As promised, here are four meal-planning worksheets to help you get started with making a serious dent in your food budget and a big step toward a healthier diet. All of the files are PDFs; control-click or right-click the links and choose whatever looks closest to "Save As" to download the templates to your computer. To learn more about meal planning, check out the previous posts Setting Up Your Meal Planner and Discover Meal Planning.
Full Day Meal Planner. That note pad I found in the discount bin at the store inspired this template. It offers a chart for planning a week's worth of dinners, plus boxes for jotting down ideas for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks.
Structured Meal Planner. This template resembles my spreadsheet system for meal planning. It offers space for a week's worth of meals, with rows for the main dish, a side vegetable, a side starch, a salad, and notes.
Visual Meal Planner. I had some fun with this one. It's basically the same as the Structured Meal Planner, but instead of rows you fill in cafeteria trays. I bought a stash of those trays for my own kitchen a while back out of elementary-school nostalgia. This worksheet also has room for a week's worth of meals.
Monthly Planner. If you prefer to think far ahead, or if you just want to have last week's meals close at hand for easy reference, try this monthly planner. It's a calendar page with spaces for you to fill in the month and the dates, and each day box has lines marked off for the components of your meal.
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