Do you struggle to meal and snack plan? Maybe you have good intentions of following a meal and snack schedule, but often end up not eating what foods you had planned? It is hard to continuously come up with different meals and foods your family will actually eat and enjoy. In addition, other difficulties with weekly meals and snacks are making sure they are healthy, easy or that you have enough time to prepare them, and that all the ingredients are readily available. Using a weekly meal and snack planner template will help make this process easier and less stressful.
Benefits to Using This Weekly Meal and Snack Printable
There are plenty of meal planning worksheets out there. However, most of them focus on breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day instead of for the week. Looking at each mealtime by the week is easier to see your week of meals at a glance and make a switch if necessary.
Furthermore, while you are planning your weekly tasks list and weekly schedule, you can plan your meals and snacks out at the same time. Schedule easy freezer meals for days you don’t have prep time or nights you will be eating later due to an event. Schedule meals that require a large amount of prep time or cook time when you have more time. By planning meals at the same time as planning your week, you decrease stressful meal time situations.
How to Plan Your Meals and Snacks for the Week
There are a few ways of completing the weekly meal and snack planner printable. First, I like to take a look in my fridge, freezer and pantry to see if there is anything I need to use up. If there is, then I list those foods or meals at the beginning of the week.
Second, I take a look at the grocery store ads to see what is on sale that week. Then I add some meals and foods to the meal planning worksheet based on what is on sale and what I already have at home.
I keep my recipe book handy in case I need to look up a recipe to make sure I have all the right ingredients. If I don’t have the ingredient I may not do that meal that week. However, I may add it to my grocery list under the “watch for this item” section. Typically, I only buy things that are on sale unless it’s a necessity like milk, eggs, bread and bananas.
Third, I check my weekly tasks list and weekly schedule to see which day works to prepare and eat which meal. In addition, I think about meal prepping and when I will have time to prep. Meals that require a lot of prep have to be on specific days when I have the time.
Lastly, I fill in any holes with a meal I have been craving, the kids have been asking for, or a restaurant outing or pick up.
Ideas to Spice Up Meal Planning
It gets old having the same foods each day or meals each week. You may feel like you are in a meal planning rut. For breakfast or snack instead of something different each day, make a list of 4 things and draw an arrow down. Then have the kids select one or a combination of those 4 breakfasts each weekday.
We like to make more extensive breakfasts on the weekend and keep the week more simple. For example, on Monday’s line you could list out cereal, grapes, toast, and hard boiled egg and draw a line down the rest of the week and those are the breakfast options for the weekdays. This gives your kids a variety and freedom to make their own choices.
The lunch section can be used as a hot/cold lunch schedule for school. After looking at the menu you can write “hot lunch” or “cold lunch” on the line. Or instead of cold lunch, write what should be in the cold lunch.
Get your kids involved and have them write what they want in their cold lunch (maybe from options you provide first). Furthermore, instead of coming up with 3 meals a day yourself, have different people in your household be in charge of coming up with a dinner or a breakfast each week. In addition to having them come up with the meal idea, ask them to meal prep and cook it with you.
Finally, another option is to have a “leftovers” lunch or dinner. We often do not finish each meal and on a busy evening will eat leftovers. It works pretty well.
Finishing Touches on the Weekly Meal and Snack Planning Printable
Use the recipe checkbox to note if you have a recipe for the meal you are preparing. If the box is checked then you know to check your recipe book or box. If the recipe box is not checked then you know there is no recipe needed or you need to google or find a recipe.
Use the notes section on the bottom of the worksheet to add any specific details to a day or meal. For example, note restaurant deals and specials, or coupons and gift cards that are expiring. Also, note if you are having dinner guests, or a meal where part of your family will not be eating.
Once you have your meals planned for the week, use the meal and snack planning sheet to make your grocery store list. Organize your grocery list by category and order in which you see the items in the store. This makes for a quick and easy shopping experience. For more about efficient grocery lists and shopping tips click here.
How to Get the Weekly Meal and Snack Planner Template
The meal and snack planner printable template is FREE and you can get it right HERE.
The meal and snack planner printable template is available for you to complete two different ways. First, you can simply print out the sheet and write in your meals and snacks. Second, you can customize your one page worksheet online and then print it out or track it electronically. Do whichever way works best for you.
Besides the meal and snack planner template, the printable includes other weekly worksheets. It has the weekly tasks list, schedule templates, errand and shopping list worksheet, and grocery list sheet to assist you in planning and organizing your week.
Final Thoughts on the Easy Weekly Meal and Snack Planner Template
Plan your weekly meals and snacks easier with this weekly meal and snack planner template. Meals and snacks are planned by the week instead of by the day for flexibility. With a family things happen, and meals and snacks may have to change and adapt to the situation.