3 Ways to Use Meal Planning Inserts + Free Printable
Why Meal Plan?
Meal planning can save you time and money and make it easier to follow a healthy diet. It can be such a challenge to decide what to make for dinner every night. However, planning ahead can ease some of the stress of figuring out healthy and quick meals to make every evening. I know meal-planning is what helps me avoid heading through the Wendy's drive-through every week!
Planning ahead also makes it easier to resist impulse buys at the grocery store and to use relevant money-saving coupons.
Here are some free meal-planning and grocery list inserts to make your life just a bit easier. Click here to get your inserts, then read on for three ideas on how to use them.
1. Balanced Meals
In our family, I plan every dinner with three components: vegetable, starch, and meat. These meal planning inserts have three lines per day, and you can use one line for each element.
Other meal-planning formulas you can try:
- protein-rich food
- fruit or vegetable
- fat-rich food
- whole grain
- protein-rich food
2. Three Meals per Day
You can use one line each for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is especially useful if you struggle to finish leftovers. Also, if you meal prep and freeze, planning your breakfasts and lunches can ensure nothing gets forgotten in the depths of the freezer. (Another thing I struggle with!)
In this case, you can start your meal plan by taking stock of what you already have in the fridge and freezer and filling them into the Groceries area.
Organize Your Shopping Trip
Use the freeform grocery list space to break up shopping either by area of the store or which store you'll be grabbing each item from. Planning ahead in this way can really speed up your errands, especially if you're shopping with kids! When shopping with young children, sometimes it can be hard to remember what you were about to grab next. Keeping your list with you lets you refer to it if you get off track. When shopping with elementary-age kids, include them by making grocery shopping like a scavenger hunt and working together to find everything on the list. They also love to check things off the list!
Collect your coupons before you start planning, and create meals using foods you would like to save money on. Then, highlight those circles on your list. Finally, you can cut the grocery list off and take it to the store so you can remember your coupons at checkout! These inserts are specially designed to enable you to take just your grocery list to the store while leaving your meal plan for the week tucked safely in your planner.
As promised, here is a third way to use these inserts:
3. Food Diary
There are many reasons to track what you eat: to understand your habits and patterns, upon a physician's recommendation, or to hold yourself accountable to a goal. Once you know what you are actually consuming, you can set actionable goals and more easily make changes.
Share Your Ideas
Get your free printable weekly meal-planning and grocery inserts now. Then let us know in the comments how you are using them!