This is my sixth week menu planning my family’s dinner. It hasn’t gone perfectly smoothly, but it’s been done every week and only simple changes needed to be made. As always, in any area of my life that I’m trying to change, my motto is “progress, not perfection.”
Searching for the right Printable
When I was starting to actually write a weekly meal plan out, I searched for weekly meal plans and finally decided on this one. I didn’t really know what I would need yet for a menu planner, but I knew that I didn’t need certain elements that I kept seeing in the free printables:
- a shopping list section
- breakfast and lunch sections (2 of my sons eat school lunch and hubby and I usually pack dinner leftovers for lunch)
- I also knew I would most likely just put it in a clear sleeve and use a dry erase marker versus printing a new one out weekly.
I found that I DID need a section to write down what was happening that evening based on the family schedule. Most of the posts I have read about meal planning suggests using your family calendar to plan the meal, but doesn’t have a place on the weekly menu to note that on the plan. Christina from Juggling Real Food and Real Life does have one with an activities section, but it includes breakfast and lunch which I didn’t need on my weekly menu.
Making My Own Menu Planning Printables
As I have been using this simple weekly menu planner, I found I was using the column for shopping list as a column for family events happening that evening. I also wanted some more space to write the dinner meal (do they have fine tip dry erase markers?).
I decided I could probably create a simple weekly menu planner that would work for me. Here is what I created:
CREATING WHAT I NEEDED: MONTHLY MEAL PLANNER
I mentioned before that I used to write my meals out for the month, but they were written down from the previous week or month. I did that because I wanted to note the last time we had such and such meal so I wasn’t repeating meals too often.
I could print out a new blank monthly calendar each month, but I decided to create one that I can use a dry erase marker on as well. I created a blank monthly calendar that I can slip into the same clear sheet holder as my weekly meal planner. At the end of each week I’ll write down the meals that we had for dinner and use the monthly information to plan the weekly menus for the next month.
If your brain and family life are anything like mine, and these printables would be helpful to you, please feel free to download them for free:
What kind of planner do you use when menu planning? What’s your favorite simple meal when the weekdays get hectic? I’d love to know!
This post will be shared at these lovely parties.
My favorite meal is take out! lol
Since I’m alone, no meal planning for me!
Salads are pretty much my staple go to meal. I eat them 3 times a day. Sometimes scrambled eggs for breakfast, if my grandbaby is here.
Thanks for making the printables. I know they’ll come in handy for other folks.
Thanks Melinda! I hope they are helpful to whoever can use them
I find that I often make my own planning pages. Every family is so specific and different. I do have our family calendar out when I plan meals. I also like to repeat meals that we all love. For example we always have:
Tech Free Taco Tuesday
Chicken Nuggets for Game Night (a.k.a. Throw-down Thursday)
Pizza and Garlic Bread for Movie Night and the kids are allowed to eat while we watch the movie which is a real treat.
Leftovers on Friday. (and for lunches)
Saturday morning is biscuits and gravy.
Sunday morning is pancakes and bacon.
I have creative liberties for the rest of the nights. I like having most of the decisions made for me. Less to think about.
I took me a LONG TIME to find my meal planning groove. Repetition helped.
Hi Rebecca! I love Throw Down Thursday! It sounds like your family has a great schedule. I agree that repetition helps. We’re still finding our rhythm. Thanks for sharing!
Alexandra @ My Urban Family says
Thank you for these! I haven’t been planning out as much as I’d like but I will keep these printables in mind for when I get my act together 🙂
Thanks Alexandra! I’m glad that they may come in handy to you.