Menu Planning 101

Some moms like to plan their menus from scratch, others want it all laid out for them, while many fall somewhere in between. Whatever your preference, the helpful resources below will give you ideas and tips for making the most of your time and money. A well-crafted dinner menu plan, especially one that takes into account the Secrets of a Busy Cook, can help you cut hours off of your prep time each month and save you hundreds of dollars every year.

Learn all about menu planning with our free Menu Planning eCourse download.

Menus4Moms Menu Plans

Free Weekly Dinner Menu

They’re back! After a long hiatus, Menus4Moms is once again publishing free weekly dinner menu plans. Each week we publish a menu for five nights based on the Secrets of a Busy Cook. You can subscribe to be notified when new menus are posted by email below and by browser notification. [Read More…]

Busy Mom Menu

A time- and money-saving menu based on the Secrets of a Busy Cook, the Busy Mom Menu also includes our exclusive healthy Meal Makeovers, nutritional data and units, and the recipes and grocery list will be included in the emailed PDF file so you do not have to visit the website each week. [Read More…]

Frugal Mom Menu

Trying to feed a family on a tight budget? Our Frugal Mom Menu can help you save hundreds of dollars each year by helping you to cut your grocery bill while still creating delicious meals. Each meal will include a cost analysis, and the recipes and grocery list will be included in the emailed PDF file. [Read More…]

Living Gluten-free Casein-free

Living Gluten-free Casein-free is a comprehensive resource that will help you in your quest to live gluten-free. Perfect for individuals who are either gluten-free or gluten-free/casein-free, Living Gluten-free Casein-free contains valuable resources to help you succeed with your new gluten-free lifestyle. Living Gluten-free Casein-free is the only GFCF menu plan written by a practicing nurse practitioner. [Read More…]

FREE Menu Planning eBook

Learn how to plan your own menus with our free Menu Planning eBook. This resource will teach you how to plan menus that can save you hours of time and hundreds of dollars by using the Secrets of a Busy Cook. [Read More…]

Menu Planning Articles

Kitchen Management and Meal Planning

Busy homemakers can find managing the kitchen, meal planning, and meal preparations a large challenge. The trend towards fast foods and convenience foods is common today as a solution to deal with this challenge. I walk into a nearby grocery store and find the deli loaded with “old-fashioned” goodies like roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, apple pies and any other item one could want for making meal time a breeze. This could seem like an answer to prayer! I am not so convinced that these types of helps for the homemaker are answers to prayers. The food is loaded with bad fats, ... [Read More...]

Work Week Menus – How to Make it Easier! Time Savers for Cooking

It’s been at least six years since I balanced working outside the home almost full-time and having two kids. Friends were always amazed that I managed homemade meals on the table each night. Becoming a stay home mom with three kids made meal planning a bit easier because I was home, BUT several of the lessons I learned as a work outside the home mom still apply. I’ll give you a sample menu for one week to show how I would pull all these easy lessons together. [Read More...]

Menus4Moms™ Free Printable Planner

Menus4Moms™ Free Printable Planner The Menus 4 Moms™ Planner is a comprehensive organizer for appointments and family menu planning. Each month has a Month View Calendar page which can be used with detailed Weekly Planner pages. Opposite each Weekly Planner page is a Menu Planner page with grocery list for the week. The pages are all designed to fit in a standard 8 1/2 x 11 three-ring binder; they can also be spiral bound at your local copy shop. [Read More...]

Free Samples of the Busy Mom Menu and Frugal Mom Menu

We would love for you to try our menu plans, so we are giving away samples of both the Busy Mom Menu and the Frugal Mom Menu. Give them a try and let us know what you think! Get the Sample Busy Mom Menu » Get the Sample Frugal Mom Menu » [Read More...]

Helpful Websites

AllRecipes is another large site that exists mostly as a community to share and review recipes. The site offers excellent search capabilities as well as nutrition information and several printing formats for the recipes. There is a free version of the site, but some of the recipe collections are only available by paid subscription.

Recipezaar is similar to Allrecipes in that it offers a place to share and review recipes and also has both free and paid accounts.

My Grocery Deals is a handy site to track what is on sale at grocery stores in your area. Register for free, then choose the stores where you usually shop. You can either see all specials or check the category boxes to narrow down the display to the product categories of your choice.

Cut the Hunger is very similar to The Grocery Game but is free. It is not available in all areas, and where it is available not all stores may be listed. This is a section of The Coupon Mom’s website. Click on Best Grocery Deals by State to find the recommended purchases.

Meal Planning & Grocery List Software

Shopping List Software – Free software that allows you to create a grocery list, enter current grocery prices, and print lists by category. Windows only.

Mastercook is the most popular recipe software and is a powerful solution with integrated menu planning and grocery list creation tools. Most other software and online recipe services offer the ability to import or export recipes in Mastercook format.

Cook’n Recipe Organizer is a complete system to help you manage recipes, plan meals and menus, import and export recipes, create shopping lists, and even suggest meals based on what you have on hand.

Trying to ditch the drive-thru but too busy to plan dinner?

With the Busy Mom Menu, just… Print. Shop. Cook. The menus…

  • Include well-planned dinner menus for 5 nights
  • Feature tried and true recipes with grocery lists
  • Feature full color photos
  • Take advantage of stocking your pantry, planned leftovers, and cooking for the freezer
  • And cost about half the price of a fancy coffee each week!

Get organized with our 52 week menu packs »

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