worrying about what meals to make.

Lastly, post the meal plan for the week on the fridge so your family knows what to expect for the week.

Time to Create Your First Meal Plan

While your meal plan should make life easier, it should not compromise providing your family with a balanced diet and foods they enjoy eating. Once you have a weekly menu planned, head to Rumba Meats to explore the best cuts of meat for cooking your favorite recipes.