Just Slap a List of Meals on the Fridge

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Meal planning doesn’t need to be complicated. Consider this quick strategy for avoiding take-out and saving money this week.

Just Slap a List of Meals on the Fridge

It’s the beginning of the week which makes it a great time to reset your money-saving goals as well as put some systems in place for eating well in the coming days.

A good place to start is creating a meal plan.

It’s true that there are many approaches to meal planning, but sometimes the easiest way is just to slap a list of meal ideas on the fridge. Don’t worry about assigning days to each meal or limiting yourself to seven ideas. The result is a very fluid resource to turn to when it’s time to prepare dinner. You can go with the mood or the weather and yet still get dinner on the table in a timely manner.

The process is pretty simple. Brainstorm what you can make with what you have on hand already. A quick inventory is always helpful. Just start making a list of all the things you could make this week. You’d be surprised at the number of meals you can make when you think there’s nothing to eat. Create a short list of groceries you need to pick up to supplement what’s already in the cupboard. Slap the list on the fridge and you’re done!

Pork Medallions and mashed potatoes

Pork Medallions and Mashed Potatoes

Consult this list throughout the day so that you can plan and prep ahead, thaw the needed ingredients, and otherwise make moves toward eating a home cooked meal at home. Eating at home can save you a ton of money over restaurant fare. By making a simple meal plan, you can avoid take-out and eat well all in one fell swoop.

Here’s what’s on my list for the week:

Homemade Granola



5 Packable Lunches


Sandwich Bar
Burritos from the freezer
Lawnmower Taco
Bagel Sandwiches
Pasta Salad

Jalapeno Poppers Nachos


Ruthie’s Mexican Chicken, Rice, Salad (recipe coming soon)
Guinness Beef Stew, Irish Soda Bread
Skillet Pork Chops, Potatoes, Broccoli
Pasta with Meat Sauce
Pizza Night
Stone Soup

What’s on YOUR meal plan for the week?

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  1. I agree with the bulk of your suggestions but would emphasis that it one has a crazy day coming up, it WOULD be best to ear mark an easy prep or Crock Pot meal for that particular day. I work outside the home, and afterwork commitments translate into tues and Thurs being CP or easy meal prep nights. SAHM could also have some crazy days when they can hardly get a moment to breathe. Would be miffed with myself if i made the CP chilli on an easier schedule day, only to discover that this left me the options that require more prep and time that I simply don’t have, at least 2 times/week (Tues Thurs). So, I menu plan for the month for dinners, relying upon what is on hand, fleshing out few required ingredients from the store (outside of perishables). The bulk of this month’s shopping, for example, is to replenish the pantry/freezer from which I will draw upon for future month’s meals. THis also ensures that we are consuming ingredients bought at rock bottom prices. This works for me.

  2. This is the only kind of meal planning that ever works for me although I need to be more consistent about actually making the list. When I do it, I usually don’t put more than 5 options (too many and it takes too long to choose) and since I pretty much always have leftovers, that makes plenty of meals. I also only list items for dinners as lunches are generally something quick like snackies or sandwiches or some of said leftovers.

  3. Kelly Lawson says:

    Love how the produce you have is included on there! I just started writing a list of veggies we need to use on a post it on the fridge. Ever since a Sprouts opened near us, I’ve gone crazy buying good deals on veggies, then can’t keep up with using them up unless that list is front and center!

  4. good post on making it easy and less formal/mysterious – I think that’s what puts some people off

    Personally I look at my schedule while I plan because of what Carol brings up – some days I’m not able to make dinner for dinner, I have to pre-plan it somehow – but I never know what days those are till I check my calendar – and I just plan M-F for the most part – weekends are looser

    But for a start just getting a bunch of choices listed at least helps you USE stuff and be ready

  5. I have been following this plan now for three month and it’s great. I have a monthly plan with lunch and dinner on it for my work week and it works great. I work the over night shift so lunch is my before work meal and dinner is a work.

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