I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just don’t have any time to sit down and do those freezer cooking marathons, family calendars, and all that other fun stuff.

If dinner gets on the table each night of the week, I’m calling that a win!

As a busy mom, your goal might just be to get everyone fed each night. This is okay!

If you’re like me, then you are probably looking for a way to make eating at home for less and saving your sanity a reality.

While everyone may tell you to sit down and make a meal plan each week, the no plan meal planning method may be a better fit for you!

Do One Big Shopping Trip

Instead of splitting up your shopping trip to each week, give once a month shopping a try.

Since you will need a lot of ingredients to put together meals, this can be a more efficient way to do your grocery shopping.

Take a look at the meal plan ideas from the past, and your recipes that you make most frequently.

These will be your guidelines for what you should pick up during this shopping trip.

Shop Ingredients Instead Of Meals

When it comes to following the no plan meal plan method, you want to focus on ingredients instead of meals.

You are looking for items that can easily be mixed and matched to create your meals for the week.

For example, rather than plan for tacos, you’ll buy ground beef.

When it comes time to use it, you can make whatever you have ingredients for. This could mean hamburgers, tacos, or a casserole even.

You want to focus on ingredients that will not have to be thawed ahead of time and have a lot of versatility.

Keep Staples On Hand

If you are not already stockpiling you need to start!

A no plan meal plan works best when there are many items at your disposal to work with.

Stocking up on spices, herbs, sauces, marinades, and other things to pair with your main ingredients will bring your meals to life.

This is where the versatility comes into play. If you want to make tacos and hamburgers using your ground beef, how you cook the meat plays a significant role.

However, the difference is in the spices!

Keep staples like these on hand to give you the variety needed to stick to this plan.

Prep And Freeze As Much As Possible

Since you aren’t creating a meal plan each week, you will need to estimate how much food you’ll need each week or month.

This can sometimes create extra food waste since there isn’t necessarily a plan for each of your ingredients.

To help stretch the shelf life of these ingredients, prep, and freeze as much as you can.

Brown your meats and throw them in the freezer, cut up all your vegetables, and have everything ready to go so you can quickly throw something together when it’s time to eat.

“Plan” The Night Before

The night before, decide what you want to make for dinner the following day.

This is important if you have ingredients that need to thaw.

If you’re doing a crockpot meal, you can take out some of the ingredients and set them next to the slow cooker.

If you have leftovers, it’s even easier! Leftovers mean I don’t have to plan anything for the next day so we can finish our leftovers.

Use Up Your Ingredients!

As I mentioned earlier, one of the downfalls of this meal planning method is the potential food waste.

To avoid this, you need to make sure you are using up as much as you can.

Create a bin in your fridge and label it “Eat First” to make sure you never waste ingredients or potential leftovers.

Organize your pantry and freezer by what expires first and keep yourself from forgetting about food that’s about to expire.

Have frequent eat from your pantry challenges to make sure you are using up all of your ingredients, or this method may end up costing you money instead!

When you’re too busy to map out the perfect meals, the no plan meal planning method can be an excellent alternative for you and your family.

These steps will help you not only put together something delicious for dinner each night but cut down on some of the meal planning time too!


YOUR TURN: What meal could you throw together right now with food in your fridge and pantry? Let me know in the comments below!

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The No Plan Meal Planning Method