Money, Diet, and Sanity Saver: Weekly Meal Planning

January 10, 2009 at 9:16 PM (Food, Healthy Living, Saving Money, Simplifying Life, Weight Loss)

Ben and I started planning out a weekly menu a few weeks ago.  We typically sit down together on Saturdays or Sundays and make a meal plan for each and every day of the following week.  Doing this has proven to be very valuable.

From a money perspective, it helps tremendously by allowing us to see exactly what we will need for groceries in a given week.  We make a shopping list as we make the meal plan.

From a diet / healthy lifestyle perspective, it allows us to plan healthy, balanced meals.  It also takes away the guess work which allows us to stick to our healthy eating lifestyle much easier.

From a sanity perspective, it decreases our weekday stress by, again, taking out the guess work.  We’re always tired at the end of a long work day and now this is one less thing that we have to think about in the evenings.  Since we have the plan, we can just get out the recipes as needed and get to work right away.  By we, I mostly mean I, since I typically get home before Ben. 🙂  Our evenings are very short.  This improves our efficiency allowing us to spend more quality time with eat other, our pets, etc.

Note that the upfront investment in creating the weekly menu can be high (1-2 hours) but we have found that the time and money saved are well worth the initial time spent.  We have also noticed that we spend less time the more we do this since we can recycle some meal ideas from previous menus.

I recently created a template that we print and fill out with our meal plan.  We use the notes section to remind ourselves of any prep work that goes into a meal (e.g., marinading).  That section could also be used to note items that you need to buy.

You can download my template here:  Weekly Meal Plan

– Stephanie



  1. Aubre said,

    Thanks so much for the meal planner template! I too have started doing this to avoid meltdown at dinner time! It has helped so much with the “what do I make for dinner” process….especially with a little one pulling on my legs! The template is just what I needed! Thanks again.

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