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If you want to save money on groceries, you need to meal plan and to do that, you need a meal planning template so I’ve put together 17 great meal planning templates to help you get started mastering your daily meal prep.
Groceries are a huge monthly expense in just about everybody’s budget, and in many cases, we spend more on food than we do on our mortgage payments every month.
Anything we can do to reduce how much we spend at the supermarket helps to save money regularly. Even if you can cut your grocery budget by $100 a month, that’s $1200 a year that can be added to your savings account or help pay for other household expenses. Now imagine how much can be saved if you cut your grocery budget in half!
But how do you reduce your grocery budget and still eat healthy meals? Well, there are many ways to save money on food, like couponing or using grocery savings apps, cooking from scratch, or sale shopping.
These methods work really well, but one of the easiest ways to save both money and time in the kitchen is by meal planning.
Benefits of Meal Planning
There are many benefits to meal planning, of course, it saves money but it also saves time. And as the saying goes
‘time is money” so it’s just as valuable. Let’s look at some of the benefits of meal planning.
Planning meals helps you create a shopping list of only items that you need, which saves money. It also helps to control food waste since you have a plan for every item you are buying. And as you probably know, wasting food is like burning money.
Meal planning also helps save frustration on those busy days since you already know what’s for dinner and you have all the ingredients needed to make those meals.
No more last-minute grocery store trips to pick up a few items that you need, or worse, grabbing expensive take-out because it’s so much easier. Again, saving time and money.
Meal Planning Tips
Now that you know the benefits of meal planning, there are some things you can do to make meal planning easy and… dare I say fun.
Focus on Family Favorite Meals
When first creating a meal plan, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Instead, focus on the meals that you already make that your family loves.
Next, decide how often you want to eat those meals. This is where a monthly meal planning template comes in handy.
If there is a meal that your family is already eating weekly add it to your monthly meal planning template on each of the four weeks.
Create a Master Meal Planning Template
Meal planning is a long term savings game, but it doesn’t mean that you have to spend hours every month coming up with a meal plan.
Instead, create a master monthly meal plan to reuse month after month. Once you have all your meals listed, create 4 weekly shopping lists of everything you’ll need to make the meals for each week.
Meal Plan Around Your Schedule
When making a meal plan, keep your families schedule in mind. You don’t want to create an elaborate and time-consuming meal on the days when you have to taxi your kids to extracurricular activities or days when you have to work late.
Of course, you won’t always know what your days will look like when meal planning so each week add in 2 – 3 easy meal ideas.
This way if something comes up you are ready for it and can just swap days for another meal option since you have the ingredients for everything you’re planning on cooking that week.
Always Grocery Shop With a List
I’m sure you’ve heard many times that you should always shop with a grocery list, and there are good reasons for it. As mentioned earlier, shopping with a list helps you to save money by not buying food that you don’t need.
This, in turn, helps to avoid food waste because it went bad before you got a chance to use it. It also helps to avoid extra supermarket trips to pick up items you may have forgotten.
Meal Plan to Save Money
Meal planning, in general already saves money as already mentioned. But if you really want to save money focus on cheap meal ideas.
There are many meals that you can make that are very inexpensive while still being delicious and hearty. In fact, you can find 3o of my favorite meal ideas under $2 per serving here.
17 Meal Planning Templates To Make Meal Prep Easier
More Ways To Save Money On Groceries
Meal Planning Templates & Shopping List
This first set of meal planning templates are the ones I created and use on a regular basis. You can download these printable meal planning templates here.
There is a weekly, and monthly template as well as a shopping list so you have everything a beginning meal planner needs to make meal prep a breeze.
Weekly Meal Planning Template
Here is a beautiful weekly meal planning template complete with a grocery shopping list separated by category. It also includes a daily serving checklist which is great for making sure you are hitting all the major food groups and eating healthy meals.
Grocery Shopping List By Category
I love grocery lists that separate items by category, it makes shopping so much easier since all like items are grouped together by which section in the store they are located. It’s a great time-saving idea to get in and out of the supermarket faster.
Freezer Inventory Template
Make-ahead freezer meals are a great way to save time in the kitchen but sometimes it could be difficult to know what you have on hand. This freezer inventory tracking sheet solves that problem because you always know what you have and what meals need to be replenished.
Monthly Meal Planning Template
If you’d rather meal plan for a month instead of a week at a time, then this monthly meal planning template is for you. What I like to do is create a meal plan for the month and reuse it from month to month making meal planning a one and done task.
Printable Set Of Meal Planning Templates
Here is a great set of meal planning templates complete with a meal planning calendar, shopping list and meals category form to organize all your meal planning ideas.
Fun Weekly Meal Planning Template
Love the artwork on this fun weekly meal planning template! It has space to enter all your meals for the day on one planner as well as a grocery list area to write down the ingredients you need to buy.
This weekly menu plan and Grocery Shopping List has everything you need at the tip of your fingers. Plan our your weekly menu and add ingredients you need to make in the shopping list area. There’s even a snack planner area!
This pick your lunch menu idea is genius if you have picky little ones. At first glance, you might think that this idea is never going to help you meal plan better. But in actuality, you are giving your kids limited options with what you have on hand saving money and reducing food waste.
Grocery List Template
Here is another grocery shopping list option for you to try. What I like about these templates is that all you need to do is check a few boxes and your shopping list is done, another time saver!
Bullet Journal Meal Planning Templates
If you are into bullet journaling then this meal planning template is right up your ally. Using post-it notes to not only list your meals but list everything you need to make those meals is nice because you can always switch things up if needed.
Weekly Meal Planning Templates
I’m loving this owl weekly meal planning template. It’s beautifully designed and makes creating your weekly meal menu and shopping list really easy.
Free Printable Meal Planning Templates
Grab these free printable weekly and monthly meal planning worksheets so you can have options to create either a weekly menu or meal plan for an entire month.
Complete Grocery List Template
You can grab these free ultimate grocery list templates in both Excel or Google Sheets formats and in an editable PDF format so you can customize it to fit your preferences.
Printable Grocery Shopping List
Another great grocery list template with sections based on the type of food you are buying making grocery shopping a breeze. It also includes a few categories of items that you might need at a department store or drugstore.
Meal Planning Kitchen Inventory Template Set
Knowing what food and ingredients you have on hand are what helps you save money meal planning, which makes these printable kitchen inventory templates so handy. Plus it makes creating a shopping list so much easier.
Grocery Price List
If you want to save even more month meal planning then shopping sales that match up with your menu can literally cut your grocery budget in half. If you are ready to take meal planning to the next level, you’ll want to grab this price book template.