How to Make Meal Planning Actually Enjoyable

If you’re like most people, the idea of planning meals can seem downright boring. But it doesn’t have to be that way! 

With a few simple tips, you can make meal planning fun and easy — and best of all, it will save you time and money. So how do you get started? Keep reading for some great advice.

Why Meal Planning is Important

Meal planning is important for a number of reasons. 

First, it can help you save money. When you plan your meals in advance, you can make sure you’re using all the ingredients you buy and that nothing goes to waste. 

Second, meal planning can help you eat healthier. When you have a plan, you’re less likely to make unhealthy, impulsive decisions about what to eat. 

And third, meal planning can save you time. By taking the time to plan your meals in advance, you can avoid the last-minute scramble to figure out what to make for dinner.

With that out of the way, let’s discuss how to get started with meal planning and keep it fun. We’ll focus on day-to-day meal planning here. If you’re going to plan meals for an event like a dinner party, a catering service like Gathar might eliminate the need for you to do anything other than enjoying your event. If you have something fancier in mind, this is good for anything from hiring a private chef to hosting a tasting event.

How to Get Started with Meal Planning

If you’re new to meal planning, the process can seem a bit daunting. But it doesn’t have to be! Here are a few simple tips to get you started:

  1. Start small. Don’t try to plan out every single meal for the next month. Start with weekly meal plans or plan ahead for only the next few days.

  2. Keep it simple. When you’re first starting out, it’s best to keep your meal plans as simple as possible. Choose recipes that don’t have too many ingredients or steps.

  3. Be flexible. Things will come up — life happens! So be flexible with your meal plans and be willing to make changes as needed.

  4. Get organized. Invest in a good meal planning system that will make the process easier for you. There are plenty of great options available, both online and offline.

  5. Get everyone on board. If you’re meal planning for a family, it’s important to get everyone on board with the process. Talk to your spouse and kids about what they like to eat and involve them in the planning process.

  6. Make it fun! The most important thing is to make sure you’re enjoying the process. If it feels like a chore, you’re less likely to stick with it. So let’s see how you can make meal planning fun and easy.

How to Make Meal Planning Fun and Easy

Here are a few tips to make meal planning fun and easy:

  1. Make it a social activity. Invite some friends over and make it a potluck! Everyone can bring a dish to share, and you can all chat and enjoy each other’s company while you plan your meals.

  2. Have a theme night. Once a week, choose a theme for your meal and plan your dishes around it. For example, you could have Mexican night or Italian night. This will add some excitement to the process and help you try new things.

  3. Plan a date night. Make meal planning a date night! Cook together, share a bottle of wine, and enjoy a romantic evening in.

  4. Make it a game. Turn meal planning into a game by challenging yourself to come up with new and interesting recipes. See how many different cuisines you can try or how many new ingredients you can use.

  5. Get the kids involved. If you have kids, involve them in the process! Let them help you choose recipes, make grocery lists, and even cook the meals. For example, here are 5 homemade popsicle recipes that the kids can help with. This can be a great way to bond with your kids and teach them some valuable life skills.

Meal Ideas for the Week Ahead

Ok — now we’ve discussed how to get started with meal planning and make it fun. But you still might be wondering what, exactly, you should cook. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Example Menu 1

  • Monday: Spicy black bean soup

  • Tuesday: Grilled chicken with roasted vegetables

  • Wednesday: Pasta with pesto and cherry tomatoes

  • Thursday: Quinoa salad with avocado and lime dressing

  • Friday: Fish tacos with homemade salsa

  • Saturday: Chicken curry with rice

  • Sunday: Roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy

Example Menu 2

  • Monday: Vegetable stir-fry over rice

  • Tuesday: Spaghetti with meat sauce

  • Wednesday: Grilled salmon with roasted potatoes

  • Thursday: Curried lentils with naan bread

  • Friday: Pizza night

  • Saturday: Hamburgers on the grill

  • Sunday: Chicken pot pie

Example Menu 3

  • Monday: Turkey chili

  • Tuesday: Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup

  • Wednesday: Shepherd’s pie

  • Thursday: Spicy Thai noodles

  • Friday: Fish and chips

  • Saturday: BBQ chicken pizza

  • Sunday: Roast lamb with potatoes and carrots

As you can see, these example menus are not too complicated. And this is what we want you to come up with when starting out with meal planning. 

As meal planning becomes a habit, you can start creating more complex menus that contain information like nutrition facts, cooking times, and serving sizes. But to start with, just keeping it simple is the way to go.

Final Thoughts

Meal planning can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. If you take things one step at a time and make meal planning fun and easy, you’ll be able to stick with it for the long haul.


These tips should help get you started on your journey towards healthier eating and more organized weekday meals. What are some of your favorite go-to recipes? Let us know in the comments below!

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