I have been looking for a meal planning template for a while. For the past year, I have been making an effort to add meal planning into my weekly routine. I like to be organized and have cute little tools to help me get things done so I, of course, needed a template not just a piece of regular paper.
I searched Pinterest and even had my brother design one for me, a design you may see down the road. None of them were quite right. Most took up too much paper. Some were too detailed with breakfast, lunch dinner and snacks. Others were too flowery and just not my style.
After a lot of trial and error and using versions I drew on paper I finally found a layout that makes it easy for me to write down the week’s plan, my budget and my grocery list on the same page and I have turned it into a PDF to share with you.
my meal planning template
I have some favorite features on this meal planning template. Like it is also my grocery list so I don’t have to carry two pieces of paper to the store. When I fold it in half the sheet of paper is an easy size to carry around as I shop.
plan, list & go
This sheet makes it easy for you to plan the recipes you are going to make and write them in the top section of the page. By keeping my budget at the top it also helps remind me to not to plan lavish meals of lamb, seafood or other pricey dishes. Not that we eat like paupers by any means. The treat area lets me feel like I am splurging just a little while staying in budget. This usually reads, hummus & pretzels.
When I am done finding the recipes all I need to do is make my list at the bottom. Starting at the beginning of the week and going all the way through Sunday I am sure not to miss writing down the ingredients for an entire recipe. Though I somehow frequently forget an item or two. This list also has more room for the areas of the store I spend the most money in, produce & pantry staples, which never seemed to be the case on other forms.
The size is also super convenient for me, as I mentioned. I tried using one sheet and doing it vertically, but it was cumbersome to carry around the store and see the entire list at once. It just kept flopping over. This horizontal version makes it much easier, even allowing me to fold it in thirds for an even smaller piece to carry or stick in my pocket from store to store.
date checking at the store
When I was using two pieces of paper, one for the menu and one for the grocery list, I would leave the menu at home. Then at the store, I would forget what night I was cooking a certain dish. So, I am looking at the whole chickens with a few dates and can’t remember if these will still be good on the night I need to cook a whole chicken. Or I would want to get asparagus for dinner, but I was shopping too many days out and my asparagus was going to be dry and lackluster by the time I cooked it. This allows me to make quick decisions, to change my plan on the fly, or rearrange some side dishes so the asparagus would be as fresh as possible when I wanted to cook it.
If you want to use this meal planning template & grocery list, simply sign up for my email list. If you are already on the list this is heading to your inbox as we speak.
If you do use it and have feedback please let me know. I would love to make this the most useful tool it can be. If you don’t do your shopping on Saturday or Sunday like I do and would like the days of the week in a different order we may be able to work something out.