Menu planning can help simplify the work that goes into creating delicious meals for your family. Here is our meal plan template with some easy meal planning ideas!
Menu planning used to be my least favorite task of the week. I mean, I love having a menu plan, but the act of deciding what to feed my family was tough! I’d sit down with my pen and paper and try to come up with 7 meals for the week, and I always seemed to have 3 or 4 meals that were so similar- burritos one night, tacos the next, enchiladas 2 days after that etc. Or I seemed to be using a lot of the same ingredients for all my meals- Chicken Parmesan, Chicken Fettuccine, Chicken Sandwiches… chicken, chicken, chicken!!!
One day I came up with the idea to set a theme for each day of the week and it has turned out to be fantastic! Themed days not only make the planning easier on me, but it also adds variety to our meals! I simply came up with a name for every day of the week that describes what type of meal we will have that day. Ever since then, I have used this meal plan template to plan out the menu for the week. Here is what I do:
Simple Meal Plan Template – Meal Planning Ideas
My family is a big lover of all things Spanish style, but I like to make sure we have tacos, enchiladas (don’t forget to try our homemade enchilada sauce), burritos or quesadillas only once a week! Our Mexican dishes are reserved for Monday’s and Monday’s only in our meal plan template!
Mexican Monday Favorites –
Take Out Tuesday
Tuesday night is one of the busiest nights of the week for us, so if I want to pull the “Honey, lets order take out” card, I do it. But we definitely do not eat out every Tuesday – we also make meals that are “Take Out Foods.” For example, my family loves pizza, but we make it more than we order it. I love a good pizza idea- French Bread Pizza, Bagel Pizzas, etc- but even a frozen Freschetta would do well on Take Out Tuesday. It can also be a night where Rob grills some burgers- not quite McDonalds Take Out, but much better tasting, healthier, and still I don’t have to cook!
Take-Out Favorites –
What’s New Wednesday
I love trying new recipes, and try to make at least one every week. Wednesdays are the days I have set aside in my meal plan template where I will experiment with some of the recipes I have wanted to try!
We all need a night each week where we allow ourselves to lay low and go easy. (Ok, so maybe we need 3 or 4 nights of easy meals each week, am I right?) I am a sucker for recipes that are quick and easy – something you can throw in a crock pot (or heat in the microwave!). Thursdays are the days I decided to cook those easy, quick “Set it and Forget it” meals.
Thursday Favorites –
Every family has their favorites, so why not treat each other to a good meal at the end of a long week!? In our meal plan template we have designated Friday for these popular recipes.
Friday Favorites –
I love waffles, pancakes or French toast for breakfast, so we’ve reserved Saturday for eating what you would typically consider “Breakfast Foods” at dinner time. These meals are easy to make and they are easy to cancel, so if we get busy and decide to go out for dinner, no stress!
There’s nothing better than coming home from church on Sunday with dinner ready and waiting for you! Because of this, I try to use my crock pot every Sunday!
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You obviously don’t have to use alliteration to plan your days – this was just so I could remember everything easier! Big Dinner Sunday, Leftover Monday, Casserole Tuesday and Pizza Wednesday work well too! You know your routine and which nights are craziest for you, so set your meal plan template around them!
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To make menu planning even easier, I now use Walmart Grocery pickup – have you heard of this? (It is 100% FREE and totally saves me time!)
Walmart Grocery is sooooo easy to use, plus it saves me so much time AND money! (No more impulse buys or buying treats to keep your kids quiet in the grocery cart!)
Log in (it’s free!) search for the items you need, then add them to your cart.
Finding the cheapest option is so much easier online than in the store – sometimes the name brand is actually cheaper than generic – who knew?!
Once you’ve shopped for everything you need, select a pick up time and place your order!
Pick up is FREE!!!! Like, ZERO dollars!
Drive to Walmart at your selected time and a nice worker will bring your groceries right out to your car!!!!
If you download their app, you can add items to your grocery list from your phone. So when you remember as you’re climbing into bed that you need bread for school lunches, pick up your phone and add it to your cart. That bread will be waiting for you the next time you log in so you won’t forget it!
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You will be amazed at how easy your meal planning will become if you can plan out your days. It will add variety to you meals and save you time during your meal planning. Give this meal plan template a try, I dare ya!