4 Ideas to Make Meal Planning Less Stressful

Making a meal plan can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! In this blog post, I’ll share 4 ways to make meal planning less stressful. I’ll also share what I think is the best meal kit delivery service out there so you never have to worry about cooking every single night of the week again.

wooden spoons and meal planner calendar

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easy meal planning ideas

(All of the opinions in this blog post are my own. If you purchase anything from a link in this post I may receive a small commission. All of my opinions are from first-hand experience with the product that is shared here.)

1. plan out the week’s activities

The first way to make meal planning less stressful is to plan ahead. If you know what your activities are for the week, it will be much easier to decide which meals will be eaten at home vs. meals eaten out or even on the road. Just use a monthly calendar like this one.

free monthly calendar graphic

2. the best meal kit delivery service

Another great way to reduce meal planning stress is by using a meal kit delivery service. These services provide all of the ingredients you need to make a specific meal, so there’s no guessing or waste.

TIP: I only order 3 meals a week from these services to keep it affordable and to avoid waste since we mix in eating out as well.

What are the top meal kit services and what do they offer?

Home Chef Meal Kits

Home Chef is the meal kit service that I personally use and recommend. I haven’t tried every single one out there on the market; however, out of the meal kit delivery services I have tried, this is hands down the best one for the price. TRY IT OUT HERE.

Below is a video of my first “unboxing” of this particular meal kit service. 

(If you use my link to order you will receive a $35 credit towards your purchase and I may earn a small commission.)

home chef VIDEO UNBOXING

If you want to see an actual unboxing of this meal kit, be sure to watch this video tutorial below over on my YouTube Channel! 

home chef meal kit video graphic

Every Plate Meals

Everyplate meal kit was the first service I tried in the world of meal kit delivery. The food is good and super affordable. TRY IT OUT HERE.

The only reason we switched was that after a year of eating off the same menus, it got pretty boring.

If saving money is the highest priority, then this is the meal kit service to go with for sure!

Below is a video of my first “unboxing” of this particular meal kit service. 

(If you use my link to order you will receive half off towards your purchase and I may earn a commission.)

every plate VIDEO UNBOXING

If you want to see an actual unboxing of this meal kit, be sure to watch this video tutorial below over on my YouTube Channel! 

everyplate video graphic

Hello Fresh Meal Service 

Hello Fresh was the second meal kit company I tried out. I was particularly interested in their fresh and ready-to-go individual meals.

Being super excited, I was ready to give this one a big thumbs up; however, it failed miserably in the ‘taste’ department. My family just could not fall in love with the flavors this meal kit had to offer.

I’d love to know if you’ve tried it and had a different experience?

How much does it cost to subscribe to a service?

Each of these meal planning kit services varies in pricing. Everyplate is by far the cheapest per person per meal at about $5.

Home Chef meals can vary from $8.99 – $13 for gourmet choices. We stick to the easy-to-cook options and it keeps the costs low.

From my experience, these meal kits with their specialty spices and ingredients could not be bought for less without storing a ton of excess ingredients that will only go bad over time.

Meal kits are great for someone who doesn’t want the stress of meal planning for every night of the week.

This meal planning hack offers not only healthy options but convenience, taste, price, and saves time!

3. meal planning favorites

Another way to reduce stress is by cooking only your family’s favorites. This not only makes the cooking process less stressful, but it also means that there will be no guessing as to ingredients or amounts!

We have a running joke in our house. After every homemade meal, we ask “did this one make the ‘rotation’?” It’s true! We experimented over the years with different recipes and came up with our tried and true list of favorites that make everyone satisfied.

Two nights a week we cook meals from scratch using our ‘favorites’ list to choose from. This makes meal planning and grocery shopping so very easy!

TIP: We typically keep the ingredients to our favorite meals stocked and ready to go at a moment’s notice.

What would be on your family’s favorites list? Let me know in the comments below!

 

4. eating out as a meal plan

Finally, one of the best ways to make meal planning less stressful is “planning” your eating out. Each week we account for approximately two meals that will be eaten out at a restaurant.

One is usually mid-week as a ‘break’ or ‘treat’ from the daily grind and the other usually falls on the weekend sometime.

In the past, we would kid ourselves every week by saying we would eat every meal at home in order to save money or calories but at the end of the day we would find ourselves tired and worn out without a meal plan.

Eating out became more of the ‘norm’ than the exception and before you know it budgets were blown and so were waistlines!

Planning meals out is one of the best things we’ve done for meal planning.

be flexible in your meal planning

Remember, the only thing certain in life is that it is uncertain. Plans will change at the last minute and it’s best to be able to be flexible.

Sometimes you may find yourself eating out more than twice because you have company in town or it’s a special holiday.

Every once in a while the meal kit changes delivery days due to demand and you have to be flexible and eat off your “favorites” list more than twice.

Meal planning doesn’t have to be stressful– just try to mix and match these tips and tricks to make it easier!

-Plan weekly activities ahead

-Use a meal kit delivery service (3 times per week)

-Cook family favorites (2 times per week)

-Plan for meals out (2 times per week)

What are some of your favorite tips for making meal planning less stressful? Share them in the comments below!

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