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Master List of Meal Planning Resources

meal planning resources

You may have been using or adapting my free weekly ALDI meal plans for some time, but here are many more meal planning resources to help you keep on track, either in making your own meal plan, or in adapting others’ affordable menu plans each week!

When thinking about how best to meal plan for your own family, everyone needs to find the right mix and method that works for them.

Basic Steps to Effective Meal Planning

cat helping meal plan

Here in a nutshell is your seven-step plan for effective meal planning:

  1. Start small: Plan a couple dinners a week, then expand out from there.
  2. List your favorite meals. Slowly start mixing new ideas in with the familiar to create a library of go-to recipes.
  3. Inventory your pantry and freezer.
  4. Stock back up on basics you’re missing.
  5. Plan around grocery sales, affordable ingredients, and what you have on hand.
  6. Make up your list of meals – and write or type them out!
  7. Write up your grocery list – and shop from the list!

Decide also why you are meal planning. Are you trying to save money? Save time and effort? Get more organized? Feed your family more wholesome meals? Avoid the last-minute scramble to figure out what’s for dinner? Eat better and lose weight?

Figuring out why you meal plan will help you decide how best to meal plan.

Meal Planning Resources

pinterest recipes

Here are a number of meal planning resources to help get you started, or to help keep you on track with effective meal planning. 

Find recipes for your meal plan

Find recipes

  • Browse cookbooks from your local library
  • Browse Pinterest — Search recipes, follow favorites, or just browse for inspiration

Find recipes by ingredient

Get nutrition info for foods and recipes

Get pre-made meal plans

aldi meal plan

Use or adapt pre-written meal plans from:

Modify meal plans for your family

Substitute ingredients, swap out recipes, adapt around allergies, use up foods you already have, and make meal plans realistically fit your schedule…

Getting organized to meal plan

pantry staples

Check out a list of pantry staples to have on hand, and adapt so that it works for your own family’s needs and preferences.

Stock your pantry

  • Take an inventory
  • Pick up basics
  • Stock up on sales

Organize recipes

Pick a website or app that works for you, or go old school with paper and pen!

  • — Add your own recipes; copy recipes from any website; create shopping lists
  • — Organize recipes; create meal plans; make grocery lists
  • — Collect recipes; add to planner; make grocery lists
  • Print out recipes and make a binder!
  • — Recipe organizer, shopping list, meal planner
  • — Project manager/to do list that you can use for meal planning

Meal Planning Calendars

Whether you scribble your weekly meal plan in a spiral notebook, keep it in Google Docs or in the Notes app on your phone, write it on a whiteboard on your fridge, or invest in a pretty weekly meal planner notebook, be sure to write or type it down. Just the action of doing so helps you commit to each week’s meal plan!

Here are a few more resources that might be helpful here:

Meal prepping

meal prep

Prep your meals

Handy meal prep containers

Other meal planning resources or tips?

a master list of meal planning resources

What other meal planning resources or tips have you found useful to help your family stay on track?

The Best Money Saving Tips Of 30 Frugal Living Bloggers

Saturday 11th of May 2019

[…] Mashupmom says: […]


Friday 5th of April 2019

Thank you so much for this!!

Jeanie Ross

Wednesday 3rd of April 2019

I love and highly recommend Plan to Eat as a menu planning recourse! It helps me to divide the recipes in half without any figuring out on my side and it adjusts the shopping lists for me. I use Mashup Mom's menus and easily import everything into Plan to Eat. Its a no brainer and makes my life so much easier!.

GiGi Eats

Monday 1st of April 2019

Holy Moly! SOOO many resources! How amazing for people!!! I definitely don't meal plan, but that's cause I want to eat the same thing every day, so it doesn't really take any planning at all, LOL!


Monday 1st of April 2019

Great tips for Meal Planning! Thank you for sharing!