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Meal Planning 101

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People ask me all the time, do I really cook all the time? Yes I do. How do you come up with different things to make? I get inspiration everywhere. Magazines, cooking shows, something that I ate in a restaurant, other food blogs. Do you shop every day or once a week or once a month? I do a big once a month shop for cleaning supplies, toilet paper, that sort of thing and grocery shop once a week. Every Saturday I sit down with my meal planning sheet and plan out what we are doing and what we are going to have for dinner. I create my shopping list based off of the weekly meal plan. I shop on Sunday morning. I grab a Starbucks and go. The stores are quiet and I can get in and out of there in a reasonable amount of time. I know that lots of people can do this for the month or two weeks, but a week is what works for me. I look through my recipe binder or the millions of magazine clippings that I have and decide what I am going to make for the week. Remember how I told you that I spend a crazy amount of money on food? Well, that is true. But it is a lot less now that I plan out what we are going to eat each week. I buy exactly what I need and since I make an effort to buy organic, free range, etc. I make sure that we eat it. I created this sheet to help me out. Try it out and see if it works for you. Some of the surprising benefits of doing this is:

  • We have stopped eating out. Not only have we saved money, but it is so much healthier. My children have gotten involved in the process of deciding what we eat and they help me make it sometimes.
  • I save time. When I know that on Monday I am going roast chicken breasts for dinner, I roast a few extra and use it for dinner on Wednesday. When I had no plan, I couldn’t plan ahead.
  • We eat together as a family every night. Well, almost every night, life does happen, but for the most part, we sit together at the table every night and eat a meal together.

Here are some other great resources for meal planning.

Meal Planning Mommies – Great tips on how to get started and meal ideas.

Krista’s Kitchen – Krista will deliver a shopping list into your inbox at the beginning of the week.

Cheap Healthy Good – Tons of resources for meal planning, budgeting, all kinds of goodies.

Is there a resource that you use that you love? How do you meal plan? Tell us about it in the comments section.

Want to download my meal planner? Click here or the image below.


Friday 3rd of January 2020

Great post!! I can't seem to find the link to download the planning page. Could you email it to me?

Bree Hester

Saturday 4th of January 2020

If you click on the image of the sheet, it will automatically download, and there are multiple places in the post to grab it.


Tuesday 16th of April 2019

I truly LOVE the design of your meal planner and wanted to say THANK YOU for providing this resource! We will be using it for our family and I'm very grateful I came across this!

Best wishes!


Thursday 18th of April 2019

You are very welcome! I am glad that you find it useful.

Keeping Us Fed

Tuesday 3rd of April 2018

[…] I have found SO MANY MORE recipes! I made a recipe catalog! I started writing out my meal plans(This is my current favorite meal planner)! And, being the list-loving person that I am, I haven’t looked […]

Badger Mama

Monday 25th of April 2016

Well, it's now spring of 2016, and I want to thank you for posting this simple menu planner. I've been really working on planning ahead, since the New Year, and I'm so happy with how much less food we are wasting, and how much the kids are involved in planning our meals together. Thanks!


Sunday 1st of May 2016

You're very welcome. I'm glad that you find it useful.


Saturday 2nd of January 2016

I'm trying to do and print the page but when I click on it it says failed to load ???? I love this it's simple and to the point... anyway I can have you email it to me please ????


Wednesday 6th of January 2016

I'm sorry you are having a problem Lora, it seems to be working for me. Can you click on the picture or the link?