Making a Master Meal Planner is a wonderful time saver. At your fingertips, you can have every meal planned without pulling your hair out when it comes time to plan your grocery list. Crazy, huh? Yeah, I thought so too when I first started playing with this idea in 2007 when we lived in western Montana. After spending the time coming up with the list of things we like to eat, planning those foods as a full meal was easy.
How to make a Master Meal Planner
Brainstorm~ Write down every dish your family loves to eat.
Group Your Foods~ Break your meals down into groups of seven. Start with the main dish and work in the side dishes. The more groups you have the less chance you have of eating the same thing too often, unless you have favorite dishes every other week, like me. The groups are easier to focus on individually than a list of 50 or more meals.
Over Plan: If you have a list of foods not in the groups, that’s okay. These can be your Free Foods; dishes you may not cook too often and those that can be a substitute for another dish.
If you have enough courage, you can create seasonal meal plans. I have spring and summer and fall and winter plans. This works wonderfully because of the seasonal foods that are available and a lot of wintery foods are not as enjoyable to consume during the hot summer months.
Here’s a look at my Planner. As you can see I have the meals in groups of seven and then I have all the Free Foods listed. This list has grown over the years after trying new recipes we’ve loved. Right click to open in a larger screen.
My planner needs to be updated again to be a little more budget friendly for today’s prices. As you can see a Master Meal Planner will be a continuous work, but once you get all the dishes planned out, substituting a dish is not hard.
Do you use a Master Meal Planner or something similar? If not, what are you waiting for? Download your free master meal ideas.