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Meal Plan 1

There is an important distinction to be made between meal prepping and meal planning. Meal prepping involves cooking a bunch of the same food, putting it in tupperware, and eating the same thing every day for a few days in a row. I have nothing against meal prepping. When I used to work in an office, I meal prepped 5 servings of a lunch recipe and ate it every day for a week.


Meal planning, on the other hand, involves buying all of the ingredients you need for a week's worth of meals and cooking each dish, each time you eat. No microwaving. No tupperware.

I honestly think coming up with a plan for what to eat each week is more difficult than going through the process of cooking the meals themselves. So when I discovered that the internet is full of week-long meal plans that the the planning out of the equation, I couldn't wait to share them with you! Here's what to expect if you decide to give one of these meal plans a try:

  • Read the shopping list and hit the grocery store.

    • I recommend picking one day per week to do your grocery shopping (mine is Sunday).

  • Dedicate one day to prep-work.

    • The idea of cooking every single meal for a week sounds intimidating until you realize that you're going to do most of the work ahead of time. You should dedicate one day to prepping your recipes so each time you head into the kitchen to cook, most of your time will be spent waiting for things to cook rather than actively cooking. I recommend knocking this step out right after you return from the grocery store. 

  • Follow the recipes each day

    • Each of these meal plans ​comes with step-by-step recipes and often times a calendar to keep you on track with your meal plan.

  • Enjoy a healthy and delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and a snack) every day for a week.

    • You're going to eat healthier, save money, and build a healthy habit of cooking by following one (or all!) of these meal plans. That's a win-win-win.​

All of these meal plans are intended for 1 person. You can double, triple, (etc.) these shopping lists to accommodate as many mouths as you need to feed.

If you make any of these recipes and share photos on Instagram, be sure to tag @mynextthing so I can celebrate with you!

An entire week's worth of food for less than $50. Healthy recipes. Easy to prepare. This is a great place to start if you're fairly new to the kitchen and want to learn some recipes that will probably stay in your rotation for a long time. This is almost vegetarian friendly - close enough that you could easily swap out chicken and have an entirely vegetarian meal plan.

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I have been following Simple Green Smoothies for awhile and they consistently produce incredible recipes and great content on their blog. I have full confidence that this meal plan will satisfy you with delicious and healthy recipes.

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This meal plan keeps breakfasts super simple and mixes up some really interesting and delicious lunch and dinner recipes. Make sure to follow the prep list to keep your active cooking times down during the week. The author of this meal plan calls her prep time her "power hour". For more Kitchn meal plans, click here.

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This vegetarian meal prep guide includes a video of its creator breaking down how she preps her food for the week to cut down on her active cooking time. For more Kitchn meal plans, click here.

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