Meal Planning Step 2: Make a calendar

Okay, now that you have your recipe list made (see Meal Planning Step 1 if you haven’t already), now it’s time to plug them into a calendar.

I’m a paper person, so I prefer to go to a calendar-printing website (or iCal) and I print out a monthly blank calendar. If you prefer digital you can do it that way, as well.

Yes, I’m THAT weirdo that still uses a paper planner.

There are 2 options for how to plug your recipes into the days:

1. Just go down your list add assign them a day.

2. Be more intentional and rotate through your categories (chicken, pasta, soup, etc), assigning each one a day.

For example, maybe you will do Meatless Monday, Chicken Tuesday, Soup Wednesday, etc.

I’d suggest planning for leftovers as well, unless you plan to eat leftovers for lunch, etc (that’s what we do at our house).

If you eat out, you can plan that into your meal planning as well.

Right now, I’m assuming we are all just planning for dinners – I am much more sporadic and last-minute with breakfast planning. Mostly because I always have oatmeal, eggs, ingredients for homemade pancakes, bacon and sausage on-hand all the time. Because of that, I can just decide the night before (or morning of!) what I’m going to do. But, you certainly can go ahead and plan breakfasts if that helps your cause.

Find what works for you, these are simply suggestions that might help!

I need to update it, but here’s what one of my past months’ worth of dinner planning looks like: 30 Days of Dinners – My Menu Plan

Now, you might be reading this and are beginning to think:

“This all just too hard and too time-consuming. I want someone to do this FOR me”.

Well, you are in luck!

There is a great meal-planning service that will be launching after the new year. I am in the midst of giving it a try (they are allowing some of us who are affiliates to try it out) and so far I am impressed!!! If you’d like to get on the list you can do that HERE.  ***Bonus, they will also be offering some “Real Food on a Budget 101” videos for FREE as well. I will be sharing a post VERY soon about this.

Frugal Real Food Meal Plans


I think sharing and supporting each other is so important. Please comment below and share with us how the meal-planning is going so far.

Have you had any challenges or victories?


Calendar photo credit


  1. Meal Planning Step 1: Getting Ready to Plan! - Real Food Eater - […] Click here to read Meal Planing Step #2: Make a Calendar […]
  2. Frugal Real Food Meal Plans - Real Food Eater - […] you’ve been following my Meal Planning series recently (see Step 1 and Step 2), then you know meal planning…

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