Need a printable to help with meal planning? I’ve got you covered!
Today I am sharing how I plan our meals each week and the planning sheets I use.
Here are four tips when it comes to meal planning.
(There are also some handy printables to download at the end of the post.)
Tip #1: Make a plan.
Trying to throw something together for dinner at the last minute without a plan is super stressful. Trying to grocery shop for the week without a plan is also stressful, and usually results in multiple trips to the store.
So, cut the stress and make a game plan at the beginning of each week. Think about your schedule for the week ahead. Are there going to be some busy nights where you need to plan a quick and simple meal, or even a crockpot meal? Do you have a date night planned and need to figure out what your kids are going to eat while you’re gone?
Trust me. Don’t go to the store without a plan.
Tip #2: Check to see what you already have.
Before you plan meals and make a grocery list, look in your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator.
What meals can you make with what you have? Or, if you have a lot of something that needs to be used up (ex: chicken, tortillas, tomatoes, or whatever), plan a meal or two around those items.
This will cut down on waisting food that goes bad because it was hiding in the back of the fridge. You will also be less likely to buy yet another jar of spaghetti sauce when you actually already have two in your pantry, but you forgot, so you grabbed another one at the store…just in case.
Check what you have before you make a plan!
Tip #3: Check the Weekly Ad.
It always helps to check what is on sale at your favorite store, then plan your meals around those items.
We get a lot of our groceries at Sprouts, so we also check for coupons on their store app. Most stores have an app with coupons.
Tip # 4: Have a list of your family’s favorite meals.
I like to keep a list of our favorite meals that I can reference while I make our meal plan for the week. I usually like to try a new recipe once a week and try to plan a couple of meals that I know the kids will like. Having a handy list with our favorites makes this super easy.
Now on to the free printables!
Click the picture below to download my Grocery List, Meal Planner, and Family Favorites List.