meal planning in a snap

When my grandmother immigrated from Germany in the early 1920’s her first job was  a cook in a house just outside NYC. As the family cook she planned, purchased and cooked every meal everyday. Growing up I didn’t find this to be a particularly grand feat but, when I had a family of my own I realized how crazy meal planning can be. I struggled, until one day  I said to myself ” easy modern mom you need to get it together your easy modern family wants to eat EVERY day.” So I put on my modern thinking cap and went to work.

I started by making a list.

1.What are our staple foods? ( things for the kids lunches and breakfasts)

2. Where should I look for recipes?

3. What is important? Quick, easy, healthy, budget friendly

And with these things in mind I set to work. I decided that I could really simplify things if I made some staple meals. For example for breakfast we would always have some combination of the same foods. Lunch the same, and dinner would rotate depending on what I found that week. Ok so here we go…


some type of eggs ( scrambled, fried, omelet, hard boiled) or oatmeal if its cold.

fruit ( whatever is in season)


smoothie ( frozen fruit, greek yogurt and almond milk)


Lunch ( this is easy most of the time since modern Dad and modern older brother always buy their lunch)

mini beagles

apple sauce



bread (both kinds)

some kind of chips

veggie ( usually baby carrots)



some kind of cookies

Dinner (on rotation)

So here is where the real work began. I thought about the websites where I always find no miss,  easy, budget friendly recipes. Here are my favorites:

budget bytes

creme de le crumb

I then further narrowed down my recipe search by limiting it only to recipes that have about 6 or 7 ingredients, no fancy things that I don’t normally have on hand, and are gluten free.

I also realized that I don’t need to cook every night.  I can cook one meal and we can have the left overs the next day. So we only need three meals a week. This allows for a crazy day when we don’t have any time to make anything and we end up either going out, making breakfast for diner or having sandwiches.

And how did I solve the problem of not knowing what recipes I had bought ingredients for?  I hung a notepad on the refrigerator listing the meals for the week, the name of the recipe, and the website where I found the recipe.  As I make dinner each night I simply cross off the meal.img_2512


Whew, when does this get easy? Well, now that I have my templet all I do is follow it every week.

Breakfast – staples

Lunch- staples

Diner – 3 dinners look at notepad for recipes and ingredients.

I have further simplified things by shopping on Amazon Fresh. It saves my weekly purchases so all I need to do is add my staples to the cart and add the ingredients for whatever dinners I am making that week. If you have a grocery delivery service available to you I would highly recommend it. There is a convince fee associated with it but you are spared all those impulse purchases you make when you go to the grocery store. In the end I find I actually save money.


easy modern meal planning

What is your favorite meal planning tip?


Want to try Amazon Fresh?


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