Free Printable Meal Planner & Grocery List For Weekly Planning
In my first several years of motherhood I felt a lot of stress about meal planning. To be honest, I didn’t really meal plan much except by thinking up a vague mental list of what I wanted to make for the week before I went to the grocery store. I often felt stress throughout the day trying to think through what ingredients I had on hand to try to throw together a dinner for the evening.
I truly didn’t realize the amount of unnecessary stress I was carrying but not simply planning ahead a bit for our family dinners.
It wasn’t until I began creating a meal planning template to offer here that I started to use it myself (sad, I know). However, when I began to actually plan meals out for a week I couldn’t believe how much less stressful cooking became to me! I no longer carried an all-day burden of trying to determine what I could make – I knew exactly what I planned to cook each evening AND I knew that I had all of the ingredients to do it!
In addition to designing this free weekly meal planner, I also designed a categorized grocery list to go with it. I figured I can’t be the only person that ends up walking the full length of the grocery store multiple times each shopping trip because I forgot something on the other side of the store! The categorized grocery list has made my shopping quicker and more efficient – and it only takes me a few minutes at home to use the list to prep. The little bit of prep time at home has been well worth it for the hassle it saves me at the store when carting two little ones with me!
If you’re struggling to manage the stress of weekly meal planning or simply want to streamline your grocery shopping experience, then it’s my hope that these meal planning printables can help you too! I know they’ve made a difference in my weekly routine.
Note: If you’re getting stuck figuring out WHAT to make for dinner – check out this great resource with weeks worth of family-friendly meal ideas.
Meal Planning Template With Grocery List Details:
Below are the details and download link for my meal planning and grocery list printables.
Free Printable Meal Planner:
I don’t struggle much with planning out breakfasts and lunch for the week since most of my family routinely eats cereal for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch. It’s typically not hard for me to remember that I need to restock cereals, deli meat, and bread each week. Therefore, my meal planning template is designed primarily for planning out dinners for the week. I did not include a designated section for breakfasts and lunches.
I knew if I designed the meal planning chart to be too complex that I would ultimately not end up using it. If you prefer to plan out ALL of your meals for each day, then this chart is likely not for you! However, if you like to keep things more basic (like me) then it’s my hope that this printable brings some meal planning order to your life!
The weekly meal planning template simply includes a box for each day of the week to write in the dinner plan for that day. It also features a shopping list section beside the days and a small notes section.
When I use the template, I first go through and write in my meal plan for each evening. I then think through the ingredients I need to complete each meal and write them on the shopping list. If I don’t have a concrete dinner plan for any day of the week (ie. maybe I’m not sure if I will be home and my husband may need to feed the kids something easier) I try to plan for that scenario and write it out in the notes section so I’m sure not to miss thinking through any “plan b” ingredients.
After I have all of my ingredients noted on my shopping list, I then transfer them to my categorized grocery list.
Free Grocery List Template With Categories:
The goal of my master grocery list template with categories was simply to make my grocery shopping experience more efficient! I was tired of forgetting ingredients at the other side of the store and running back and forth multiple times. It takes a few minutes at home to organize my grocery list into categories, but it has been well worth the effort!
To use this simple grocery list template, just write each of your grocery items under the appropriate category as you add them. I like to write out my whole list on my meal planning template first and then copy each item over to this grocery list under the corresponding category.
(Since every grocery store organizes their aisles differently, I’ve also included a printable blank grocery list with all the same layout and no labels!)
How I Use These Weekly Meal Planning Prints:
There is no right or wrong way to use these printables! Save the downloaded file and print as many copies as you need! Hang them on your refrigerator, laminate them and put them on your wall, or whole punch them to include in a meal planning binder or monthly planner.
I started using these meal planning printables by printing several copies. I hung the current week’s plan on the fridge and took my printed grocery list with me to the store, discarding it after I was finished shopping. However, I have now framed each of these to include them in my kitchen command center so that I no longer need to keep printing copies!
I use a dry erase marker to write on the glass of the frame each one is in, and I simply wipe clean after each use! This also allows me to jot things down on the grocery list as I run out of them throughout the week very conveniently. (Even my husband knows right where to find the grocery list if he needs to add an item to it during the week that he’s afraid I will overlook on my grocery run.) Before I leave for the store I just snap a picture of the list on the wall with my phone.
Since 8×10 frames are easier (and cheaper!) to find, I did resize the printables a bit to fit into my frames nicely. I also made the 8×10 copies without a border since the border doesn’t coordinate well with a frame. If you want to frame your meal planning printables and grocery list, I’ve included the resized 8×10 files as well as the standard 8.5×11 files with the download link below.Download your free weekly meal planning template and grocery list HERE
Please note: If your printer does not support margin-less printing for the 8.5×11 documents, your printables will not print with the border. The 8×10 printables are designed without a border to better suit them to be framed.
Happy meal planning friends!