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Printable Meal Planner Template

Make meal planning simple with this free weekly meal planner!

By: Kristin Anderson, Editor, RecipeLion.com
Printable Meal Planner Template

Meal planning can be a challenge.

But the right tools can make all the difference!

That's why we made this printable meal planner template. The simple design is perfect for planning out your weekly menu and shopping list.

It's never been easier to plan out your meals for the week. Plus, you can write down the ingredients you need as you make your meal plan, making that trip to the grocery store a breeze.

Download your free weekly meal planner PDF here!

Meal Planning Tips

1. Keep a list of meals that you like

So, when you get ready to plan your meals, you have a place to start searching for recipes. Keep a list on your phone, use Pinterest, or try our RecipeLion.com Recipe Box! All will help you stay organized and make meal planning a breeze.

2. Try theme nights

Breakfast-for-Dinner Wednesday (a weekly occurance at my house!), Taco Tuesday, Pasta Thursday, and more can make weekly meal planning really easy. Plus, if it's a meal that your family loves (like pizza!), then you have something to look forward to every week.

3. Include Make Ahead Meals and Freezer Meals

Make ahead meals and freezer meals can be lifesavers on busy weeknights. Make ahead meals can be prepped over the weekend for use during the week. Freezer meals can be prepped even further ahead, so that you have a stash of ready-to-bake meals that you can fit into any weekly meal planning session.

Try some of our favorite make ahead meals here, and then check out our page on freezer cooking tips to get started!

4. Plan for Leftovers

Leftovers are a fact of life, but they don't have to go to waste! Plan a night of the week when everyone can enjoy their favorite leftovers. You can even combine it with an "Everyone is on their own" night, if everyone in your family is old enough to handle dinner for themselves. That way people who want leftovers can eat leftovers. While someone who wants to make a peanut butter sandwich can enjoy that as well!

5. Do What Works for You

Don't feel pressured to keep a fancy Pinterest board of all of your favorite meals (or Instagram your carefully prepped lunches for a month). Do what works for you and your family, and enjoy the extra quality time you have together because you're not worried about dinner. And if one week your meal plan includes mostly cheese pizza and tuna salad sandwiches... that's totally fine. We love to eat those things, too.

Do you have any meal planning wisdom to share? Let us know in the comments below!

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All of these are amazing tips. I keep trying and trying to make a weekly meal plan and stick to it, but it might help a lot if I actually themed some of my nights with my favorite go-to meals.

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