How To Meal Plan
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.
If you want to grab the full set of Meal Planning Printables for yourself, they’re available in 3 different color styles, over in my shop.
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-
Healthy Meal Plan for Families
I have been seriously debating starting meal planning lately, but had no idea where to start. This is a huge help!
Meal planning is great! Love this method too of how to do it so you are organized! Helps make it stress free!
This is a great resource to have for those who have a hard time meal planning. I meant to leave meal plan for the week just before I go grocery shopping and I leave myself some flexibility on dates but I don’t really feel like cooking that dish or not .
Excellent advice. When I had a family at home this was essential for good household management.
Great advice! Meal planning really helps me to stay on track and not be tempted to eat junk. I have fallen off that wagon lately, but thanks for the reminder that I need to start back up!
Thank you for sharing these – we’re so bad at meal planning but really need to crack on with it this month! So useful! x
I could really use these printables. I often “plan” out my meals but then forget to write down which recipe I will be using or what night I need to make which meal. I end up with all these ingredients without my plan in place.
I am a big meal planner but lately I’ve really been slacking. I need to get back into it as its so much easier especially with such a big family!
That is a really smart system. I really need to start meal planning. I dread the question “what’s for dinner” because I just never have anything planned!
These meal planning printables are adorable! And these are great tips. I never thought to make the same meals twice- very good idea to save money!
I have been trying to figure out the easiest way to do this since we have such different eaters at our house. Great tips!
I love meal planning! Our week goes so much better when I plan our meals and we eat so much healthier. Thanks for the printables, they are great.
Meal planning makes dinner so much easier! I love those printables, so cute and easy!
I like to plan out meals but I need to do a better job of prepping during the weekend for the week. This looks like a great way to plan!
Meal planning is so much better than thinking of what to cook everyday. Less stress and less time spent as well. I love that it also helps me save money because we don’t over buy and we don’t over stock! These are great tips!
I feel like meal planning is what I need and should be doing. cause everyday I am at a lost and overhwelmed but I just can’t find the time to sit and think it all through, but these were some great ideas and I should give it a try.
I’m liking the size of your printables. They look easier to deal with than regular size paper. I am still getting used to the idea of meal planning. It is so beneficial, but we often just don’t do it – I’m not sure why!
We never plan our meals as we often eat out and never really know what we do the next evening but I guess once we have babies this will have to change! Your planners look super pretty!