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How to make a meal plan

So apparently my (Lindsi) obsession with organization has been quite a topic of conversation, especially when it comes to my handy dandy meal plan. I am going to dedicate this post to sharing my tips and tricks to creating a functional and year-long meal plan. Now don’t get overwhelmed, it really IS easy to do. It will just take a little bit of determination on your part. The benefits are well worth it (less stressing about what to make for dinner, less impulse buying at the grocery store, more money in your pocket). So without further ado, here are the steps on how to make a meal plan for an entire year:

Step 1: Print 12-15 copies of a blank calendar (or use a store bought calendar). I found my favorite meal planning calendar HERE.

meal planning

Step 2: Start with one month (or two if you are feeling really determined). Set aside time to plan the entire month out. You can fill in the days with family favorites and also some new meals you have found in books or on sites. These are a few of my favorite websites for recipes.

meal planning

Step 3: As you fill in your days with meals, vegetables, and sides be sure (if you want to earn a golden star for organization) to print the recipes out and save them in a binder or folder.

meal planning

Step 4: This last step is really important, be sure to save your monthly meal plan for future use. Label it with the month (this is helpful if you tend to make “seasonal” meals like chili, apple crisp, soups, salads). Try your best to make everyday a different meal for the month and only repeat a meal after it has been a month (or if you are really brave try for two months).

meal planning

Step 5: Last step, after the year has passed you will have a wonderful collection of new and old favorite recipes AND a years worth of meal plans. Then simply start fresh….when January rolls around again simply grab last years January plan and go for it! (One little added bonus—-if you wanna show off your organization go to the office supply store and buy a dry erase board and hang it in your kitchen with that month’s meals on it. Erase them as the day passes. Whenever someone comes over to your house they will see it and think you have it all together! (wink, wink)

meal planning
So what do you think? Is this how to make a meal plan for an entire year doable?


  1. I need to try meal planning again. I’m going to cheat and try some of the meals you have listed. 🙂

  2. Wow! This is awesome. I only do weekly meal planning but might try my hand at this come January. Thanks for the tips.

  3. Angela- it’s not cheating…that’s called being smart!

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