Happy Friday y’all. We made it here again. Now more than ever it feels like such an accomplishment doesn’t it? I’ve got some more free printables to share with you today. Specifically free weekly EDITABLE menu planners and shopping list templates. I’ve never shared editable printables before so this is making me so happy. I love being able to give these to you with the hopes that they will motivate you to give menu planning a try. Cute printables will definitely make it more fun!
Why Menu Planning is a Good Idea:
As you know I’ve been menu planning for 14 years and am super passionate about it because it has been so life changing for me. And I don’t say that lightly. I hate to cook and am not one of those people that likes to spend hours in the kitchen. In fact, the quicker I can get in and get out the better. I have figured out that the BEST way to make this happen is by writing up a menu plan each week. It works. Not only am I not stressing myself out by spending hours in the kitchen, but I’m also saving so much money and eating so much healthier than I would otherwise.
Yes it is a task to sit down each week to plan my menus. And I’ll be honest I don’t always feel like doing it. But experience has taught me that I will totally regret it if I don’t. Waiting to decide what to eat each night while tired and hungry and with kids melting down is not the way to do it. Unless you like stressful, chaotic situations but I’m guessing you’d like to avoid those if possible. And you definitely can! It just takes some time at the beginning of each week to plan out three or four recipes. You’ll then be able to write up your shopping list and purchase the groceries you’ll need to have on hand.
You don’t have to commit these recipes to any given day if you don’t want to. There is a lot of flexibility in menu planning. But you will be prepared and have some options to choose from on any given day.
Recipe Selection is Important:
Here’s what you need to know about menu planning. Always plan that you’ll be too tired to cook at dinner time. In other words plan to keep it simple! If you keep this in mind and plan accordingly your future self will thank you BIG TIME. It’s also why recipe selection is such an important piece and where I think a lot of people go wrong. Don’t menu plan for the motivated chef you hope or wish you were. Instead menu plan for the tired mom who has children melting down around her. Because let’s be real, this is how it usually happens. Am I right?
So each week when I sit down to search for recipes, I look for recipes with preparation times of 30 minutes or less with easy simple ingredients. The fewer the list of ingredients, generally the quicker the dish will be to make. I prefer recipes that are healthy and don’t use a lot of processed ingredients. And in an effort to save money, I plan according to what’s on sale at the grocery store that particular week. Using this type of criteria allows me to quickly assess whether or not a recipe is a contender. If it isn’t I simply move on. There are so many delicious recipes out there that I don’t think in my lifetime I’ll ever run out of choices. Pinterest is an excellent place to find great quick and easy recipes. Follow me over there as I’m constantly adding new recipes.
You’ll see I also have a slow cooker board over there because I sure do love my slow cooker! I get to put meals in the slow cooker in the morning when I have more energy and I don’t have to babysit it as it cooks. The best!
I usually plan each night based on a different protein because that’s what I find easiest. However another popular option is to choose a theme for each different night. For example Meatless Mondays or Taco Tuesdays.
I select four recipes for each week that I schedule on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturdays. Thursdays is always leftover night, Friday pizza night and Sunday is YOYO. That stands for “you’re on your own!” or raid the fridge and see what you find for yourself night 🙂
Editable Weekly Menu Planners & Shopping List Templates:
So now that I’ve share a little bit of my process, let’s get to the fun part. Please feel free to download these editable weekly menu planners for your personal use. They are PDF files that can be edited once they open in Adobe Acrobat Reader. This can be helpful for not having to write out your shopping list new each time. Just a little something to make menu planning a little more enjoyable. I hope you like them!
(when the printables open in Dropbox click on the three dots on the right hand side column and then click download and it will then open them up in Adobe)
And just in case super cute and fruity isn’t your thing (don’t worry I won’t hold it against you), then this lovely fun and blue one may be more up your alley.
Let me know if you give them a try. Remember menu planning isn’t only something the super-organized do. It’s for everyone that wants to reduce the daily dinner stress and chaos so you have more time for the things that really matter. Like naps! 🙂
I’d love to know which menu planner is more your style. And if you get a minute would you mind sharing this post on social media with your friends and family? I’d really appreciate it!
Have a great weekend everyone!
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Find all my free printables HERE.