I know that this is a really basic concept, but it is one that I often can’t do with all of the recipe testing I’ve had to do recently. I think that many of us ironically tend to drop planning meals when busy — which is when we need it the most. Without a meal plan, dinner time can be stressful, and we are much more likely to order out.

Plan Simple
Not everyone does this, but I start gathering all my Pinterest pins, and thinking of all of these beautiful dishes I want to make — and then my menu plan can quickly get either over budget or become too time-consuming. So I always tell myself, “Plan simple.” I purposely hold myself in and jot down simple meals.
Work Once, Eat Twice
Many dishes are easy to make as a double recipe. It can reappear as lunch or a dinner in a couple of days. I do this especially with dishes that don’t require double the work to make double the amount. Chili, soups and other one-pot meals fit the bill nicely.
Do Vegetable Prep Ahead Of Time
For me, this is going to mean peeling carrots in preparation for juicing (perhaps during home movie time?) during the week. We don’t juice all the time, but we will be this upcoming week or so. You can also prep stir-fry vegetables. My mother-in-law liked to prep large bags of various vegetables so that she could create a delicious stir-fry in a couple of minutes. It worked really well for her. You can also prep lettuce and other vegetables for making large salads.
Re-Make Leftovers
Leftover pot roast can be shredded and made into beef tacos, leftover roasted chicken can be made into chicken curry, chicken salad, and a wide variety of main dishes. Leftover grains can be made into fried rice-type dishes. There are endless ways to remake leftovers. It not only saves time, but done right, it can save money too.