Today I have something neat to share with you.
It’s a practical & pretty meal planning printable! 🙂
If there’s one thing I love more than a good plan, it’s a way to put that plan in a visual format so I can refer back to it in a glance!
I use it nearly every week to plan out my family’s meals.
Free Printable Weekly Meal Plan Template
This meal planner template is included in my FREE PRINTABLES LIBRARY which is free to all email subscribers.
To download it in PDF format, click on the link or image below to request access to the printables!
I honestly use this menu planner template EVERY SINGLE WEEK to plan out our family’s meals.
It’s especially handy in planning out when we will eat leftovers. I know that sounds silly but hear me out! 🙂
I just happen to know that every time we eat, we create a batch of leftovers (I’ve never been one to cook the exact amount we will eat)….so after 3 or 4 days I HAVE to work in a “leftovers day.”
If I don’t do that, I just waste money on food that goes bad.
So not only does this menu planner help you come up with your shopping list, it saves you time AND money (by planning to NOT cook dinner once or twice a week and eating leftovers instead!)
I love it for this reason along. Plus knowing what we are having for breakfast, lunch and dinner is really nice and makes grocery shopping a breeze.
Tips for Creating a Weekly Meal Schedule
Every week, I sit down on Saturday afternoon and plan out our food plan for the week.
I start by printing out a fresh copy of the meal plan template above, and I break out a couple colored pens (because colorful things make me happy). 🙂
I like to do my meal planning on a weekly basis because I don’t like our food routine to get too boring.
I’m not one of those people who can eat the same old thing week after week.
We rotate among about 40 different meal combos, and this works for me. I just keep the basics I need for most meals on hand, and go shopping for the perishables.
So the meal planning process typically goes like this:
- Fill in busy evenings with super simple meals. So this means if we have sports until 6 p.m., I will plan an easy meal. Something like tacos or breakfast for dinner.
- Then I will ask my husband or whatever kid is standing around if they have a special request, and I’ll fill that in for one evening. I like to do special meals that my family loves whenever I can because it means a lot to them.
- After that, I am usually down to one or two meals, and I typically leave one open for leftovers. If we eat dinner at home many days in a row, odds are we’ll have enough leftover to make a complete meal on the 4th day. And sometimes that’s just my plan for a busy day anyway! Easy peasy!
- We usually leave one day open for having dinner outside of the house or ordering in. I like to keep it real over here. We aren’t perfect with our budget and like to splurge on restaurants. So one of the dinners in this meal planning template will remain blank most weeks.
And that’s my meal planning for a week in a nutshell!
As you can see, I like to keep things simple.
This yellow daily meal planning template is enough to keep me on track so I always know what we’ll be having for dinner.
Weekly / Daily Meal Planning Printables Series
I hope you like this meal planning template – I want to make this a regular series if you guys want, so please let me know in the comments below if you like having templates like these to plan your weekly lunches and dinners.
I can make more daily meal planning sheets or even menu plans if that’s helpful!
I’m happy to take requests, too.
If you would rather have a printable meal planner template that has a section for your grocery list or perhaps contains lines on it, let me know.
Grocery Store Coupons
If you’re like me, you might want to double check what manufacturer’s coupons are available before you make your meal plan.
I like to compare the coupons to the store deals and then plan a few of my meals that way.
If you do that, then you are guaranteed to get dinner at a great price!
Here is where you can get free coupons:
And if you’re new to couponing in general, this post will help you get you started >> Important Couponing Tips for Beginners
Other Posts You Might Like!
- How to Find Money in Your Fridge (One Trick That Saves Me $40 Per Month on Groceries)
- How I Stretch My Food Budget – how most SAHMs I know do weekly meal planning
- 7 Ways to Make an Extra $500 – $1,000 per Month from Home – no direct sales involved