Free printable meal planner to plan your meals.
High calorie, unhealthy, fast food is readily available everywhere. It’s quick and convenient, pretty much wherever you are. Healthy, unprocessed, and real food requires effort on your part. It requires planning and preparation. If you plan your meals when you are already hungry and ready to eat the chances are you will prefer to reach out for something ready to eat and unhealthy rather than spend the time preparing a healthy home-cooked meal. That is where meal plans come in handy. They encourage you to plan your meals before you are hungry. That way, you can ensure you have all the required ingredients and that the meal is ready before you lose your patience and are ready to eat pretty much anything. It is much easier to make better food choices when the choices are available when you need them.
Once you have planned your meals, make a grocery list. From experience, don’t shop when you are hungry as you will land up with a lot more groceries that might not have made it into your basket on an empty stomach.
Meal Plan Template
Bullet Journal Meal Plan
If you want to print a meal plan PDF format then click on download and select the PDF option.
Why plan your meals?
You will save money on meals when you plan ahead. Cooking at home is always cheaper than eating out. You will usually have leftovers that can be eaten the next day or frozen for another day.
When you plan your meals you will ensure that you have all ingredients ready when you cook. That way you don’t realize halfway through a recipe that you are short of one of the ingredients (does that only happen to me?). It also saves trips to the grocery store when you prepare a weekly meal plan. Once you know what you will be eating all week you can buy enough groceries for all meals that week instead of making more trips to the store. Each trip you make will both waste time and probably result in impulsive buying and unplanned purchases as a result.
Save time by doubling up recipes. Whenever a recipe can be frozen I double it up and freeze the second portion. Making one batch or two usually takes pretty much the same time and often doesn’t cost that much more since not all recipes use all ingredients purchased. This is so handy for those days when I don’t feel like cooking or simply don’t have the time. Some items freeze really well and I often make 6 or 8 portions. For example, my kids love lasagna. When I make it then I make about 8 trays and freeze 7.
Eat Healthy Food
When we plan, we increase our chances of eating healthy meals. When we don’t plan, we often land up eating food that is more accessible and it’s often processed, unhealthy, and fattening.
Vary your Meals
When you plan your meals you can ensure you vary your diet. This makes meals more interesting and well balanced. When we don’t plan ahead, we often land up making the same meals over and over.
When you plan your meals, you avoid last-minute decisions about what to eat. It’s less stressful when you know dinner is planned or even prepared. You know you have the ingredients and you don’t have to think about what to make.