5 steps to make meal planning easier.

5 steps to make meal planning easier.

How to create a a recipe bank & make meal planning easier

So we all know how important effective meal planning is - we know how much time and money it can save us, and we've been told countless times how good it is for encouraging healthy eating habits for the whole family. But what are we supposed to do when the only meal we can think of is the tried and tested spaghetti bolognese for the millionth time that week? If we eat the same handful of meals on rotation week after week, it's no wonder we are left feeling uninspired.

Table of Contents
Step one: Consult the family
Step two: Create fakeaways
Step 3: Don't pressure yourself to cook from scratch
Step 4: Get online
Step 5: Leave it to chance


This is where the step before the meal planning comes in. You can't come up with 7+ different ideas for dinner without having a solid bank of fool-proof, exciting and delicious meals that everyone in the whole family is going to enjoy - so here are our tips on how to curate the perfect menu that will make meal planning (and the dreaded weekly food shop) a breeze.

Step 1: Consult the family first

Get round the table and ask everyone what their favourite home-cooked meals are and create a discussion around them all - this can be really useful in deciphering what the people in your family already love in a meal (for example, anything with rice might be a firm favourite) and you can then use that intel for when you introduce something new to them. This will also serve as a reminder that you really don't need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to creating your bank of recipes. If your family love your spag bol, then add it to the menu and continue to make it every single week - no judgement here!

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Step 2: Fakeaways are your friend

Whilst you've got the family on the topic of favourite meals, ask them what their favourite takeaway is. Knowing which flavours your family like to gravitate towards, whether it's a flaming hot madras or a simple egg fried rice, can really help to give you inspiration - you'd be surprised just how easy it is to re-create your favourite takeaway dishes and the thought of having them on your weekly menu might just help to inject some much needed excitement into your meal plan.

Fakeaway Calzone ZoeB
Image taken from boothys_sw_insta19 on instagram

Step 3: Don't pressure yourself to cook from scratch

So you've figured out your family's favourite takeaway is a curry and now you're standing on the spice aisle feeling intimidated. Why do it to yourself? Jarred sauces and pastes are your friend - you're never going to add a meal to your menu that you find difficult or time consuming to do - so stock up on those essentials and remember that these little shortcuts are all cheaper than a takeaway anyway.

Step 4: Get online

Let's be honest, how many of us would have thought to make a pasta sauce out of some baked feta and cherry tomatoes if it hadn't been for TikTok? There are some incredible cooking accounts all over social media and if a recipe is trending, it's probably with good reason. Search your favourite recipes, watch your favourite creator make them and realise that you can very easily do that yourself too.

Some amazing Instagram accounts to follow are:


Step 5: Leave it to chance

Tried all of our tips and still feeling uninspired about creating a menu? Use our dinner roulette cards and let the powers that be dictate what you're eating for the week ahead.

Dinner Roulette is our best-selling dinner inspiration cards. Grab yours now! 


@thebusyclub1 Meal plan In less than 10 seconds. #mealprep #mealplanning #fooddiary #foodplanners #slimingworld ♬ Send Me on My Way - Vibe Street
Happy planning!
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