Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Menu Planner-Free Printable

Hi all! One of my biggest goals this year, as you know already if you read my last post, is to provide healthier meals for my family. I am convinced the key to this is menu planning! I have always had trouble consistently creating weekly plans. It's kind of like working out. I do great for awhile but once I fall off the wagon I forget about it for a period until I resolve to do better and try again. Sound familiar?

Anyway, perfectionist that I am, I was looking for a pretty template that I could download (for free) and print to plan my meals on, but nothing I found seemed to quite fit the bill, so I made my own, of course. Below you will find both a simple weekly meal plan grid and shopping list page. I'm cheap and don't like to use a lot of ink, so they aren't fancy, but I think they will be exactly what I need. The problems I was having with most of the printables I found were that they started on Sunday instead of Monday, (Yes, I know this is America. I just prefer to do my planing Monday-Sunday. Plus that's how my weekly planner is laid out and this way I can lay them side by side, see who's going to be where what night and plan accordingly.), only one included a place to write in prep reminders, (Take the chicken out of the freezer, soak the beans, that sort of thing...), and none had a place to include other items that you would like to make throughout the week; things like fresh baked bread, snacks, or fermented or home canned goodies. This gives you a place to list those things you'd like to accomplish in your real food kitchen. I use my weekly calendar as a sort of to do/did it list and that is where I plan what to make what day. It seams repetitive but I like to have those items listed on my meal planner when preparing my grocery list because otherwise they can get a bit jumbled up in the other daily activities that are listed on my calendar. This way I'm sure I won't miss anything.

Instructions: There are a couple of ways you can put this together...

1. Print off just the meal planner as needed, and stick it on a clip board. Or put it in a page protector and use dry erase marker. Then you can use the same page over and over.
2. Print off 52 of the meal planner page and either put them in a three ring binder or have your local copy shop spiral bind them for you. (It's super cheap.)
3. (What I'm going to do.) Print off 52 of each, with the grocery list on the front and the menu planner on the back of a page then get them spiral bound. That way, when it's laying flat you can see everything you need to see at once. 

As a side note, I'm trying to source more of my produce organically from the local health food store or markets. I thought it would be beneficial to start a price journal so I can compare and keep track of just how much I'm spending. The plan is to jot down the prices of things straight on the grocery list while I'm at the store so that I can go back, compare sales, and know when I'm getting a great deal or when something is just too much to be worth the extra cost. 

This is my first time sharing files here so if you have any trouble please let me know so I can fix it. Or if you have any suggestions for improvements you'd like to see, let me know! Now, go fix yourself a nice warm cup of something and get to work. Happy planning!

This post was shared at the homestead barn hop


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