6 Ways to Make Summer Meal Planning Easy

Easy summer meal planning ideas to get your family meals on the table with less stress.

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Let's face it: no one actually wants to cook during the summer. Meal planning is one of the last things that we want to think about when the temperature is inching up towards 100 and we've been playing outside all day. Which often means we end up scrambling at the last minute or ordering pizza.

That might be fine once in a while but it can get old fast. So how do we stay on track (and on budget) with meal planning during the summer season? When you have a few easy tricks up your sleeve summer meal planning can be a breeze.

Summer Meal Planning Made Easy

Keep it simple

This doesn’t just take into account recipes, but also the execution and clean up of your meals. Crockpot meals, grilling recipes, and meals that require little to no prep work are going to be ideal during the summer months. When you are planning your meals, try to keep your recipes simple so your summer meals can be made a lot quicker.

Plan for no-cook meals on hot days

Salads, sandwiches, and smoothies are all great examples of no-cook recipes that your family will love. If you know the weather is going to be hot outside, don’t heat up your house! Make pasta in the instant pot and turn it into a cold pasta salad that you can have for lunch tomorrow.

You can even make delicious no-bake desserts or homemade popsicles. Get creative and plan for a few no-cook recipes if you know the weather is going to dip into the 90’s or 100’s.

Use freezer meals

Freezer meals are a lifesaver during the summer months. During the weeks leading up to summer break, start making freezer meals. If you've never done them before, here's everything you need to get started. While it might feel like a lot of prep work, you'll appreciate it when summer break starts and you have a ton of delicious recipes you can pull out of the freezer with no work. If you do end up cooking a lot over the summer, double the recipes you make and enjoy them during busier nights.

See some of our family's favorite freezer meals here.

Take advantage of seasonal produce

Seasonal produce will not only save you a bundle on your grocery bill, but it can also save you time meal planning. Fresh strawberries, watermelon, and other fruit can work great as a breakfast or snack option.  Grilling summer vegetables is a delicious side to go with a simple dinner. Consider joining Imperfect Foods to have fresh produce delivered right to your door every week, and find ways to incorporate produce into your meal plan for lighter and healthier meals.

Make it fun

I know that we are mostly going for ease here, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try anything new over the summer. Turn it into a fun activity for the kids and let them each be chef for the day. It doesn't have to be a main dish: you can plan for a new homemade popsicle or ice cream recipe for after dinner too. Get creative and try new recipes while you have everyone at home!

Let someone else do the work

Honestly, this is the way to go. You don't have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to making meal plans - let someone else take care of it for you.

I have been a fan of The Dinner Daily for years and it is hands down the easiest way to plan your meals. Seriously, it takes me about 10 minutes once a week and I have my meals planned out and my grocery lists done.

Oh and did I mention that The Dinner Daily plans meals around your favorite store's sales, saving you much more than you pay.

It's so simple. When you sign up, you customize your preferred store and your family's meal preferences and/or dietary restrictions.

Food Preferences Screen

Then sit back and let your customize meal plans arrive in your email once a week.

But don't take my word for it - try it free for 2 weeks and see for yourself! Just click here to start your free trial.

You can also grab my Family Meal Planner below to make meal planning easy all year long!

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