If you’re an avid meal planner, you’re likely to get just as excited over these fun meal planning essential tools as we do. If you’re just trying to get gift ideas for the meal planners in your life, welcome! We’ve got everything you need , from fun paper planners to essential kitchen tools. These ideas will help you make the most of your meal plan. (P.S. If you’re just getting started with meal planning, we encourage you to check out our beginner’s guide here.)
Here are our recommendations for gifts and tools for meal planning fanatics.
This guide is especially helpful if you were meal planning style features theme nights like taco Tuesday or Instant Pot dinners or family pizza nights (here’s our FAVORITE family night pizza crust btw). Love a good sheet pan meal or relying on your slow cooker? We have the best tools for the job here.
Best meal planners on Amazon
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We all write out our meal plans a little differently here at Fourganic Sisters. Ali is definitely a pencil and paper girl, and so am I, but I’m trying out some new eco-friendly options for this. I’m starting to use this reusable Rocketbook notebook/planner. You can connect it to your favorite digital system, but still get the satisfaction of writing everything out. Very fun!
Once they’re laid out to perfection we also like to display them. This is especially helpful for those family members who are literate and like to harassingly ask, “What’s for dinner?” every. single. day.
Ali sent each of the sisters cute meal planning books like this back when we first decided to start this meal planning site adventure. It’s undated, with plenty of blank spaces for creating new meal plans and shopping list.
This is also a cool option. It has 52 tear-off sheets to use for weekly plans.
Chalkboard Meal Planner
I used to use a chalkboard style menu with just classic chalk weekly until an unfortunate accident busted the frame. :(. Now we actually use wet erase markers on a magnetic calendar board in plain view of the kitchen. They’ve lasted a few years so far!
Lindsey likes these magnetic calendars you can stick right on your fridge. Jodi also likes a monthly chalkboard calendar and these are the brightly colored markers she loves.
Meal planning tools
Whether you like to meal plan with theme nights like slow cooker night, taco Tuesday, pizza night, etc., having the right tool for the job can simplify things exponentially.
Related: The Ultimate Guide to Taco Tuesday
Sheet Pan Meals
One of my absolute favorite essential kitchen tools are use several days of the week are these classic sheet pans or baking trays. I like to use a silicone baking sheet to line them for easy cleanup and they’re great for anything from roasting veggies to sheet pan dinners, and of course baking cookies. This set has both! 🙂
Instant Pot for Meal Planning
Another saving grace for quick and easy weeknight dinners is the Instant Pot. I just use this classic best selling 6-quart Instant pot and use it for soups, easy chicken dinners, taco Tuesday, batch cooking beans or rice or broth, and even quick meal prepped breakfasts.
Need some Instant Pot inspo? We have plenty of 20-minutes or less dinner options here, and 20-minutes or less hearty and healthy Instant Pot soup options here.
Slow Cooker for Meal Planning
Pre-instant pot love my slow cooker was in constant rotation for dinners. While the Instant Pot also has a slow cooking feature I love my classic crockpot for hands off dinners. I am especially fond of freezer meals (no pre-cooking involved) to throw in the slow cooker occasionally. Mine has a delay feature and a few different settings. It’s lasted well more than a decade so far! Here’s the updated version.
Air fryer for meal planning
If you would’ve asked me last year if I would consider getting an air fryer, the answer would’ve been a resounding “no”. We typically don’t eat a ton of “fried foods”, but the air fryer is so much more than an actual fryer. I have made everything from grilled cheese, salmon, frozen broccoli, quesadillas, reheating pizza leftovers (the best!), meatballs, meatloaf, chicken tenders, sweet potato fries, etc. etc. It is especially useful to throw in frozen veggies for a last- minute side. We got this model on sale last year and it works great for our family of five.
This is probably one of the most obvious tools you have in your kitchen, but you never know when you’re going to be in the market for a new one. Just this year I had to toss my old skillets because they were starting to peel on the bottom, so I really had to research the safest options for skillet. These are the ones chose, after thorough research, and reading 1 million reviews.
If you are regularly cooking meals from scratch, a good arsenal of cutting boards and knives is key. I like bamboo cutting boards and a solid multi-purpose knife.
Another integral part of any good meal planner’s tools–something to store leftovers in. I am all for a simple, classic, Pyrex or anchor bowls with lids. They are microwavable, oven safe, freezer safe, easy to clean, and your food won’t stain them.
Still nervous about getting into meal planning? Try out one of our healthy meal plans (on a budget) for FREE here. You can also get some free templates for meal planning calendars here.