Weekly meal planning is the easiest way to destress your busy life & get organized. This free & cute meal planner printable will help you figure out exactly what’s for dinner. No more worrying at the last minute about what you’re going to feed the kids or if you have the right ingredients. You’ll have preplanned what your meals will be and your grocery shopping list taking the stress out of your weeknights.
Don’t worry it will only take about 15 minutes a week to plan a week’s worth of meals using this free printable meal planner. Included in the free meal planner are weekly planner choices by day of the week, a monthly meal planner, a grocery shopping list, a meal ideas list to brainstorm, a weekly menu, and more.
Take a look below and see if this free printable weekly meal planner template can destress your life too!
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Free Printable Meal Planner Templates
Why You Should Make A Meal Plan
There are so many reasons that meal planning is such a great idea. It really is the ultimate mom hack to ending the stress of having to plan dinner for your whole family every night. This simple change in the way you prepare for the week can make all the difference.
Here is why you should start meal planning:
You’ll Get Organized
A meal planner is a helpful tool to get you organized when you don’t have much time to cook. What I find the most stressful is when I need to come up with a meal at the last minute and I have no time to cook. My kids are whining they’re starving and it just raises my anxiety. Is this you too?
But if I plan out my main meals for the week ahead of time I know exactly what I am making and how long it will take. This feeling of having a plan really helps take away the stress.
Get more organization tips in 11 Habits of an Organized Mom You Can Start Today
Easier & Faster Grocery Store Trips
It’s faster & easier to shop at the grocery store because you know exactly what you need for the whole week. You’ve made your grocery shopping list for all your easy meals and now you just need to follow it.
No more wondering the grocery store aisles thinking about what you should cook.
You’ll Save Money
Saving money is probably the best part of taking the time to meal plan. There are two ways you’ll save money:
Stop Eating Out – When you have your dinner ideas set you won’t be tempted to pick up fast food or go out to eat as much.
Tip: If you do want to eat out as a treat check out our favorite restaurants Where Kids Eat Free.
Save On Your Grocery Bill – When you go to the grocery store follow your list of what you need for the entire week. Don’t buy extra food just focus on what you need.
When you’re making your meal plan also look at the grocery store ads and see what is on sale for the week.
Basing your dinner ideas on food costs will change the way you grocery shop and really help you save money.
Also now that you have a plan you will only need to go to the grocery store once a week to shop. This will save you time & money!
How Do I Make a Meal Plan?
A great way to start meal planning is to sit down with your free printable menu planner, grocery store ads, and your family’s calendar. The whole thing takes me about 15 minutes and I am set for the week.
First, decide if you want to do a weekly menu planner or a monthly menu planner. The monthly planner will take longer to do but then you only have to work on it once a month. Both have pros and cons so see what works best for you.
Second, look through your calendar of activites so you know how much time you have to cook on each day of the week. For instance, on busy weeknights when you have kid’s activites it might need to be a fast family meal or slow cooker meal idea.
Third, look at your weekly grocery store ad and see what food is on sale. Incorporate those food items into your meal plan to save money.
Fourth, as you pick out your different meals add what ingredients you need onto the next week’s grocery list. Doing it now is a huge time saver.
Tips for Meal Planning-
Leftovers – I usually plan a big meal on Thursdays or Fridays so I’ll have leftovers for lunches on the weekend. It helps to plan a leftover day so you don’t have any food waste and it gives you a day off from cooking.
Meal Prepping – is another great time saver. For instance, if you’re going to need onions cut up for two different meals do it all in one day and save half for the second meal.
Free Printable Meal Planner PDF
There are 8 pages in this cute meal planner printable to plan out your daily meals. The free download includes all the pages you will see below. Just print it out and start planning your weekly menu today!
Grab Your Free Printable Meal Planner Templates
Free Printable Weekly Meal Planners
Here are two free weekly meal planner templates with different designs. Each of the free printables has a Monday start date and all the days of the week. There is also a shopping list section to create your grocery list while you plan your meals.
Weekly Planner with Meal Times
These weekly meal planners also have meal times.
Weekly Family Menu
Plan out breakfast, lunch, and dinner each week for your family members with this free meal plan template.
Monthly Meal Planner
If you would rather plan out your entire month use this monthly meal planner. It will take longer to plan than the weekly meal planner but you’ll have the whole month done which is pretty awesome.
Create a go-to list of meal ideas and dinner ideas so you have inspiration each week when planning. Write down your whole family’s favorite meals on the list and the healthy meals you want to try. This will help you create your meal plan faster by having a list of meal ideas to refer to.
Grocery Shopping List
A complete grocery list template with all the different areas of the grocery store you would shop at. Add grocery items to this list as you make your meal ideas for the week.
I really hope this cute printable menu planner helps you get organized and take the stress out of cooking dinner for your family.
Make sure to grab all 8 pages of the Free Meal Planner Printable
If you want to find more ways to get organized visit our Households Hacks Page.
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