Basic Meal and Menu Planning

Basic Meal and Menu Planning

There are a few things to note when making meal choices and menu planning. Here is what you need to know.

Meal planning depends upon several factors like the number of people eating, meal times, special dietary concerns, budget, available foods, recipes on hand and likes and dislikes of everyone who will be eating. Begin by choosing foods and recipes that you like and know how to prepare well and that fit into everyone’s dietary plans. If one or more people have special needs, like diabetics, plan ahead for substitutions either in the food preparation or food substitution for that individual or for those individuals.

First, some foods may be advertised a certain way, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment. For instance, eggs and sausage can be served for dinner, not just breakfast. And waffles can be made from healthy wheat grains and eaten for lunch with fresh fruits instead of sugary syrup and heavy butter for breakfast.

Add variety, too. Have other family members jump in and prepare meals some nights and on weekends. Kids enjoy making macaroni and cheese, so host mac-ncheese night on Wednesdays, for example. Then alternate different vegetable combinations, colors and textures to vary the menu on a weekly basis (no need to let boredom take over on Wednesdays with the same routine!)

Basic meal and menu planning


To help with family food budget concerns, clip coupons from newspapers, weekend inserts, and any place you can find them.

Also note seasonal food selections for savings. Create menus and meals based upon what’s on special that week or month. Hint: stock up and store or freeze special-priced items and family favorites when possible and storage room and the budget allows. But don’t over do it. With convenience stores and supermarkets for food shopping in practically every neighborhood anymore, there is no need to hoard. An old saying, “Haste makes waste” might apply – if you see a great buy, purchase multiple items, then let them become outdated and have to toss them out.

One fun way to save is by trading coupons and working out food deals with friends, family, neighbors, office colleagues and anyone else who’d like to join in. Food cooperatives and farm markets available in your area may offer special pricing to groups or large purchases. So team up for better purchasing power and split everything up between group members. If you’re not into that much organization, go one-on-one with a neighbor, other friend or relative. Buy a huge bag of potatoes, onions, oats, and / or other foods, then share.

Or, if you value more time and convenience over money, you may want to consider meal delivery kits. Especially if you’re just getting started with a healthier lifestyle, want more variety, flexibility, management of resources, better nutrition, portion size control, address special dietary needs (gluten-free, diabetes), here are some of the most popular meal services of 2022 in the United States.


Most Popular Meal Services in 2022

Hello Fresh – America’s #1 Meal Kit 

Get started with America’s #1 Meal Kit and see for yourself why HelloFresh is rated as #1 for every household, appetite, and schedule. Now available in multiple locations worldwide.

HelloFresh offers a selection of 55+ menu and market items each week, featuring a wide variety of meat, fish, and seasonal produce. HelloFresh’s weekly meals are designed by professional chefs and nutrition experts.

Delivery locations: Hello Fresh deliveres anywhere in the United States, except Alaska and Hawaii. Outside the United States, Hello Fresh has deliveries in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and in some European countries.

Enjoy This Exclusive Discount:  Get 16 free meals across 7 boxes + first box ships free + 3 surprise gifts


Freshly – Balanced Meals For Busy Lives

Freshly provides balanced meals for busy lives, chef cooked and delivered to your door. Heat-and-eat in 3 minutes or less.

Freshly offers a rotating menu of 50+ balanced dishes, suited for all dietary preferences and needs: dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free.

Delivery locations: Freshly delivers to most of the areas of the continental United States, mainly within the lower 48.


Hungry Havest – Farm To Doorstep Subscription Service

Hungry Harvest is a farm to doorstep subscription service that delivers fresh produce weekly, making it easy to add variety to your diet. It’s a weekly or biweekly subscription based service, with the option to skip anytime.

Delivery locations: Only available in select areas on the East Coast, in South Florida, and the Detroit metro area.


Real Eats – Farm-to-Table Meal Delivery Service

RealEats is a chef-produced, farm-to-table meal delivery service. Enjoy clean, farm fresh, healthy chef-prepared meals delivered straight to your door and ready in 6 minutes. RealEats is a great option for busy people looking to save time on meal prep while still eating healthy.

Real Eats delivers healthy and delicious chef-crafted meals, which you can customize by adding proteins and sides. Meals are packed fresh via vacuum-seal and pre-portioned for single-serving use.

RealEats is on a mission of supporting independent farms in upstate New York and local communities.

Delivery locations: RealEats delivers to 30 American states plus Washington D.C., mostly in the eastern half of the country.


Purple Carrot – Plant-Based Eating Made Fun and Simple

Purple Carrot Meals have been clinically proven to help people lose weight and lower LDL cholesterol—in just 4 weeks. Discover tasty and satisfying plant-based meals, with a great variety to choose from every week.

You can choose between Meal Kit and Prepared Meals and customize your order according to your preferences and dietary restrictions: high-protein, gluten-free, and chef’s meals.

Purple Carrot meals are good for the environment: on average, each Purple Carrot meal kit results in 72% less carbon released into the atmosphere as compared to the standard American meal.

Delivery: Purole Carror delivers to the USA nationwide.

Get $20 off your order. Use Code: PURPLE20.Purple Carror food delivery service


Gobble – Dinner in 15-min!

Gobble makes cooking fast, so you have more time to unwind and be with your family.

Order from a diverse menu of dietary options that includes meat, fish, vegetarian dishes, low-carb, wheat or dairy-free. Have your freshly prepped 15-min dinner kits delivered right to your doorstep in a refrigerated box.

Gobble delivers to many states across the contiguous United States, with the exception of Montana and limited service in Nebraska, New Mexico, and Kansas.

Get your first 6 meals for $36! Try Gobble’s 15 minute dinner kits and get your first 6 meals for $36!

Gobble meal delivery program

Check more popular meal delivery services in 2022 here.

Read also: Hello Fresh Review – America’s Number One Meal Kit

3 thoughts on “Basic Meal and Menu Planning”

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