Hey guys! Today I wanted to take a minute and share with you all how I meal plan each week to make sure that we are prepared for dinner (it happens every night!) and how I stick to my budget. I’m not always on my meal planning game, but I try to stay on top of it and be consistent as much as I can. I am getting ready to grocery shop tomorrow, so I knew I needed to figure out today what I plan to cook! What better time to share my process with all of you! Also, make sure you download the family favorite’s printables below!
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I am currently using my platinum Carpe Diem planner for household things- cleaning, meal planning, important information, etc. I’ll try to do a full flip through of this planner for you guys soon! However, you can pop these printables into any half size planner, or use the letter size and make yourself a meal planning binder. I recommend a 1-inch binder, which you can find at your local Walmart or Target.
So you’ll want to gather your favorite cookbooks, or if you’re like me, grab your tablet or phone and open up Pinterest. I pin my favorite dinner meal ideas to my Dinner Ideas board so that I can remember what things we want to try.
I’ve also been working on filling out this favorite dinners sheet. It is one of my favorites. It definitely makes meal planning easy to have a list of things that everyone loves right at my fingertips.
If you want to grab the set of Favorites printables for Breakfasts, Lunches, and Dinners, you can sign up for my newsletter and get access to all of my free printables below!
Next, sometimes I plan all of our dinners for the month at once- if we’re feeling burnt out on some things this makes sure that I don’t plan on that meal too much for that month, or I can use this method for my favorite meal planning budget hack.
If you are really wanting to save on your grocery budget, this tip is for you. Sometimes, I’ll sit down and look at my meals for two weeks at a time. Typically I shop weekly, but I love being able to skip that in between week and buy groceries for two weeks at a time. So, how I do this and save big on my budget is by picking 7 meals. Once you have your 7 meals, make sure they are something your family really likes to eat, because you are going to repeat these 7 meals for 2 weeks. Here’s how this helps my budget- I can buy meat in bulk. Say I plan 2 beef meals, I need 4 lbs total, so I can buy a bulk pack to save big. Then, you can buy larger boxes of pasta, etc. You get the idea. By planning those same meals twice it makes it easier to buy larger packages of things, which means big savings. I would love to attempt to do this monthly, as well. You could get creative and do the same base meal- as far as meat and the main side ingredient, such as pasta, but add in different ingredients to change things up. It definitely helps to shop over larger periods of time, in my experience.
Next you’ll want to look at your week. I’ll be honest, sometimes this sheet isn’t necessary for me. This is because we often get into grooves with breakfast and lunch, and we will eat the same things each day. However, that does eventually get old, and in the spirit of feeding my kiddos a varied diet, it is so helpful to use this sheet.
Finally, once you have all of your meals planned, you can make up your grocery list! I love how easy grocery shopping is with my list divided into these categories. It really eliminates forgetting things and having to go all the way across the store for something you didn’t see on your list until the end.
I hope you guys have enjoyed seeing my meal planning process. As a mom I spend a lot of my time thinking about meals, preparing meals, and shopping for supplies for meals, so it is definitely important to me to keep everything organized and to know exactly what I’m cooking and exactly what I need.
They’re editable, so you can type into the blank fields, and they come in 2 different sizes (letter size and half letter), plus you can choose from 3 different color styles.
Here are some helpful supplies for putting together a meal planning binder-
Also, be sure and check out this fun Sticky Note Meal Planner Printable!
Then, check out our handy meal plans we’ve shared-