I don’t know about you, but summers around here tend to be a free for all. All my organization, scheduling, meal planning, bedtimes…it all pretty much goes out the window. It’s nice for a while. But when school starts and cooler temperatures come, I also look forward to getting back into a routine. And then the holidays come and it’s all out the window again. But my family still wants to eat. Enter the easiest meal planning you’ll ever do.
Meal planning has always been an area where I struggle, for lots of reasons. Kevin has feeding issues, Brian is a terribly picky eater (ARFID), as is my husband. At times I feel like a short-order cook in a diner. This weekend, I am definitely getting my sh*t together. I have to start meal planning again, for my own sanity. I have to have a plan or it really stresses me out.
Customizable Meal Planner
I need my meal planner to be customizable. I’ve tried the ready-made meal planners and they just don’t work for me. I have to change up too many things. It is much easier for me to just use the blank ones. I made up a bunch of these and I just change them out by season. My summer ones have lots of salads and grilling. Winter meal plans have more crockpot and soup ideas.
When I’m focused, I can do a weekly meal plan and order it on ShopRite Shop at Home in less than an hour. Seriously!
Easy Meal Planning
Despite my best efforts, meal planning falls on me. I get it, I work from home. My husband works long hours and 90 minutes away. So it makes sense. But some days I’m ready to scream.
What has helped us is that I am open and honest about how I’m feeling about meals. And, what I’m cooking.
Now, I just make up several of these, a week at a time. If I’m flipping through a magazine or cookbook, I put the idea right on the planner. It includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. So, then I just take that meal planner sheet and shop from it. Easy peasy.
Looking for a monthly meal planner template? Just make up four of these, and voila, done. I now have about 5 or 6 weekly meal plans for the colder months and about 3-4 for warmer months.
Free Weekly Meal Planner
Meal Planning Tips
- Be realistic. Some nights we eat hot dogs, and that’s ok. Be realistic about what you eat and plan for it. You can always improve as you go.
- I make several of these weekly meal templates, and then I rotate them. Right now I have about 15 of them, and I just choose one and do my shopping from it.
- Go easy on yourselves, moms. Not every night is Beef Wellington. Grilled cheese and tomato soup are fine. Better to have a plan of something simple and nutritious than nothing at all.
- When you see great ideas on Pinterest or in a magazine, don’t just pin it and forget it. Write it down on your next meal plan!
- See if there is a grocer near you who delivers. I find that I spend much less money on delivered groceries because I stick to my list and no impulse purchases. It’s also a huge time saver and sanity saver. I can sit down one evening and shop and meal plan in less than an hour.
- Tell everyone in the family they get to choose one meal each week/month. Takes the stress off you for thinking of ideas.
- Don’t try to do everything at once. And by that, I mean, meal planning, eating healthier, save money….start small. Start with meal planning and getting back on a grocery budget. Improve from there.
Weekly Meal Plan-includes Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner!
I also have some of these tablet-type meal planners, which are fantastic for when my printer is out of ink. Which is often!
- Press, Pretty Simple (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 108 Pages - 08/15/2017 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)
- ORGANIZE YOUR LIFE - Make menu planning a breeze with Sweetzer & Orange Meal Planner Pads. Plan in advance the meals you would prep every day for a week so you can eat healthier, save time on grocery shopping and save money spent on take outs and food waste.
- MINIMAL DESIGN FOR MAXIMUM WRITING SPACE – You have enough to worry about. Writing space should not be one of them. We designed our notepad to be elegant yet minimalist to make sure that you have more than enough room for your lists.
- JUST THE RIGHT SIZE - This 52-page meal planning pad is not too big nor too small in size. It is 7x10 inches, which is just the right size to accommodate your notes without eating up too much space on the fridge door.
- EASY TEAR-OFF GROCERY LIST - We added a perforation in the notepad so you can tear off your shopping list quickly and easily. With such a handy list, you will never wonder what to buy from the grocery store or forget anything ever again!
- EASY-TO-ACCESS MAGNETIC NOTEPAD - Forget sticky tape or fridge magnets. Our weekly planner pad comes with two built-in magnet strips so you can conveniently display your menu plan and list on the refrigerator’s door.
- Design Co., Cardien (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 112 Pages - 07/05/2019 (Publication Date) - Independently published (Publisher)
- WEEKLY MEAL PLANNER NOTEBOOK for a year of easy meal planning and food prepping, with grocery list, expense trackers and beautiful planner stickers.
- WHAT’S INSIDE: a guide to meal planning, double spread weekly layout, grocery list, recipe cards, Family Favorites cards, gratitude, master staples shopping list, healthy snack ideas, vitamins & minerals index, seasonal produce guide, expense trackers and notes pages.
- PREMIUM QUALITY: 5.5" x 8.2" hardcover spiral notebook: covers 52-weeks (undated), thick premium paper (100gsm), pen holder, elastic closure band, bookmark and an inner pocket for notes. Durable, lightweight and just the right size to fit in your bag and take to the store.
- BONUSES WITH PURCHASE: get free downloadable e-books and printables when you order. You’ll get exclusive access to the A-to-Z Meal Planning Guide, healthy meals recipes, clean eating shopping list and more tools to complete your Life & Apples Meal Planner experience.
- MOTIVATIONAL AND PRACTICAL GIFT for women and men who want to plan, get organized, prep and cook meals with ease and joy.
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