My Meal Planning Solution

I love to try out new recipes for dinner each week, but I dread meal planning. I feel like there are so many yummy looking recipes out there and by the time I choose 5 different recipes from Pinterest or my Real Simple magazine, I end up with a shopping list a mile long. Read: this is not friendly on our $120 per week grocery budget. By the end of the week I have a fridge full of Pyrex dishes with forgotten and untouched leftovers and five new herbs and spices in my cupboard that I won’t touch again until next year… If ever.

My new found solution? The Fresh 20. I know there are a lot of other meal planning sites out there and I have looked into nearly every one. After two minutes of looking over The Fresh 20, I was in. 20 fresh ingredients, 5 fresh and delicious meals. Simple.

Every Friday a new 5 day meal plan is posted on The Fresh 20 website to be downloaded and printed or viewed online by members. Each meal plan includes a menu, shopping list (yay for making my life easier!), a list of things that can be prepped before hand, five step by step recipes, and even the nutritional information for each dish.

Ok, so I love this all for so many reasons. It takes the brain-work out of meal planning. Hello easy Sunday nights! All of the meals are clean-eating. Fresh. No processed foods. Yummy. In season. Did I mention that EVERY recipe that I have made the past two weeks has been delicious? We have been eating well… Salmon with roasted red pepper sauce, chicken tortilla soup, lemon Dijon chicken. Seriously yummy. Even my 16 month old has gobbled up every meal.

We haven’t been wasting food for the first time in a long while. A recipe feeds 4-6. That means we have enough for dinner for 2 adults, a toddler, and lunch for both my husband and I the next day.

Obviously each meal plan consists of more than the 20 fresh ingredients. To make life easy, the shopping list also consists of 20 basic pantry items that you “should” have on hand or keep stocked regularly. Think pasta, onions, garlic, olive oil, tomato paste… Etc.

The recipes are simple, but some are more time consuming than others. These are not throw everything in the crock pot and leave it kind of meals. They all involve chopping veggies, prepping and cooking a main course and a side dish. But the results are worth it!

Access to the meal plans costs $5 per month or $49 for an annual membership. They also offer vegetarian and gluten free meal plans as well. We subscribed to the classic meal plan.

Go. Now. Try it out. Let me know what you think. The Fresh 20.

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2 thoughts on “My Meal Planning Solution

  1. So I know I’m late on this post, but I just saw it the other day. We’ve had the fresh 20 for about a year now and I LOVE it. It’s so nice not to have to worry about meal plans and such, plus the food is so delicious. We haven’t really had any repeats either (for example, we have soups or wraps several times, but we never use the exact same ingredients). It’s fantastic. Plus, you have access to all the past years plans if you subscribe to the yearly plan, and thats helpful if a week is heavy on eggplant, which my hubby doesn’t like. But I was able to substitute the week from the year before. its great!

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