Please enjoy this updated post from the Life [Comma] Etc archives. I’ve been meal planning for a long time, but never more consistently than when I began eating Paleo and Paleo AIP. It’s a lifesaver… literally!
Why Are Meal Plans Awesome?
Meal planning is the best way to take control over your food intake and grocery budget. And I promise it’s not as OCD or as difficult as you might think!
If you aren’t sure how much you spend on groceries, how much you usually eat in a week, or if you never feel like you have enough food on hand, meal planning is the answer.
(It’s also a fun writing exercise for those of us are OCD and who love lists.)
Here are three free meal planner printables I developed and used for quite a long time. Great for people who don’t eat a lot of snacks and who like to have freedom on the weekends.
Features of these Meal Planner Printables
- Monday-Friday meal schedule for strict meal planning on weekdays and relaxed eating on weekends. Just purchase a meal or two extra to cover your weekends and keep things creative.
- Four to five meals per day. We do two snacks, but I write them both in the snack column. Breakfast, Lunch, Snack, and Dindin! Bonus nutrition idea: make your early snack a vegetable and your late snack fruit to hit all of your food groups and hopefully avoid the afternoon sugar crash.
- Shopping list area at the bottom divided into two. We shop at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, but maybe you shop somewhere else. Use the whole section for one store, or denote where you want to buy what with store “1” and store “2”.
- Three color options. Choose from three bright options: electric blue, lime green, or hot pink!
The Ultimate Awesome Meal Planner Printable
Features of The Simple Meal Planner Printable
- 7 days of meal planning so you can be sure you purchase enough food for the week
- 2 Snacks throughout the day for big eaters so you can make sure you pack enough food
- List space for two stores if you go to multiple locations like we do
- Low cost to print because there’s not a lot of color
An added benefit of meal planning? If you have a spouse, partner, or family, post the sheet on the fridge when you’re done shopping so that everyone knows what they can have for snacks, lunches, and dinners. Then, cross it off when someone eats it so you always knows what is in the cupboards. JHubbs loves this option whenever I’m consistent with it!