To make a weekly meal plan, begin by setting a budget, considering the kinds of meals you most enjoy, and making a list of ingredients for those meals. Planning can be done by whatever means are most convenient for you: a hand written calendar or computer software specially designed for meal planning. Try to stay within the budget that you set, but also try to incorporate enough variety in the planned meals to avoid boredom. Shopping can be made a simpler task with a weekly meal plan, possibly allowing you to purchase items in bulk. The meal plan should be comprehensive enough to help you keep on track with any goals you may have set but simple enough to be easy to follow.
The method in which the actual meal plan is laid out may be as uncomplicated as a piece of paper posted on the refrigerator or as sophisticated as meal planning software. A desk calendar or personal organizer may also be suitable as it is easy to modify and to carry with you. Software can be a useful because of the many features it often provides, particularly if it can be synced with a mobile phone application. Once you've decided how to create the weekly meal plan, the next step is to decide on the meals themselves and to make your shopping list.
A weekly meal plan can make shopping for groceries both easier and faster experience and might be particularly helpful for staying within a predetermined budget. Since you will know the things you actually you need, the temptation to buy unnecessary items or to make impulse purchases may be lessened. Additionally, bulk purchases are often cheaper than buying smaller portions of an ingredient, especially for staple food types.
Having a goal oriented meal plan can make meal preparation a more pleasant and successful experience. There are a number of reasons you may want to follow a weekly meal plan, whether for personal ease, cost, time savings, to follow a diet, or simply to eat healthier foods. Deciding on these goals before making a meal plan may help motivate you to follow it.