30 best meal planner templates

30 Best Meal Planner Templates

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If you want to be more organized when it comes to meal planning then read on for the best meal planner templates that will help you save time, save money and eat healthier.

Time to take control of your meals

Do you find yourself getting lost when it comes to meal planning? Do you come back from the store $150 lighter but even more confused?

You know what they say, “fail to plan, plan to fail” and this works for meal planning too, and definitely grocery shopping.

How many of us go to the store without a plan or a list of what to buy? How many of us have a list but it hasn’t been thought through?

You’re either buying food off the cuff or buying food with intention but no real meal plan. I’m talking from experience here.

When I decided to start meal planning, shopping and mealtime became so much easier and more focused. I knew what I was doing in the store and I knew what I was doing in the kitchen.

It wasn’t hard either. Meal planning isn’t hard, especially if you have the right tools to use to help you with meal preparation and the time to plan.

For most people, the best tool to use for this are meal planner templates are they are designed specifically to help you plan and organize your meals.

What do you mean by meal planning?

What do you mean by meal planning

Meal planning is what happens when you decide to take control of the food you eat, the quantities you eat, and prep ahead so your meals are organized.

Meal planning means you will take one day of the week (most likely a Saturday or Sunday) to plan your meals for the week ahead and shop for the ingredients.

Meal planning is great for those who want an easy and organized meal time, want to eat healthier, want to save some money, or need to eat specifically due to a medical issue.

Why meal plan?

You might think meal planning takes up a lot of time and effort and you’re right, you do need to put in the effort but everything you do in life takes time and effort.

If you’re someone who wants all the benefits of meal planning without actually meal planning then you’re dreaming!

But listen, meal planning isn’t difficult. It can actually be fairly simple so long as you have the tools and know what to do.

Just take the time once a week to plan your meals and you will honestly feel great about it.

Benefits of meal planning

The Benefits of Meal Planning

There are a TON of benefits of meal planning and some you might not have even considered! Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of meal planning, you’ll be surprised at how handy meal planning is.

  1. Saves money
    You have no idea how much money meal planning saves.

    When you meal plan, you decide before you go shopping the ingredients you will need and you can choose meals that specifically use cheaper ingredients or bulk buy ingredients.
  2. Saves time
    Meal planning helps you save time in so many different ways.

    Because you know what you’re going to cook, you will save time as you shop, save time as you prep, and also save time in general because you know exactly what you need to do.

    No more wasting time deliberating about what to make for dinner.
  3. Helps you eat healthier
    Let’s be honest, when it comes to cooking, how often do you cook something unhealthy because it’s simpler and it’s right there?

    You don’t know what to make so you grab something quick that everyone will like such as a large pizza or a premade lasagne.

    Planning your meals allows you to get the whole family involved to choose healthy meals everyone will enjoy.
  4. Always know what’s for dinner
    Gone are the days when you stand in front of your fridge freezer for ages not knowing what to make.

    Gone are the days when you get pestered about what’s for dinner.

    When you meal plan, you are ready and prepared to tackle meal times head-on.
  5. Try new foods
    One of the exciting things about meal planning is getting to try new foods.

    When you meal plan you are much more organized and prepared at mealtimes, meaning you can take the time to cook those meals you’ve always wanted to try.
  6. Less spontaneous trips to fast food places
    Another way of saving money and eating healthier through meal planning is that you are less inclined to take spontaneous trips to the golden arches.

    You are more likely to stick to a meal plan if you have one.
  7. No need to go to the shop all the time
    Not going to the shop every day or two is a great money and time saver!

    You will actually only need to do your main shop once a week and can nip to the local store for fresh groceries whenever you need to top up.

    Before I planned my meals, I was going into a supermarket almost every day and spending up to $50 a time on things I didn’t need.
  8. Fewer impulse buys
    Again, you are less inclined to impulse buy when you are meal planning.

    You know what you need so you can simply go in and get it.

    Your budget will thank you for it.

How to meal plan?

How to meal plan

When it comes to meal planning you have to put some thought into it.

It’s not just about grabbing some delicious-looking recipes and going for it.

Remember, you need to prep and cook these recipes and you need to know why you’re meal planning.

Consider these questions:

  • Why are you meal planning? What’s the goal?
    Is it to save money, eat healthier, have more meals as a family?
  • What recipes will match my goals?
    Do you choose recipes with cheaper ingredients? Do you make space for some vegan meals?

    Do you choose recipes the whole family will love or the kids can help make?

    It’s also a great idea to choose recipes where you can use the leftovers to make another meal.
  • What recipes are fun and easy to make?
    Remember, meal planning is good for making mealtimes less stressful.

    Don’t put the stress back into it by trying to make a Micheline Star Beef Bougnion with 150 ingredients (unless it’s a special occasion).

Now let’s look at how you actually meal plan

Choose your recipes

Now it’s time to choose your recipes. You can find a ton of recipes online that will be specific to your diet or goals.

Simply search for budget-friendly recipes, family-friendly recipes, vegan recipes. Whatever it is you need.

Alternatively, our meal planner bundle includes a ton of recipe ideas and matching grocery lists (including master grocery lists) for you to try. More on that below!

Remember, you don’t need to cook every day of the week! Utilize any leftovers, enjoy a takeaway or a special dinner out. It all depends on your goals!

Make your grocery list

Next, you will need to write the grocery list for your ingredients. You can use a master grocery list to note the bulk of your ingredients and a general one for the extra ingredients.

Before you go shopping I would suggest already going through your pantry and seeing what ingredients you already have. A good way of keeping your pantry organized is by using an inventory.

Shop, shop, shop

When you go shopping I would recommend trying to buy as much as you can in bulk, but only if you plan on using a lot of that ingredient without wastage. Also, don’t forget to use any discounts or coupons!

Prep any ingredients

To save time you can always prep some ingredients beforehand. Chop up some herbs, marinate some chicken for the next day, make sauces, and freeze.

Doing this will save you some time during the week and make things more streamlined.

How do I plan a menu for a week?

We’ve already discussed how to meal plan but what do you actually need to get started? I’d recommend gathering some printable meal planner templates to help you on your meal planning journey.

You might have some already that you want to use, if not, check out our Meal Planner Bundle. It includes meal planner templates for everything from inventories to planners for every meal.

Here’s an idea of how you can use just a few of the pages:

  • An inventory to track what ingredients you already have
  • Thoughts and notes page to figure out what you want to be included in your meal plan
  • Meal ideas to help you decide (diet-specific versions too – keto, low carb, vegan, gluten-free)
  • Meal planner pages to plan your menu
  • Grocery lists to streamline your shopping

What you have done at the start of meal planning is something you will do every week. Do it once, do it again and you will get better and better at it, making revisions as you go!

What is in the Meal Planner Templates Bundle?

meal planner templates bundle
Meal Planner Templates Bundle

The Meal Planner Bundle really is so amazing and will make your meal planning journey much easier and straightforward.

It’s not just about meal planning either, the bundle includes pages to help you organize your fridge, pantry, kitchen along with multiple diet-specific meal plans and meal planners for every meal of the day!

Home planning

A page for you to see at a glance any weekly meal prep ideas along with a shopping list and housework section to log your tasks and errands.

home planning - botanical

Daily meal planner

A place to plan your daily meals in full with fruit and veggie intake tracker, water intake tracker, notes, shopping list and more.

free meal planner template

Weekly meal planner

See your full weekly meal plan with each day broken up into meal types and a shopping list space so you can match your shopping to the weekly plan.

free printable weekly meal planner

Favorite meals list

Write down your favorite breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, and snack meals.

favorite meals list

Monthly meal planner

The monthly meal planner is perfect for planning a whole month’s worth full of meals.

You can even use this page to do a rough draft first then print it out again when you have finalized your meals.

monthly meal planner

Breakfast meal planner

Plan your breakfast with this breakfast meal planner page.

breakfast planner

Lunch meal planner

Use this page to plan any meals perfect for Lunch

lunch meal planner

Dinner meal planner

Make dinner time easy with this dinner meal planner!

dinner meal planner template

Thoughts and notes

This page is perfect for any thoughts or ideas you might have in regards to your meal planning!

notes printable

Grocery list

Use this grocery list to note all of the ingredients and food items you are going to need.

grocery list templates

Shopping list

The shopping list is perfect for writing down anything you might need from the store that isn’t food-based.

shopping list template

Kitchen inventory

Keep an inventory of your kitchen so you can stay organized!

Inventories are a great way of staying on top of what you have and what you need.

kitchen inventory

Fridge inventory

Use this page to keep a note of what’s in your fridge!

It’s a great way of helping you avoid buying foods you don’t need.

fridge inventory

Freezer inventory

Keep a freezer inventory and review it every so often.

If you have food in the freezer that you’ve not touched in 6 months then it’s probably never going to get eaten so bin it.

freezer inventory

Pantry inventory

A pantry inventory is definitely something I have benefited from and I think you will too.

No more buying more onions when you already have two bags at the back of the pantry!

Keep your pantry organized with this pantry inventory.

Pantry tracker

Calorie intake tracker

Use the calorie intake tracker to log what you eat at different times of the day and the calories.

We also have more calorie trackers in different designs with space to track your daily meals with calorie intake per meal along with a daily total and a weekly total.

free calorie counter

Recipe planner

Use this recipe planner to note your own recipes along!

Fill in the ingredients, instructions, serving size, ratings, difficulty and so much more.

We also have recipe planners to help you log ingredients, preparations, cooking temp, calories, and quality/tastiness rating!

free printable recipe templates

Meals and workout tracker

Track your meals and workouts side by side with this tracker.

See the calories you put in and the calories you burn all at a glance.

meals and workouts tracker

Vegetarian grocery list ideas

If you’re a vegetarian or want to give it a go then this vegetarian grocery list is a must-have.

Use this list to get all of the basic foods you might need as a vegetarian.

Vegetarian meal plan ideas

If you’re looking for some great vegetarian meal ideas then you will find plenty here!

vegetarian meal plan ideas

Vegan grocery list ideas

Perhaps you’re a Vegan? Maybe you’ve watched that impressive documentary that was trending in 2019 and it’s piqued your interest?

Get started with this Vegan grocery list.

Vegan meal plan ideas

Why not swap out a day or two a week to eat a vegan meal?

There are plenty of gorgeous vegan meal ideas right here.

vegan meal plan ideas

Low calorie grocery list ideas

We all feel like we could cut a few calories here and there so we’ve put together an amazing low-calorie grocery list for you to check out.

Low calorie meal plan ideas

Why not try out some of these great low-calorie meal ideas?

Great if you want to cut back a little but not starve yourself!

low calorie meal plan ideas

Low carb grocery list ideas

If you’re thinking of getting into a low carb diet then consider this low carb grocery list. It’s got great options.

Low carb meal plan ideas

These low-carb meal ideas have been well thought through and they all sound amazing.

How does Asian Sesame Beef Salad sound? Or Buffalo Cauliflower Hot Wings?

low carb meal plan ideas

Dairy free grocery list ideas

Maybe you have allergies and you’re on a dairy-free diet. We also have a grocery list for that.

Dairy free meal plan ideas

Amazing dairy free meal ideas await you. Perfect if you avoid dairy in general or want to try going dairy-free for your health or other reasons!

dairy free meal plan and grocery list ideas

Gluten free grocery list ideas

If you are avoiding gluten then this gluten-free grocery list has some great gluten-free ingredients you can add to your main shopping list.

Gluten free meal plan ideas

We also have delicious gluten-free meal ideas for you to try out. I’m talking salmon tacos or crispy mustard chicken…yum!

gluten free meal plan ideas

Keto grocery list ideas

Get a head start with your Keto diet by using this Keto grocery list full of ideas!

Keto meal plan ideas

Enjoy delicious Keto friendly meals with this keto meal idea list!

keto meal plan ideas

Generic grocery list ideas

A master grocery list for those who don’t have any dietary requirements!

Generic meal plan ideas

There are some really fun and delicious meal ideas to choose from.

As a mom, I’ve injected a ton of gorgeous comfort foods in here and some family favorites.

generic meal plan ideas

Kids meal ideas

When it comes to food, kids have their own ideas and that’s fair enough!

This list features fun and delicious foods that my own kids love to eat!

kids meal plan ideas

Recipes to try

Found a recipe in a book, magazine, or Pinterest? Make a note of it quickly with this recipes to try page!

Save time flicking through the book trying to source your recipe by using this page to point you in the right direction.

recipes to try planner

Time to make meal planning easy

I really think these meal planner templates will help change the way you run your kitchen and plan your meals. They’re such a great help and there are so many aspects to this planner that you might not have even considered.

These meal planner templates were made to help you meal plan but also help you organize your kitchen and perhaps try new things when it comes to your diet. 

You can get this amazing meal planner along with many of our other amazing printables right here on World of Printables.

Get the meal planner templates bundle

You can get each of these printables separately by browsing each printable above or checking out more of our printable meal planner templates.

Alternatively to save time you can get them all in one convenient low-cost bundle which keeps everything together.

This bundle is full of high-quality versions of our templates in PDF format, which look amazing when printed.

Remember to check out the rest of our useful templates, we’ve got 100’s that you’ll love for every aspect of your life.

Better yet, check out our Ultimate Life Planner Bundle – you get all of our template bundles in one convenient low-cost bundle, all in the highest quality for you to use forever.

Find 100’s more stylish planner templates that you’ll love

Some of our recent planner templates. Find many more Printable Planner Templates that will help you get on top of your life with ease. You’ll love them.

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