Kitchen Tips

The Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning

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Whether you are a beginner in the kitchen or just want to begin again, check out my tools and tips for meal planning.

It’s so simple, and the best part is that once you start the system, it will grow, become more refined and make meal planning as easy as 1-2-3.

But that’s not all!  There are many benefits of using my guide to meal planning.

– Going to the supermarket becomes less of a chore.

– Think of all the time you’ll save while shopping.

– You only buy what you need, which means you’ll spend less money.

– You can budget better (and who doesn’t wish they had extra money in their pocket).  

– You’ll be able to coordinate foods to use in various meals throughout the week which will help minimize food spoilage.  That’s another big money saver!

With my system, you’ll end up making what everyone likes to eat, so as I always say, you can “Keep everyone around the table happy.”

What you want to do is print a blank calendar template.  And look! I’ve made one for you, and it’s a free download. Click here for my Free Meal Planning Calendar Template.


The Beginner's Guide to Meal Planning - Instant Download

Here is how I started out and you can adjust this to suit your family’s tastes.

I started by choosing two evenings a week for meat/chicken meals. (We always have fish and meat/chicken on Friday night for Shabbat, so this is two meals in addition to that).  

Monday & Wednesday: meat/chicken

Sunday & Thursday: dairy

Tuesday: fish

Saturday night: pasta or pizza 

If you keep kosher, the advantage of choosing your meat days is that everyone in the family knows when the dairy days are and to not get fleishik by mistake).

It should look something like this:


Here I have one fish, two dairy, three meat/chicken.  It almost sounds like a Dr. Seuss book.  If you eat a vegan or vegetarian diet, just fill out your calendar template accordingly.

Start by filling in meals that you know your family likes to eat.  Do a little research though for other recipes your family will enjoy, including starters and side dishes. Then add those to your new calendar template.  

You don’t have to fill out the entire month at once.  Even if you have just two weeks filled out, you can repeat those meals. 

As time goes by, add new meals that your family enjoyed and you can remove ones that didn’t go well. (Eventually, you will have three months worth of meals to choose from).

When you have about three weeks worth of meals, take a weekly calendar board like this one, and pick 7 meals from your filled out calendar.  Add a green vegetable and a starch and youre ready to go.

It’s as easy as that.  It takes about five minutes and you’re all done!  If you’d like to take a peek at my three months worth of meals, you can check that out here.


    • rebbetzinunplugged Reply

      Hello there Shoshanna, my pleasure. I still use my original templates, even though they are quite wrinkled after all these years! 😀

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