Let’s learn how to meal plan plus download the free meal planner printable to help you make a meal plan for the week. Meal planning for a whole week may seem like a difficult proposition, especially, so when you live with a family and you are required to keep every member’s preferences and tastes in mind. However, meal planning in advance is imperative if you want to save time and money while making sure your family eats healthy.
Making a meal plan for a week in advance doesn’t need to be difficult. Today I’m going to walk you through how to meal plan so you can make this a normal thing you do.
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I haven’t always been good with meal planning. Years ago, after work, I would stop by the store and pick up something for dinner. Sometimes it was already prepared. Sometimes it was something that I would have to cook.
There was so much time and money wasted each day because I would just go in without a plan.
I didn’t worry about eating healthy or if the food was on sale. When I went to the store, I just picked out what looked good.
This process wasn’t working. We were spending way too much money on food and we were gaining weight. It was time to make a change and now I’m sharing my tips with you.
Weekly Meal Plan Benefits
- Save time
- Stick to your budget
- Eat healthier
How to Meal Plan
Planning and implementing a weekly menu should not be difficult if you just start with the process of drawing up a menu. However, I’ve done the hard work for you by creating a free meal planner you can download below.
So Just Start!
Pick up a pen and start drawing up a menu. It need not be perfect at a go and it can be a rough draft to start with, but start somewhere. Simply bring to your mind the dinners that you enjoy as a family and put them down. Make changes if you think you want healthier options, or if you want easier to prepare meals on certain days of the week. Once you have the menu, go ahead with a plan. Read further to know more.
Have a Plan!
It is simple; when you have a pre-planned weekly menu, you have a plan but these are meals we are talking about, not the nuclear launch codes. Hence nothing is set in stone. Try to stick to your plan the best you can, but if a special occasion comes around or the kids do not feel like eating lasagne one fine day, relax your rules just once or maybe even twice and maybe order in pizza.
Use your favorite recipes
All families have their favorite go-to meals. Try mixing in some of your favorite recipes into your meal plan. I also try to theme some of the days. For example, we try to have tacos or Mexican once a week. Then we’ll have pasta or some type of Italian dish. This helps with always trying to come up with new ideas.
Get Your Weekly Shopping Done!
Once you have your weekly menu; it is so much easier to get your weekly shopping done. It helps if you pick one definitive day of the week and stick to it. Whichever day works for you can form the timeline of your weekly menu. It need not be a Sunday to Saturday menu if you do not have the time to shop on a Sunday, pick any other day of the week. It could be a Tuesday to Monday menu and you can replenish your groceries every Tuesday or any other day of the week, depending on what works best for you.
Refer to the errand day step by step tutorial that will provide insight into how you can allocate one day of the week for getting errands like your weekly shopping is done.
Ask for Help!
Especially, when you are planning a weekly menu for the family, you need help and input from the family. So definitely go ahead and ask. Get all the help you need planning the weekly menu and then some more when doing your weekly shopping. The husband might be busy but be sure to enlist the help of the kids; you can be assured that shopping for things apart from toys and treats will be an educative experience.
Take a Girlfriend Along!
Your weekly shopping trip needn’t be all work and no play which is why you can take a girlfriend along. You may find that you have little time to socialize throughout the week but your grocery run can be a great time to catch up on gossip. Put your minions (kids) on a scavenger hunt of sorts getting the items you need; while chat with your bestie, walking around the aisles, picking up things you both need.
Do Your Research
If there is an objective to your weekly meal plan such as a healthy diet or sticking to the specified food budget, you might need to do some research while planning out your weekly menu. This should not be tough when you have access to the internet.
Benefits of a Weekly Meal Plan
In conclusion, let us list the benefits of a weekly meal plan.
- Allows you to stick to a food budget
- Allows you time to plan a healthy diet
- Gets the kids involved in the planning and shopping process
- Saves on time that goes into last minute meal planning.
I want to leave you with a free meal planner to help you create a weekly meal plan that you can complete and enjoy. Click the button below to print it out.