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Weekly Meal Planner Template

Use this convenient meal planning template to decide what to eat this week, then use that list to determine which ingredients you have—and which you’ll need.

Save money

Using this meal planner saves you from making last-minute restaurant trips because you can’t decide what to eat. When you take time once a week to plan out your meals, you’ll end up saving big money in the long term.

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Save time

Time spent on grocery store trips adds up. By using a weekly meal planner, you’ll only need one trip to get everything you need—and getting through the store is a breeze when you use an organized list like this one.

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Choose the right ingredients

When you’re using a recipe for the first time, you may not have all the spices and ingredients you need. Our menu planner includes checklists for the ingredients you need to bring your culinary vision to life.

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Eat healthier

Eating at home is a great way to stay healthy. With this weekly meal planner, you can plan healthy and delicious meals and eat more nutritious foods every day of the week.

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Create shopping lists

You most likely buy more than food at the grocery store. Maybe you pick up some pet food, paper towels, or dish soap. Remember everything by adding all your essentials to this meal planner.

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Reduce food waste

It’s easy to cut down on food waste when you know what you’re preparing and which ingredients are necessary for each recipe. Use this meal planning template to keep food on your table and out of the landfill.

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Enjoy something new

Using a weekly meal planner template encourages you to try new things and make more exciting food choices. Find that recipe you’ve always wanted to try and add it to this planner to make your first effort more successful.

Steps for meal planning success

Step 1: Decide your meal plan style

Every person is unique and what works for you may not work for your friend. That’s why the weekly meal plan template will be slightly different for everybody. Some people prefer to utilize a weekly meal planner template to plan out every single meal, while others use it only for dinners. 

Think about your goals. Do you want to meal prep to cut down on time spent in the kitchen, or is your goal to start cooking healthier recipes?

It’s important that you have a clear idea of what you want from your meal plan, so make sure to decide on your style before you start.

Step 2: Keep your home stocked with the essentials

You can use your template to plan out your grocery list, but there will always be the catch-all items you’ll need on hand. Ensure your fridge and pantry are always stocked with a variety of basic staples. That way, you’re less likely to veer from your meal plan because you didn’t have what you needed or the recipes were too complex. 

Start off with an initial investment in the essential ingredients. Then, you’ll find it easier to build out the content of your weekly meal planner template.

Step 3: Set your kitchen up for success

Equip your kitchen with everything needed to cook and store your meals. You should have everything from a basic set of knives and pans, to Tupperware® for storing your meals.

Go through your kitchen and figure out what you have and what you don’t have before starting on your weekly menu template.

Step 4: Schedule and plan for shopping

Make sure you establish a set day for shopping and prepare your weekly meal planner template for the week. Some people find it easier to plan everything over the weekend when they have more time to focus on the task. 

It’s important that you evaluate your week, so you can plan accordingly. Consider the week ahead and when you will likely be able to eat your meals. For example, if you have an early meeting or you’ll be attending a dinner party, you will need to adjust the content of your plan accordingly.

Remember, these weekly menu plans don’t need to be static—you can change them up as needed.

Step 5: Decide on your meals

It’s now time to get to work building your plan using your weekly meal planner template.

Begin by determining how many meals you want to cook per week, how often you think you will go out for dinner, and whether you will need to incorporate any quick convenience foods (like microwave meals) into your schedule.

Remember to consider nutrition as part of your diet. It’s important to enjoy a varied, balanced diet, but you should also leave room to treat yourself every once in a while with some of your favorites.

Step 6: Select your recipes

The recipes you decide on for your weekly meal planner will depend on how much time you have, along with their shelf life. A smart tip if you live a busy lifestyle is to factor leftovers into your meal planning template.

Your recipes can vary as much as you like. Some people prefer to opt for traditional recipes, whereas others choose to stick to simple meals that are easy to store for the week ahead.

Step 7: Shop for everything you need

The best way to keep your daily schedule in order is to set a specific shopping day. It’s easy to turn back to takeout when you don’t have a set day to hit the grocery store.

Your shopping list should be specific and direct. Make sure you know where you’re going in the store to save time (and to reduce temptation in that frozen foods aisle). The longer you dilly-dally in the store, the harder it is to resist an unhealthy impulse buy that could ruin the hard work you put into your meal plan template.

Step 8: Follow your weekly meal planner template

Now is the time to put your weekly meal planner template into action. The beauty of templates for meal planning is that they’re entirely flexible.

You don’t need to stick to the same meal planner template every week of the year. Following the same schedule over and over again can actually reduce your chances of success. Not to mention, you shouldn’t be eating the same things over and over—you want to make sure you maintain some variety in your diet.

Feel free to go back and review your plan whenever you feel like your current plan is becoming stale.