Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Meal Planner

Meal Planner

This nifty menu planner has

1) Space for ideas for dinner, breakfast, and lunch on all days of the week.

2) Space for writing down your grocery list for the week according to your recipes.

3) Grocery list categorized by vegetables, meat, dairy, frozen, canned, etc. Since I wanted this to be different from all the other menu planners out there that usually cater to US moms, I have included a space for spices and pulses.

Why use a menu planner?

To save money: It’s a proven fact that if you go grocery shopping without a list, you end up buying a lot of stuff that is not needed. Also, you tend to buy only the things on your list if you shop in one go rather than when you visit the store multiple times during the week.

To save time: no more tension and no more racking your brains at the last moment. When you know what meals will be cooked throughout the week, you have time to pre-soak the chickpeas, preheat the oven, or defrost the chicken. You can also cut the vegetables that you will be using throughout the week in one go. Plan your kid’s menu with this planner and no more morning rush!

To save your health– When you have planned your meals in advance, the chances are less that you will order a takeaway or go out for a meal just because you don’t know what to cook. Planning in advance can also make you think of healthier options for each meal. If you are on a diet, then use the planner for your weekly diet plan and it will help you stay on track! 

How it works for me

  • I reserve half an hour every Saturday night to make the weekly menu. I think of what meals we had the previous week to give some variety, whether we are going out for any dinners or hosting one at our place, etc.
  • Then I mark the days we are going out for meals on the menu and highlight them. We usually don’t eat out or order more than twice a week. If you see this picture, I already knew that we would be going out for dinner for my mom’s birthday, so I highlighted it.
  • After I have filled out all the options for the weekly menu, I fill out the grocery list below. I look at each meal and think of everything that is needed. If something is not available in our pantry or we will be running out of it soon, it goes on the list. Since the grocery list is categorised, I can write vegetables, dairy, etc. separately. This way I also remember things like yeast powder or things etc that I might have forgotten otherwise.
  • I write the meals for all the days and since our breakfast doubles as my daughter’s tiffin on most days it eliminates one more step in my kid’s menu planning.
  • Once I have filled out the grocery list, there is no point if I have to write it again before I go shopping. That’s why there is a handy-dandy dashed line in the printable so that you can cut out your grocery list and take it to your weekly grocery shopping.
  • We either go on Sundays or Monday mornings for the grocery shopping and get everything on the list. The menu planner is stuck on the side of our pantry with the help of double-sided tapes.
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