5- Plans of Plenty


The learner will:

  • Plan one week of nutritious meals and analyze the cost
  • List ways meal planning can save money and increase nutrition.

Photo by Raquel Martínez on Unsplash


  • 14.3.1 Apply current dietary guidelines in planning to meet nutrition and wellness needs.
  • 14.3.3  Demonstrate ability to select, store, prepare, and serve nutritious, aesthetically pleasing food and food product.



  • Research online shopping options in your area. If local stores do not offer this option, Walmart Grocery is a good national option.
  • Print lecture notes to accompany the presentation
  • Save print grocery store advertisements


  • Discuss with students: “Yesterday we met people who challenged themselves to use only the average SNAP benefit to eat healthfully for one week. How can planning our meals ahead of time help us keep our grocery spending down?”
  • What are some benefits of planning meals ahead of time?
  • What challenges do you anticipate when planning meals?


  • Show presentation of Meal Planning and Shopping. Use Meal Planning and Shopping handout to elaborate as well as guidelines in the notes section of the presentation on each point. Stop at each step for students to complete it.
  • In Step 4, have students “shop” online for their groceries. Record the total for their purchase.
  • Project most recent PDF of USDA’s Cost of Food plans. Ask students if their cost of food at home fell within the thrifty, low-cost, moderate, or liberal plans.
  • Have students trade papers with a partner. Have the partner sign their name on the page, list one thing they did well on their plan, and one thing they could do to make their plan thriftier.
  • Project Meal Planning and Shopping handout and do the quiz together as a class.


  • Collect grocery plans and evaluate the reflection on the bottom of the partner’s paper.
  • Save meal plans for Lesson 7


  • Bennett, S. (2016). Food for today. Columbus, OH: McGraw-Hill Education.
  • United States Department of Agriculture. Official USDA food plans: Cost of food at home at four levels, U.S. Average. December 2017. https://www.cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default/files/CostofFoodDec2017.pdf
  • University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension. (n.d.). Meal planning and shopping [Pamphlet]. Lincoln, NE: The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.