Enjoy this FREE Meal Planner Printable to make dinnertime less stressful
I was born a planner so naturally planning out recipes and meal prep ideas for the entire week is something I love to do. What I don't love to do is to go to the grocery store every day of the week because nothing is planned for our family meals. That leads to stress and eating fast food and that is never a good idea.
So, I’m working hard to kick the constant stress in my life to the curb, and two ways to help me get there is by staying ahead on my meal planning and keeping my kitchen well-stocked. This helps come 5 o’clock when I’m ready to start getting dinner on the table. If I have meals planned and my pantry supplied, the dinner dilemma stress is avoided. I have also found that when I plot my meals ahead of time, I tend to eat healthy meals and have better eating habits.
I created this free weekly meal planner template to help me stay on track, and it’s been an excellent tool to have for our whole family. I try to plan two weeks’ worth of meals at a time because that’s how often I like to go grocery shopping. I fill in the boxes and print out the two weeks’ worth of recipes and leave it on the kitchen counter. This way my husband can help with dinner when he comes home and can also jot down groceries that he might need or want.
I have found that while meal planning apps are great, there is something about writing things down on paper and crossing things off that makes me feel accomplished. This free download printable is designed to fit on standard letter-size paper (8.5″ x 11″) for easy printing and it's in a pdf format. It includes a free weekly meal plan template for all seven days of the week, snacks section, shopping list section and a notes section. It's a great way to plan delicious meals with nutritious food.
Of course, if you’re looking for some great meal ideas or recipes ideas to fill your free meal planner printable, you’ll want to browse the ones right here on this blog! Just click the recipe link in the menu above.
Great Ideas for Meal Prep:
Additionally, you might also be interested in our FREE printable Guide to a Well Stocked Pantry. It's a comprehensive grocery list template of items that I like to keep on hand. It's helpful for menu planning and there's good chance you won't have to make an extra shopping trip if you keep your pantry stocked. It's also a great way to keep track of your pantry inventories.
Are you feeling inspired to kick the dinner (or breakfast and lunch) dilemma to the curb? Or do you have a weight loss goal? Or are you wanting a healthy lifestyle? If so, you’re going to want to download our free printable meal planner right now! This free printable meal planner template will serve your goals in so many ways. Happy meal planning!
Tips for Successful Meal Planning
- Have simple printable weekly meal planners, like this one here. 🙂 Keep it simple so you'll actually use it.
- Spend time each week looking for recipes: I usually reserve that for Thursday nights after the kids go down. I can browse Pinterest and my cookbooks while watching a show and having a glass of wine.
- Ask your family what they would like to eat. Do you have picky kids or a spouse with allergies? Consider their favorite meal choice or diet plans.
- Check the season & weather. Will you be grilling because it's nice and sunny out, or are you using that slow cooker because it's cold and stormy?
- Plan for leftovers. My best menu plans are ones that I can creatively use leftovers from one main meal to the next. A whole roasted chicken one night can become chicken salad for lunch the next day.
- Make a shopping list and choose a shopping day. As I'm writing out my weekly planner for family dinners and meals, I write down what ingredients I think I will need. I then double check the pantry to make sure I have everything and place my grocery pick up order.
- Prep as much food as you can ahead of time. I usually spend my kids' nap time on Sundays or get my family members to help with meal prep. This way you're spending less time through the week getting your meals cooked.
- Keep a well-stocked pantry. This is an important thing to do so you cut down on grocery trips and save time.