My big goal for this new year was to get organized, and this included more meal planning to help ease the stress in my daily life. Well, I honestly haven’t made much progress in the area of meal planning yet – so it is time to start making a positive change!
What better way to start accomplishing this goal than to create my own weekly menu planning printable that I can fill out each week. And I have included it as a free download for you!
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Meal planning has so many benefits for your budget and your sanity. It helps you stay on track with your budget when you know ahead of time what meals you will be making. You won’t need to make any last minute trips to the store to pick up items because you will already have all your ingredients on hand.
Then you won’t be making any impulse buys at the store on those last minute trips. By the time 4 o’clock rolls around you wont be looking in the fridge stressing about how you need put together a meal with the few things that are left in your fridge. Planning out your menu each week will help you feel more organized, keep your budget in check, and give you peace of mind.
Here are some steps to help you take control of your meal planning:
1Â Find some time each week to set aside time for your meal planning. I find that if I schedule it in on my calendar I will be more likely to remember to get it done.
2Â Take a look at your calendar for the upcoming week to see how many meals that you’ll need to plan for. You might have nights that you are too busy to cook, or have an outing scheduled. Knowing your schedule will help you plan accordingly.
3Â Take stock of your pantry and fridge/freezer to see what items you already have. If you have any items that will expire soon, make sure you incorporate those into your meals for the week so you don’t waste what you already have.
4Â Look through your resources to find recipes to use for the week. I have a few cookbooks that I love to get recipes from. A couple of my favorites are 100 Days of Real Food by Lisa Leake and Giada’s Family Dinners by
5Â Make your list of the ingredients that you need and take a trip to the grocery store! Before I leave for the grocery store I usually check coupons.com to see if there are any printable coupons available for the items on my grocery list. I also check the Ibotta App on my phone to see if there are any cash-back offers for the items on my list.
TIP: Take a picture of your grocery list with your phone before you leave, that way you have it on your phone in case you accidentally leave your list at home!
Now that you are ready to get started with your meal planning, download your free weekly menu planning printable here. I have included areas for your weekly dinners, grocery list, and breakfast/lunch/snack ideas. You could use a 3-hole punch and add these to a recipe/meal planning binder if you want to plan out a few weeks or even months in advance! Are you ready to get planning?
For more money saving ideas check out my post on 6 Essential Money Saving Apps!
Do you make a weekly meal plan? What are your go-to recipes that you enjoy?