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Meal Planning Worksheet to Save Time & Cash (Free PDF)

Inside: Get organized with this free weekly meal planner template. It places your buying record and dinner menu multi function place.

A graphic of two meal planning worksheets

Reader Assessment

“I exploit this each week! I normally sit down and attempt to plan two to 3 weeks at a time. It has been a sport changer for me.”

Does meal planning sound good–however solely in principle?

Desperately scouring the fridge at 5pm whereas a toddler tugs at your pant leg is no one’s thought of enjoyable.

But meal planning can even really feel like yet another chore on an limitless to-do record–like one thing different, extra organized, mothers are doing.

If it feels that strategy to you, I’ve acquired a easy system to make it straightforward. Spend ten minutes on this meal planning worksheet in the beginning of the week, and I promise you’ll spend much less time, cash, and headspace determining what’s for dinner all week lengthy.

How these meal planning worksheets are completely different

  • They embody a spot on your weekly menu plan–however simply dinner, the hardest meal for many households to determine.
  • They’ve acquired a spot on your grocery record, as a result of planning meals and constructing a grocery buying record on the identical time simply is smart (and saves you money and time).
  • The grocery lists are organized by aisle. So no extra back-tracking across the retailer.
  • They arrive in a one-store or two-store model. Relying in your buying routine, you might hit one retailer or two (or in the event you’re like me, that may change from week to week). Both manner, I’ve acquired an choice for you.

The way to get these worksheets

  • Select the one or two retailer worksheet. You could have two completely different choices, relying on the way you sometimes store for groceries. Faucet the pink buttons above to get one or each.
  • Get your worksheet: When you enroll, you’ll obtain an e-mail. Click on the button within the e-mail to entry your free weekly meal planner worksheet. Will probably be in a PDF format. Obtain it to your pc. 
  • Print out the planner: You may print as many copies as you’d like so you have got a brand new sheet every week (and if you wish to plan your entire month’s value of meals, go forward and print out 4.)

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A graphic of a meal planning worksheet with a pen and pencil alongside it.

The way to use the meal planning worksheet

Step 1: Sketch out a dinner plan for the week

The very first thing to do is consider your meals that week. Alongside the highest of the sheet are bins for the times of the week. That is the place you’ll jot down your dinner plan for every evening.

Take into consideration what you’ve acquired occurring every evening too and what sort of meals work for that type of evening. For instance:

  • A crockpot meal for piano-baseball-play apply type of nights 
  • An additional easy meal thought like breakfast for dinner or sandwiches
  • Primary 30-45 minute recipes for slower weeknights
  • A particular, extra time-intensive meal for the weekend (that is additionally a great time for attempting new recipes)
  • No less than one evening of leftovers or clean-out-the-fridge (I name this “Scrounge Evening”)
  • Maybe one evening for going out or getting pizza

There’s additionally sufficient area below every day of the week to write down down what’s occurring that evening too (like “soccer sport” or “late work assembly”).

Then pencil in some dinner concepts below every day of the week. Attempt to construct your meals round what you have already got readily available, like hen breasts within the freezer or broccoli that must be eaten quickly.

For those who’re having a tough time planning your entire week, map out only a few dinners per week to get began. The essential factor is that this technique works for YOU and is sustainable.

Step 2: Construct your grocery record & store

Fill within the grocery record portion of the meal planning worksheet with objects you want on your dinners, plus the rest for the week. The aim is to keep away from unplanned grocery journeys to seize forgotten objects.

The grocery record is organized by class to simplify buying and keep away from zig-zagging throughout the shop.

The meal planning worksheet sits in a grocery cart.

Step 3: Publish your dinner plan

Reduce off the highest portion of the meal planning worksheet and put up it the place your loved ones can see it, like on the fridge or on a cabinet door. It’s an effective way to let your loved ones know what’s on the menu that week and jog your reminiscence in case it’s essential to pull out hen to defrost or chop some veggies prematurely to save lots of time.

Step 4. Rinse & repeat every week

Print a brand new weekly planner sheet each time you want it.

Get your meal planning worksheet

A graphic of a meal planning worksheet with paper clips and markers alongside it.

Nonetheless not satisfied?

Listed below are 5 perks of meal planning:

You’ll really feel much less stress. When you have got a dinner plan for every evening, you’ll really feel extra relaxed and arranged. 

You’ll eat more healthy. Having your meals mapped out means no spins by means of the drive-thru for quick meals and fewer journeys for take-out.

You’ll get monetary savings. While you plan your meals and make your grocery record on the identical time, you may get all the things you want in a single journey and keep away from final minute dashes to the shop for a forgotten ingredient–which suggests a decrease weekly grocery invoice.  (Ever made a last-minute run to the grocery retailer the place you run in for garlic, come out with $150 value of different stuff–and fully neglect the garlic? Yeah, me too.)

You’ll save time. Scrambling across the kitchen trying to find dinner (or dashing out for a pizza) sucks away beneficial time. With a plan in place, you may take a second the evening earlier than to place any frozen meat or poultry you want within the fridge to defrost and set out objects that you just’ll want, like an onion or spices.

You’ll waste much less meals. About one third of the meals we purchase finally ends up wasted. Meals waste is dangerous for the planet and your grocery price range. While you plan your meals, you solely purchase what you want, so that you robotically waste much less (and spend much less). 

My finest meal planning recommendation

Choose your ache level. You don’t need to plan out each single meal within the day, simply those that journey you up week after week. For most individuals, that’s dinner—however you may slender it down even additional. Perhaps it’s Tuesdays, when each youngsters have sports activities apply. Or Thursdays, while you work late. Begin by planning simply that one meal, then construct from there.

Be actual with your self. Even the proper meal plan received’t work if it’s not real looking on your way of life. If weeknights are loopy, plan for sluggish cooker recipes or easy meals like sandwiches. Plan extra time-consuming meals for weekends.

Meal plan and store on the identical time. While you create your meal plan and grocery record on the identical time, you might be certain you’ll get all the things you want and received’t must sprint again for a number of grocery journeys to fetch lacking elements.

Embrace “clear out the fridge” evening. Construct in a single evening per week for pulling all the chances and ends out of your fridge. Prepare them on a fairly platter, set them out buffet-style, or when you have younger youngsters, serve them picnic-style on a blanket on the ground. You’ll keep away from losing meals or spending more cash—and everybody can choose what they like finest. 

Get extra free worksheets

Need assistance with meal prepping? Seize my free 4-Week Meal Prep Plan

Take it to the following degree!

These free meal planning worksheets are an enormous step towards feeling much less stress each week.

For those who’re able to get organized round dinner for good and have a plan each week (AND a strong back-up plan), take a look at my No-Stress Dinner Planner. You may get a printed spiral-bound copy or an instant-access PDF obtain.

It’s constructed across the meals YOUR household likes finest and the schedule you have got NOW and contains:

  • a system for organizing your loved ones’s favourite recipes
  • extra detailed meal planning worksheets (three completely different decisions)
  • easy meal concepts 
  • a spot to create backup plans when issues get off observe

Seize your copy of the No-Stress Dinner Planner.



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