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Weekly Meal Planning: Creating the Foundation For A Successful Week

Weekly Menu Planner

There are so many great products on the market that can help simplify your life and make eating healthier feel a bit easier. However, understanding the benefits or how these items can help increase their value to the consumer. 

Today’s blog is going to talk about the benefits of planning your meals for the week and will provide a few resources at the end! Let's start planning for a successful week. Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail.

Helps Keep Grocery Budget in Mind

With inflation wreaking havoc in everyone’s bank accounts, keeping costs down in areas we have control is huge. Organizing your weekly meals can be incredibly helpful in keeping costs down and staying within your budget. This helps minimize food waste, because you’re only making purchases for foods you will be preparing. 

Using the weekly grocery ads to help plan your meals around the foods that are on sale this week. For example, when asparagus is on sale, I’ll always purchase a few bunches. It can normally range from $3.99 to $5.99 per pound, but on sale can be as low as $1.99 per pound. The same goes for bell peppers! The red, orange, and yellow bell peppers can be as high as $1.50 each, however the cost can be cut in half at different times during the year. 

Save Time

No more multiple grocery store trips during the week! When you have a plan and know what recipes you will be making, you have the chance to do a quick check of your pantry and refrigerator to make sure you have exactly what you need to prepare the meal.

Predictability helps to take the guesswork out of meals as well. Talk about stress relief! You are ensuring you have the correct groceries available in your home for the recipes you plan to make. 

By simply taking 20 minutes on a Thursday or Friday night to develop a plan for your weekly grocery shopping trip, you can bypass all the conversations around what does everyone want to eat and having to stop by the grocery store on your way home from work. 

Make Healthier Choices

Having a plan can also help reduce your frequency of going out to eat. If eating out tends to be the most convenient option because you’ve been really busy and haven’t had time to cook, having a plan going into the week can help you avoid the default trip to the drive thru.

Also, having a grocery list helps minimize impulse purchases at the store. Stick to your grocery list and avoid throwing in the extra items that you know you really don’t need.

Get the Family or Housemates Involved

If you have multiple preferences to keep in mind, it can be very helpful to give family members options when planning out the menu for the week. Now, too many cooks in the kitchen has the potential to make this feel a bit chaotic. I suggest giving 2 options for vegetables to pair with the protein and let the kids or family members chime in. Once the menu is posted for the week, meal times are set. 

The challenging part can be sticking with it! When children are involved, predictability and their involvement is helpful. Children thrive in this type of an environment, and if there is pushback, the simple answer is that the food being requested isn’t on the menu this week, but we can add it to next week's menu! 

How Do I Stay Organized?

I personally use a weekly menu organizer to help map out our weekly meals. This helps my family with everything discussed above. I’ve included a few examples below that I found on Amazon that can be helpful with planning your weekly meals! 

There’s a little something for everyone. I love the weekly planners with an attached grocery list paper. Now, you can create your grocery list as you figure out what you’re eating that week. Others prefer a paperless option like dry erase boards. For those that don’t want their meals on display, having an actual meal planner book can be the way to go. I’ve also included some fun stickers to keep tracking fun and interesting!

Magnetic Sweetzer Magnetic Notepad

Magnetic Weekly Meal Planning Notepad

Magnetic Weekly Meal Planner for Every Meal

Acrylic Meal Planner- Dry Erase Board

Meal Planner Book

Fun Health Stickers for Meal Planners

Katie Ott, MS, RD

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