update: July 20, 2021
Do you know the power of a simple meal planning template?
Making dinner meals every day shouldn’t have to be a struggle. Right?!
As moms, life would be so much simpler if we knew what to make … at least for dinner.
Well, my friend, with meal planning templates, that is possible.
I have collected the most helpful meal planning templates that you can fill in and some that come with meal ideas!
Not everyone is organized, and even thinking of prepping for a week makes you think this is not for you. But trust me, even the unorganized would love these simple meal planning templates to plan meals for the week or month.
How Meal Planning Saves Money and Time
Meal planning is a great way to ensure that the family has healthy eating options and save you money.
I understand the struggle. Trust me.
I remember looking at the time, and it’s like 4 pm, and I didn’t have anything thawed out.
That’s when you realize it will be a take-out night– Pizza, Chic-fil-a, etc. That’s all good to do once in a while but four days a week!
Smh. That’s when you know you have a problem and need to plan. By planning ahead, you will reduce decision fatigue because we make enough decisions throughout the day, and avoiding mental exhaustion is a plus.
Plus, trips to the store will be more straightforward. Or, like most of during Covid, using Instacart and ordering your groceries to deliver to your house will be a breeze.
If you are new to this like me and need help getting started, try these tips for Easy Menu Planning:
Keep days of the week with a similar theme.
Everyone has heard of Taco Tuesday. But take it one step further and make it every Tuesday Mexican night. Then Italian Thursday can include a variety of meals like pizza, lasagna, spaghetti, baked ziti, etc.
Have Pinterest or Tiktok for inspiration.
I have a few secret boards since my children have allergies. Coming up with meal ideas without chicken, dairy, and eggs can be difficult but thank goodness for substitution!
Update 7/21: My middle child has outgrown most of her allergies yaaay, she only has peanut and tree nuts. My toddler has 5: beef, chicken, egg, dairy, and peanuts, and I believe she will grow out of it as well.
Use your social media meal ideas to fill up your meal planning template. For easy recipe ideas, check out my Pinterest Board, Easy Dinners for the working mom.
Multipurpose your meals.
When you make dinner, make enough so you can use the meal for lunch the next day. My family loves leftovers.
And don’t worry about making too much because you can always freeze any leftovers for later.
Get your list together the night before you go to the store.
We keep our meals on google keep. It allows you to invite a person so we can see each other modifications.
Use Apps to Save Money.
The best apps for shopping with digital flyers is the app Flipp. And to save money with digital coupons is Ibotta for both online and in-person shopping.
You can use the code xivrpy to get $10 just for using your coupons.Keep days of the week with a similar theme. Everyone has heard of Taco Tuesday. But take it one step further and make every Tuesday Mexican night. Then Italian Thursday can include a variety of meals like pizza, lasagna, spaghetti,… Click To Tweet
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
MEAL PLANNING TEMPLATE IDEAS
Image credit to Printable Crush
I have used this printable, and I like the ability to plan for the entire month.
So you shop for what you need in advance and save money.
2. Free Printable Meal Planner PDF
Image credit to Dear Crissy
Its meal plan printables like this make me go crazy. A baking conversion chart…yes. If you love the colors and the minimalist look, then check out the printable form Dear Crissy.
3. Six Week Healthy Meal Plan Template
Image Credit to Jennie Collier
Now, this is absolutely amazing. A 6-week meal plan printable with recipes links to each meal. So moms, when you are tired and coming home from work, you can have a meal in mine without much effort.
I included my meal planning template. It’s not all fancy with food options and links, but it’s cute!
I fill my sheet up and hang it on the fridge. So when the kids want to know what’s for dinner tonight, they can look at the printable.
I keep an Amazon Alexa in the kitchen for recipes. Then say, ” Alexa, get me a recipe for Chili,” and she brings it up. So for all you lazy moms like me, please grab yourself an Alexa because it will change your life.
5. Dinnertime Monthly Meal Plan Printable
Image Credit to The Resourceful Mama
I love how this meal plan printable gives you ideas for meals to prep for the month. Less thinking is always a plus.
Image Credit to Frugal Momeh
There is nothing better than more ways to stay organized. A weekly meal planner, a monthly meal planner, and a recipe card set. And it’s very colorful, so you feel completely motivated to get organized.
The meal planning template is pretty simple, but I like the sections to use it up and make ahead. This will save lots of money if you remember to use everything in your freezer before you start grocery shopping.
Image credit to Thirty and Handmade Days
Want to schedule out breakfast, lunch, and dinner all in one swoop? Check out this cute and simple meal planning template.
9. Free Weekly Meal Planner APP with Grocery List, Food Tracker, Recipes
I haven’t tried this out y, but I came across this amazing app that helps with meal planning and ide during my search for the best template to share.
10. Weekly Meal Planner – Excel Format
Image credit to Vetex42
Meal Planning is a great way to start meal prepping, which is to prep all your food for the week in one day. The purpose is to stress yourself out on one day, creating meals instead of every day. Ok, that’s sort of the reason, but really it saves time, money, and sanity.
Meal Plan: Next Step Prep
I am in the beginning stages of meal prep because lawd knows time is not on anyone’s side. Here are a few things recommended to make creating and prepping for meals easier.
- Instant Pot which I already own and love. Just having the meals on the printable is not going to get my meals made after work. But the instant pot is like moms best friend. I can put frozen meat in there! And it cooks in like 30 mins. Because these kids come in the house like they are starving and want a meal in mins. Boom thank the person who invented the Insta Pot.
- Meal Prep Container so I am down to try this, but Sunday is going to struggle. But I’m prepared to make meals and put them in the fridge. Who’s ready to take this journey with me?
- Bento Containers for the Kids. I’m not going to lie these are really cute.
Update:7/21 I love the Meal prep container because they are different colors and the kids know which container is theirs, especially since we have food allergies. I would make dinner and then add the leftover into the containers.
GRAB THE KITCHEN BINDER ( with menu planner printable binder set)
How do I meal plan for my Family
Meal planning for a family is not easy. You have to stay on top of it and really be mentally and food prepared.
I can honestly say it’s a struggle. Some weeks are good, and others are like cereal it is.
But one good hack is after I cook dinner, instead of using a big tubaware container to put everything away, I use the meal prep container. That way, they can grab them for lunch and warm them up without making a mess.
I hope you enjoy these simple meal plan templates as much as I do. What do you use to simplify your life and make mealtime easy?
Below is the meal planner I made using Canva Pro to fit my family of five needs. It’s in my Etsy shop, so make sure you check it out!