Creating a weekly menu plan is not a new concept. I am a proponent for meal planning. Monthly meal planning is my thing, but when you are new to meal planning it can seem overwhelming to plan a whole month of meals! If you have yet to try out menu planning let me be your guide to creating an easy weekly menu plan.
When I first started meal planning I would plan one week at a time. Taking time once a week to plan our dinner meals was definitely doable even with a busy schedule. Having a weekly menu plan eliminated one thing off my to-do list and kept me sane. 😉 You, too, can stay sane and easily create a weekly menu plan that works with your family and schedule. Grab the Weekly Menu Plan Printable and follow the steps below to plan your week of meals!
Make A List of Meals
When it’s time to meal plan get out your recipe box, cookbooks and phone. I use my phone to look at the recipes I have pinned to my Pinterest food board. Choose 4 or 5 recipes to add to your menu list for the week. I like to choose 4 meals I know my family likes and also try one new recipe each week. Make sure to include a quick meal and possibly a crock-pot meal in your week. I’m sure you have a busy schedule just like I do and having a couple easy dinner meals will help you out on those really busy evenings!
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Make A Grocery List
After you have your Weekly Menu Plan filled out it’s time to make the shopping list. Look at the ingredient list for each meal you will be making that week. Do a quick check of your pantry, fridge and freezer for the items you have and add any ingredients you still need to your grocery list. I like to keep my Weekly Menu Plan on the side of my refrigerator. Then I can quickly add any items to my list and my family can see the meal choices for the week.
Having your shopping list done and ready will save you time. No more last minute “Quick I need to make a grocery list!” scenarios. Your list will be ready and you won’t forget any ingredients you need for your recipes. On occasion, even with a list, I may still forget an item. Sometimes grocery shopping with kids can be a bit distracting. 🙂
Why I Do It This Way
You may notice that I only choose 5 recipes for the week. This is to leave room for evenings when our family may eat out or a night to eat leftovers. We don’t want to waste money on ingredients or waste food. So by only planning out 5 recipes for the week you will eliminate waste in your wallet and pantry.
Also, I don’t like to assign any meal to a particular day. I like to have some freedom to choose what meal I feel like making that day. I may give a family member the choice of picking out what we are having for dinner that night and have that person help me make it. Just this evening my 8 year old son helped me make our spaghetti dinner. He felt accomplished and I was happy to have the help!
These cookbooks are my favorite to help during menu planning!
Don’t throw away your Weekly Menu Plan at the end of the week! You worked hard to create that meal list. As you begin to create weekly menu plans save them in a folder or binder. You can reuse an old Weekly Menu Plan once you have 6-8 of them made. Put them in a rotation. Continue to try out a new recipe each week and add it to your meal list. By saving the weekly menu plans you will be creating a recipe master list you know your family loves!
I’ve made the Weekly Menu Plan even easier with this free printable. There is space to write in 5 dinner ideas along with side dish ideas. Fill in the handy shopping list on the side and just clip and go shopping. Each week your menu plan will stay super organized and you won’t break a sweat.
Meal planning doesn’t need to be hard. Even if you have tried meal planning before and didn’t enjoy it – please give it a try again. See how this two step meal plan can relieve some stress in your day!
Have you tried meal planning before? Do you like to specify a specific meal for the day of the week? Let me know in the comments below.
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