Life as a parent, or in fact, life in general, can get pretty busy. Anything that you can do to make things a little easier make a big different to your wellbeing. Planning can be a part of that for some people; knowing what you are doing, or what you are eating which night of the week, can give you a little more breathing space. It may even give you some time to relax. That’s why we have a printable weekly meal planner for you to download today.
Hopefully it’ll get you into good habits for those meals during the week, planning the shop, and it might even help with budgeting. We know it is proven that if you plan your meals and shop in advance, you are less likely to spend so much at the supermarket. *we promise*
Why use a weekly meal planner
There are a number of reasons to use a weekly meal planner:
- It genuinely does help with budgeting, as you only buy what you need, and you are unlikely to spend unnecessarily on eating out as well,
- It reduces waste, so it helps with the environment,
- It encourages health eating, because as you are planning, you are much more likely to consider healthy alternatives, rather than quickly popping out to get something simple, like nuggets and a pizza *you know this is right,*
- If you have older kids, you can even encourage them to put their names down for cooking some of the meals within your plan,
- It helps you if you are looking to cut down on eating meat; again, thinking ahead makes you more likely to consider the amount of meat you are eating within the week,
- You are likely to think more about variety; so not having too many pasta meals within the week, and maybe even mixing it up a bit with the ingredients. It might even encourage you to explore different cookbooks too, if you give yourself enough time to plan your meals and list,
- Ultimately it saves you A LOT of time; yes you have to spend time planning, but you only go out to shop once a week, instead of having to go out multiple times because you don’t have anything in the house to cook,
- Reduces your cooking anxiety (!); We aren’t sure if this is a thing, but we know that if we are able to work out what’s for dinner by looking at a meal plan, it is a lot less stressful than having to think about it while also trying to entertain the kids, look after the dog, and manage your work at home,
- Less trips to the shops with the kids; As ou only go shopping once a week, you won’t have to visit the shop at the last minute with all the kids in tow. Bonus!
- Everyone knows what’s happening with the meals, and when – which reduces the cries of “What’s for dinner?” from the kids every five minutes. And that HAS to be a massive bonus right?
How to use your meal planner
This is actually pretty simple:
- Grab a few of your favourite cook books, or the computer so you can search our recipes, and other amazing cooking sites,
- Set aside about 15-30mins planning time,
- Think about what you need to use in your cupboards already, and bear that in mind when picking your meals,
- Ask the family if they have an preferences for the week (we like to do this, so they feel involved in what is going on), and
- Download the weekly meal planner by clicking the button later in this article, and fill it out for all your meals during the week, and add anything you need to buy to the grocery list too. Don’t forget to check your cupboards for the ingredients as you go along.
What does the meal planner look like?
We have a cover page, then the weekly planner, which includes spaces to put your ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You don’t HAVE to fill everything in; we often down for breakfast and lunch, as the kids are older, and they like to make their own. Use the planner as it works for you, of course.
In addition to the colorful version, we also have a black and white printable weekly meal planner template for you to print out as well:
Just the same, but easier and cheaper to print out!
To download both of these, just click on the button below:
Thanks for visiting us today. We do have other meal planning and planner ideas on the site, so why not check these out as well? In fact, we have a complete weekly meal plan, and six-week family meal plan with recipes too if you wanted to take a look at these specifically:
There are other ideas from other sites too:
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We hope to see you on the site soon as well.