Do you get excited when you plan your weekly menu? Does it make you happy to create a dinner menu plan for a party? Wouldn’t you love to make a living planning menus for other people? Believe it or not – you can! Read on to learn how to make money as a meal planner.
Throughout the years, I’ve had a lot of people suggest that I start a business as a meal planner. Literally, people have told me straight out that they would pay me if I would just make a meal plan for them.
Family and friends are always amused by or jealous of my meal planner that hangs on my refrigerator.
Questions are always asked about why I meal plan, how I find the time to meal plan and whether or not it really helps to save time, money and/or sanity.
The answers to all of those questions can be summed up in one single sentence…
I meal plan because it makes my life easier.
Of course, I don’t always follow the menu, I screw up from time to time and don’t make a meal plan at all and sometimes, I just don’t want what’s written on that day.
But, I always go back to the meal plan eventually…
Because it makes my life easier.
Now, that I’m working part-time outside the house, I am more grateful for my meal plan than I’ve ever been before and I can see why someone would be willing to pay for a menu.
I don’t get home from work until 6 pm and so, having my meal plan on the refrigerator has saved me a ton of time at night. I just look at the menu in the morning, take out what I need for the night and when I get home, all I have to do is cook it.
But, I’ve been doing this for years and so, I’m prepared. I know how to create a meal plan and I have a list of meals that I rotate regularly.
My grocery shopping list looks almost the same week after week and I have learned to cut down the time it takes to create the plan.
For those people out there that have never made a meal plan, it seems like a daunting job. A monumental task that they just don’t have the time and energy to do.
Sell It To Them!
That’s where you come in, my friend.
These are the people you want to hook. The people that you want to come to you, begging for a meal plan.
These are the people that will come back to you, over and over again.
Why? Because you are not offering them a meal plan.
You’re offering them time.
And with how hectic our lives are today, time is one of the most valuable assets on earth.
Here’s some ideas to help you get started so you can really make money as a meal planner –
How to Make Money as a Meal Planner
What Does a Meal Planner Do?
If you want to make money as a meal planner, your job will entail much more than writing down a list of meals.
You’ll need to research ingredients, create recipes, test recipes, name said recipes, make complete grocery lists and the list goes on.
Offering a meal planning service is not a passive income. There is absolutely nothing passive about it – you will need to work hard to create the perfect meal plan for each and every customer.
How to Price Your Meal Planning Services
This is a tough one, because in the end it’s really up to you.
I would recommend pricing each individual meal plan, most of the time. Pricing each meal plan allows your customers to make a choice, on whether or not to buy, based on price.
However, when you are working one-on-one with a customer to create a specialized meal plan, I would recommend charging per hour.
While you’ll be able to create a meal plan for some customers in 1 hour, others could take you 4-5 hours depending on needs, wants and dietary requirements.
Consider how much time it takes you to create a meal plan from start to finish, including researching, creating recipes, testing, naming and creating the grocery shopping list.
What would you like to average per hour?
For example: If you’d like to make $15.00 per hour and it takes you 3 hours to create a meal plan, then you’d want to charge $45.00 for that meal plan IF you were only selling it to one person.
However, if you intend to use your meal plans to create passive income, as in – you’re going to sell the same meal plan over and over again – then, I recommend cutting that price down.
Personally, I’d sell that meal plan for $15.00, because after I’ve sold it 3 times I’ve paid myself back for the 3 hours of time and any additional sales are pure passive profit.
Offer a Variety of Meal Plan Options
Meal planning in itself is a niche market and there are a lot of people out there looking for your services.
However, while a great variety of people would love to have a meal plan ready and waiting for them at the end of each day, not everyone is willing to pay for it.
That being said, consider creating a micro-niche to make money as a meal planner. Choose a specific diet category and run with it.
Of course, it’s best if you start with what you know!
For example, if you are vegan, you might consider offering meal plans to other vegans – especially those that are just getting started in the lifestyle.
Love to plan parties? Hook up with a local event planner to offer themed menu plans for children’s birthday parties, weddings or special events.
Here’s a list of ideas to help you narrow down your micro-niche:
- Full Day Menus
- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Dessert
- Breakfast Menus
- Quick & Easy
- Light & Healthy
- Farmhouse Style
- Lunch Menus
- At Home
- Away From Home
- Dinner Menus
- Quick & Easy
- From Scratch
- Old-Fashioned “Sunday” Dinner Style
- Dessert Menus
- Quick & Easy
- Light & Sweet
- Decadent & Delicious
- Holiday Menus
- New Year’s Eve
- Valentine’s Day
- St. Patrick’s Day
- Fourth of July Picnic/BBQ
- Party Menus
- Baby Shower
- Bridal Shower
- Variety Diet Menus
- Raw Foods
- Children’s Meal Plans
- Senior Citizen Meal Plans
How to Advertise Your Meal Planning Services
You’re not going to make money as a meal planner if no one knows you are doing it! It’s imperative that you advertise your meal planning services.
Talk about your meal planning services.
Share a few free meal plans now and then.
Show photos of completed meals.
Don’t ignore traditional methods of advertising such as newspaper ads, hanging flyers at the local grocery store and of course, word of mouth – there is a reason people continue to pump advertising money into these categories after hundreds of years.
What’s the reason?
Because it works!
Being a meal planner can be an incredibly satisfying job and what could be more fun than helping families sit down at the end of a hard day to enjoy a special meal together?
I hope these tips have helped and I wish you the very best in your journey to make money as a meal planner!
You might also like:
- 7 Easy Things to Make and Sell to Earn Extra Money for Christmas Shopping
- 50 Things to Sell to Make Money Without Ever Leaving Your House
- How to Sell on Etsy: Opening Your First Shop
Be sure to signup for my daily newsletter to receive free printables, easy dinner ideas, recipes, home business tips and so much more right in your inbox!
Have a Spectacular Day!
Vanessa Hamlin is the owner and founder of Food Life Design and VLHamlinDesign. With her passion for frugal living and homesteading, Vanessa loves to write about easy recipes, making money, gardening, home remedies and everything else that a good life entails! When she’s not writing for Food Life Design or creating products for VLHamlinDesign, you’ll find Vanessa reading, drawing, gardening, cooking or spending time with her family.