How To Create A Weekly Meal Plan
Creating a weekly or even monthly meal plan can save you hundreds of dollars at the grocery store. This is one way that we slashed our grocery budget in half and saved over $600 a month on food. It is so much easier to not eat out when you have a plan and already have the ingredients you need for a meal. Creating a weekly meal plan is very easy and only takes a couple of minutes.
I usually meal plan on Sunday for the week. I make a list of 5 meals for the week. Yes just 5. This is because we always have leftovers at some point or I don’t feel like cooking and will make something easy like hot dogs or cereal or other breakfast food. Even with only planning for 5 meals, we don’t always make them all. I usually try and keep a stash of frozen items on hand just in case also. If I’m not feeling good and just need a quick meal, we can do something frozen.
To create a weekly meal plan you simply need to make a list. I do not plan out breakfast and lunches. I just make sure I buy items for those at the grocery store and then make whatever I feel like on that day. I know some people plan out everything but really who has time for that. Our biggest area for needing a plan is dinner, so that’s what I plan.
I create my meal plan when I am creating my shopping list. I go through the pantry and fridge and figure out what I have and what I need. I also will plan meals with fresh produce that will go bad quickly at the beginning of the week.
Here is my example for this week:
The only things I need for the meals at the store are chips, salsa, and tomato sauce. I did my big shopping trip for 2 weeks last week so these are the meals I had left for this week. Since I am getting ready to be on maternity leave for awhile I have switched from a weekly grocery budget to a biweekly budget. So, I bought most of the ingredients for these meals last week. The problem was we ate more than I anticipated for the meals last week for items that were for this week.
You can make the list on a piece of paper or download my FREE weekly meal plan sheet.
What are you cooking this week?