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A Guide on How to Start Meal Planning


The Analysis

In order to start meal planning on a sure footing, its important to take stock of where you are. In my previous post, I went through what meal planning is and what it entails in its entirety. Now that we are ready to dive in, these are the next steps to effectively start meal planning. They are the foundation upon which your plan will be based and will inform the desired outcome that you want to achieve.

Also read: What is Meal Planning? 

Each family or relationship has its own unique attributes, quirks and preferences. It could be allergies to certain foods, or intolerance (lactose). There are also dietary preferences such as being a vegan, vegetarian or pescetarian.

Also, diets such as gluten free, low carb or high protein. These regiments need to be noted. Most importantly, consider those that have medical conditions that require specific diet inclusions or exclusions, such as diabetes and blood pressure.

Establish Your Current Eating Pattern.

Beef pilau.

  • Write it Down

Without making any deliberate changes to your diet, record what your family eats every day for one week. Just note it down on a piece of paper.

At the end of the week, you will notice what meals are a hit and which ones are a miss; what goes to waste and what doesn’t. This will give you a good indication of what direction you should be taking in your meal planning journey.


  • Establish Your End Game

What do you want to achieve with your meals? Do you want to reduce cost and have a more manageable budget? Do you want to increase the amount of healthier organic foods in your diet?

By taking note of your current situation and state, you are then in a better position to map your way to achieving your desired results for your meals in your home.

The next item you need to address is Inventory.

Establish your Inventory Status.


Go through your fridge and write down what is in there. Do the same with your cubby/pantry. While you are at it, you should go through the items checking on the expiry dates. You would be surprised how long some spices can just sit there, being totally ignored 🙂

This helps you know what you have at your disposal and gives you a starting point going forward.

Lastly, ask your family what they like to eat. It may be something that you cook regularly, a meal that you prepare on special occasions or something that they have when you eat out. Take note of their favorites and jot them down.

Liver and Onions

In conclusion, to start meal planning, take inventory of what is in your kitchen, that is in your fridge and cabinets (cubby). Also, begin recording the meals that you eat. Create this list to cover the next one week. You may use Evernote for better note keeping.

Next: The Inspiration

What motivates you to create awesome meals? Where do you get your ooomph from? What pumps your creative juices in the kitchen?

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