Meal planning

Planning your meals for the week ahead can help you to track healthy eating habits, manage your budget, reduce food waste, and takes the hassle out of figuring out what’s for dinner at the end of a long day!

Healthy eating advice

Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, wholegrains, lean meats and dairy foods is the key to achieving good nutrition. Balanced diets support our immune systems, protect us from chronic diseases, and help us live a long and healthy life.

The recommended daily serves of each of the five food groups varies depending on your age, gender, life stage and other factors. You can find information about the recommended daily serves for adults and children in the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

Getting started

Plan meals around the ingredients that you already have in the pantry, fridge or freezer. Aim to use up any fresh produce, meat and dairy items first. Try our pantry, fridge and freezer inventory tool to keep track of what you have and when you need to use it by.

Next, use the meal planner to decide what you’ll eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the week. Try to focus on foods that work in multiple meals, like spinach. Cooking some meals in bulk is a great opportunity to freeze meal-sized portions for the following week.


Create your shopping list by filling in any gaps between your inventory and meal plan. Once you know what healthy food to purchase, grocery shopping becomes easier, quicker and cheaper. Before you leave home, make sure you’re not hungry to avoid any unplanned purchases of junk food.

Food safety at the supermarket

  • Check the use by date on food before you purchase.
  • Make sure packaging is intact and that canned food isn’t dented or damaged so the bacteria that causes food poisoning can’t get in.
  • Take reusable cooler bags to the shops so that your cold foods stay colder for longer. When you get home, put the contents in the fridge straight away.
  • Put ready to eat foods like fruits and vegetables in a separate bag to raw meats to avoid cross contamination.

Meal planning tools

Download our sample shopping list, meal planner and templates to use at home. 

Page last updated: Monday, 2 May 2022