The thought of cooking that just-add-water instant noodles or heading to your favorite Chinese restaurant seems very tempting, but it will definitely cost you especially if you do it regularly. No worries! A little planning will help. Weekly meal plans help to make a difference when you start changing your eating habits to a healthier one.

You can have everyone in the family involved with the planning and get them excited about eating the healthy food that will be served for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snacks! Let us get you jump-started on your food menu list right now! Just promise us you will keep reading this article and check out the menu samples that we have in this very article.

Weekly Menu Meal Plan

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Weekly Toddler Menu Plan

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Monthly Menu Planner

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Weekly Menu Planner Format

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Diabetic Menu Plan

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Diet Menu Meal Plan

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What Is Menu Planning?

Menu planning is basically allotting a little bit of your time to plan nutritious and sumptuous meals, may include snacks, for a specific period of time. Meal planning is also great for losing weight or if you want to stick to a healthier and better diet. With meal planning, you can decrease the chances of eating any unhealthy meals as it is more convenient and you can also save more money as you already have a good list of what you will be buying for the meals you will be cooking.

This also means that you will be able to lessen the amount of food that will be wasted. Planning your meals can be done one week at a time or several weeks at a time depending on what is more convenient for you.

What Is Seasonal Menu Planning?

Seasonal meal menu planning is basically planning your meal according to the ingredients that are in season. If you prepare food that is in season, you are able to save money and increase the amount of nutrients that you are getting as food that is in season contain more vitamins and minerals.

This is because the local seasonal fruits and vegetables are allowed to grow until they are ripe instead of getting harvested and shipped to other countries before they get eaten. One more good thing that comes with seasonal meal menu planning? The fact that in-season ingredients are often sold at a lower price since they are widely available.

Organizing Your Grocery Shopping List

With printable menu planners also come grocery lists. You can make use of an online application that you can install on your phone or you can do it old school style with a literal pen and paper. With shopping lists, you will be able to shop in a more efficient way as you will be able to shop in a much lesser time and simplify your preparation week or weeks.

Once you start getting the hang of planning your meals, you will find that you can start making a rotation of meals and have corresponding shopping lists for each specific meal. You may also opt to organize your shopping list according to which part of the grocery you will find specific ingredients. One more way to make your grocery shopping more efficient and simplified is by writing the ingredients of the recipe at the back of each recipe card (preferably a 3 × 5 index card).

Weekly Menu Planner

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Printable Weekly Menu Plan

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Healthy Menu Planner

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Menu Planner in PDF

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Menu Meal Planner in Excel

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Food Group Meal Planner

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Why Should You Plan Your Meal?

One of the most important parts of making your workout and diet effective is by meal planning. Aside from getting the most out of your diet, meal planning comes with other benefits. A few minutes a week dedicated to planning what you will be eating for the next few days or weeks can result in great and healthy meals that you as well as your family will definitely enjoy.

Ready to know more about the other benefits of planning your meal menu? Just keep reading!

Money-Saving Activity

Planning your meals can help you save money and can help you stretch your food budget by a mile! Having a meal plan aids you in preventing throwing out any good food and can help you budget the ingredients you have in the fridge as well. Meal plans allow you to use the stuff that you already have and make use of these ingredients in your next sumptuous meal.

Plus, you only get to buy what is needed for a specific period of time. Meal planning can help you avoid buying grocery items on a whim. In addition, planning your meals can also help you avoid buying any takeaway food, which can actually be more costly in the long run.

You Get to Eat Real Food

We are not saying that fast-food burgers and fries are not real food. What we mean is that you get to eat home-cooked meals that are delicious, high quality, and will give fast-food restaurants a run for their money. Planning your healthy meal plan may take a little bit of time but it will definitely be worth it. Making the switch from unhealthy meals to healthy meals will be easier by making use of a food menu list.

Avoid Wasting Food

With meal planning, you will be able to avoid finding a food container in the back of the fridge looking like a science experiment. With meal planning, you know how many ingredients you will need to use and with a little practice, you will be able to take into account any leftovers and you will also have a good idea about how you can stretch leftovers and turn it into new delicious meals.

Avoid Stress

Stress is not great. Stressing about food is way worse. Food is supposed to give you comfort. Thinking about what to write for the kids for dinner takes up a lot of mental energy and you want to use that energy into something more productive like starting to prepare that meal. A written plan for what you will be eating and preparing takes all of that stress away as you already know what you will need to cook.

You Can Save Time

Planning ahead of time can help you cook in bulk, freeze, and use some of what you cooked for a future meal or use it as a base for another recipe.

It Adds Variety

You can add variety to your meals if you plan what you want to eat during the week. You can make use of a meal calendar template where you would jot down when you would eat specific food for specific days.

Tips for Easy Meal Menu Planning

When you think about meal planning, your palms might start sweating as you might see it as a pretty daunting task. However, if you have a system to follow, you will probably find it easier to plan your meals. So how do you do this? Check out our tips.

Use a Daily Template

From the moment you start making meal plans, it is best that you keep every single plan you made. It would be easier than making one from scratch every single time you make your plans. Make use of a daily calendar as a template for your schedule. You can also make a template for the types of food you usually cook.

Find What Your Family Likes

When you know what your family likes to eat, you will now have a core recipe or core recipes that you can cook over and over and switch them up every week and you will surely not get bored with what you will be eating.

Stretch Your Meat

By stretching your meat, we mean adding other ingredients to a casserole or a stir-fry. Try adding veggies, and if you happen to buy a cheaper cut of meat, cook the tougher cuts of meat in the slow cooker to make it more tender. You may also see weekly menu template.

Make Your Dining Experience Worldwide

Your basic recipes will taste different every single time by just mixing up the spices that you use. Here’s a list of spice mixes that you might want to try for your next meal:

  • Cumin and chili powder for a Mexican flavor
  • Turmeric and coriander for an Indian flavor
  • Thyme, oregano, and basil for an Italian flavor
  • Chines 5 spice and anise for an Asian flavor

 

You should also buy your spice in bulk to help you save more money and easily cook your food in big batches.

Keep Leftovers

Your leftovers can be eaten again during lunch or dinner. Your cold meats can be used for sandwiches or be incorporated in salads. You may also opt to place your leftovers in microwaveable containers for a single serving, freeze it, and reheat it to be eaten for lunch or on another day.

We hope you learned a lot from reading our article. The sample food menus that we have included are going o be great references for your very own menu planner. Some of the samples come in Word Document format so they are easy to edit. You can incorporate a few items from different templates into your own meal planner template. Have fun planning your meals!

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