Need a meal planning system that will help you to eat a variety of healthy meals every day? This menu plan template and shopping list are just the thing.
My kids started school this past week. Good thing it was a 2-day week because I clearly still had some organizing to do, including printing out some more of my menu plan and shopping list templates. I love these simple forms and am excited to share them with you here today.
In the summer, I definitely tend to live a little bit more day-to-day. It’s more of a French lifestyle (at least that’s what I like to tell myself!). I see what produce we get in our farm share, pick up some meat and fish to grill, and also go to the grocery store after the beach or pool every other day to keep up with snack foods! (Ok, so maybe that is not at all a French lifestyle, however, I did live in France for a summer, and the family I stayed with shopped at the local bakery, produce, fish, and meat markets daily! Nothing ever got forgotten in the back of their refrigerator! But, they did not snack. Ever.)
Anyway, onto back-to-school and back-to-planning. Planning is so important. The key is figuring out a planning process that fits your lifestyle. Make it simple. Don’t be too ambitious (but be a little ambitious).* And, have the tools you need on hand.*Tips on simple meal planning:
- Try only 1-3 new dinner recipes per week
- Cook 2-3 family favorite or known recipes each week
- Eat leftovers one night
- Eat out or get take out once or twice a week
- Batch cook when you can
- Use a slow cooker
- Cook one meal for everyone
- Plan lunches and breakfasts too!
Meal Planning Form
My favorite planning tools include this simple meal planning form. You can download it here, make your own, or find a fancier one on Pinterest (but I like that this one doesn’t take a lot of printer ink).
Here is the form I use for my shopping list. I like not having to write on lines, but you could certainly add lines. I keep the shopping list on a clipboard inside one of my kitchen cabinet doors that holds other organizational items such as my meal planning binder, magazine files (where I store the daily contents of the kids homework folders, until they get so full that I need to go through them), and other items such as a jar with coins and a jar with box top labels.
Sometimes I skip the grocery template and just write my list on a plain piece of tri-folded printer paper. This works just as well and is how I first started writing my grocery lists before I created an official form.
How do you plan your meals? Do you jot your lists on paper? A special planning form? Or perhaps you have it all on your phone?