Meal Planning Ideas

Here are all the best meal planning ideas you need! These 28 day and weekly meal plans feature loads of healthy recipes to fit many diets.

Meal planning ideas

What’s for dinner? What’s for lunch? We’ve got you covered. Hi, we’re Sonja and Alex. Here at A Couple Cooks, we’ve spent years honing our method for how to eat healthy meals every day, not just here and there. We wrote cookbook called Pretty Simple Cooking, and have devoted our careers to helping connect people to healthy recipes. 

Need meal planning ideas? Here are our best meal plans to help you decide what to eat, every meal of the day! There are 28 day meal plans, which use our flexible method for integrating meal planning and meal prep into your life. Each 28 day meal plan has a downloadable meal planning calendar spreadsheet to help keep you organized. We also have a few 7 day meal plans to get your feet wet.

Meal planning ideas: best meal plans for your everyday

How to meal plan

Before you start your meal planning, here are a few key pointers to keep in mind:

  • Think ahead. The biggest tip we can give you: think ahead! Take a look at the week and plan it out before you start. Sunday seems to be a good day for many people, but of course customize it to your schedule.
  • Review make ahead instructions. Most of the best meal plans above have make-ahead info. Think about ingredients you can prep on a weekend or the night before to speed up prep.
  • Eating & re-purposing leftovers or pantry ingredients is key! Our top tip for how to meal plan: you don’t have to cook a new recipe every night. Alex and I make about 3 to 4 dinner recipes per week. Save leftovers from the recipes and turn them into your own creations. Or just make egg tacos or a quesadilla without a recipe.
  • Focus on dinner; go for simple breakfasts & lunches. Our approach is to keep it super simple for breakfast and lunch ideas. Here at A Couple Cooks, we eat oatmeal almost every day. For lunches we do boring things like veggies and hummus, cheese and crackers, or nuts and dried fruit. Or, leftovers!
  • Life is flexible, so meal planning ideas have to be creative. The recipes in these meal plans are just ideas. We don’t know if you’re cooking for 1 or 4, what diet you eat, what foods you like, how many nights you have time to cook, and how many leftovers you’ll have. So there’s no way for us to say exactly what to eat. Take these ideas and make them your own!
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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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