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FREE Meal Planning Template Printables

If you struggling to save money on groceries or tired of trying to figure out “what’s for dinner”, these free meal planning templates are just what you need to breeze through dinnertime while keeping your grocery budget under control!

Groceries are a huge monthly expense in just about everybody’s budget, and in many cases, we spend more on food than we do on our mortgage payments every month. 

Anything we can do to reduce how much we spend at the supermarket helps to save money regularly. Even if you can cut your grocery budget by $100 a month, that’s $1200 a year that can be added to your savings account or help pay for other household expenses. Now imagine how much can be saved if you cut your grocery budget in half!

But how do you reduce your grocery budget and still eat healthy meals? Well, there are many ways to save money on food, like couponing or using grocery savings apps, cooking from scratch or meal planning on a budget

These methods work really well, but one of the easiest ways to save both money and time in the kitchen is by meal planning.

Benefits of Meal Planning

There are many benefits to meal planning, of course, it saves money but it also saves time. And as the saying goes

‘time is money” so it’s just as valuable. Let’s look at some of the benefits of meal planning.

Planning meals helps you create a shopping list of only items that you need, which saves money. It also helps to control food waste since you have a plan for every item you are buying. And as you probably know, wasting food is like burning money.

Meal planning also helps save frustration on those busy days since you already know what’s for dinner and you have all the ingredients needed to make those meals.

No more last-minute grocery store trips to pick up a few items that you need, or worse, grabbing expensive take-out because it’s so much easier. Again, saving time and money.

If you want to reap the rewards of meal planning but just don’t have the time, PlateJoy is a great meal planning service that will help you create a meal plan and shopping list so you can still enjoy the benefits of meal planning.

Is your grocery budget out of control?

Grab this FREE guide and learn 9 simple, yet effective strategies to save money on groceries ever single week. 

(spoiler alert: no cooking from scratch required) 

Meal Planning Tips

Now that you know the benefits of meal planning, there are some things you can do to make meal planning easy and… dare I say fun.

Focus on Family Favorite Meals

When first creating a meal plan, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Instead, focus on the meals that you already make that your family loves. 

Next, decide how often you want to eat those meals. This is where a monthly meal planning template comes in handy.

If there is a meal that your family is already eating weekly add it to your monthly meal planning template on each of the four weeks. 

Create a Master Meal Planning Template

Meal planning is a long-term savings game, but it doesn’t mean that you have to spend hours every month coming up with a meal plan. 

Instead, create a master monthly meal planning template to reuse month after month. Once you have all your meals listed, create 4 weekly shopping lists of everything you’ll need to make the meals for each week. 

Meal Plan Around Your Schedule

When making a meal plan, keep your families schedule in mind. You don’t want to create an elaborate and time-consuming meal on the days when you have to taxi your kids to extracurricular activities or days when you have to work late. 

Of course, you won’t always know what your days will look like when meal planning so each week add in 2 – 3 easy meal ideas.

This way if something comes up you are ready for it and can just swap days for another meal option since you have the ingredients for everything you’re planning on cooking that week.

Slow Cooker Freezer Meal Guide

Always Grocery Shop With a List

I’m sure you’ve heard many times that you should always shop with a grocery list, and there are good reasons for it. As mentioned earlier, shopping with a list helps you to save money by not buying food that you don’t need.

This, in turn, helps to avoid food waste because it went bad before you got a chance to use it. It also helps to avoid extra supermarket trips to pick up items you may have forgotten. 

Meal Plan to Save Money

Meal planning, in general already saves money as already mentioned. But if you really want to save money focus on cheap foods and making cheap meal ideas

There are many meals that you can make that are very inexpensive while still being delicious and hearty. 

In fact, my friend Erin Chase from $5 Dinners makes amazing meals on a shoestring for her family of five (with three growing boys) and she has a free webinar that’ll teach you how to do the same. You can check it out here.



17 Meal Planning Templates To Make Meal Prep Easier

Meal Planning Templates To Make Meal Prep Easy





Meal Planning Templates & Shopping List

Meal Planning Template Printables

@ MoneyMindedMom

This first set of meal planner templates are the ones I created and use on a regular basis. You can download these printable meal planning templates here.

There is a weekly menu planner, and monthly meal planner template as well as a shopping list so you have everything a beginning meal planner needs to make meal prep a breeze. 

Weekly Meal Planner Template

Weekly Meal Planning Template


Here is a beautiful printable meal planner that comes complete with a grocery shopping list separated by category. The weekly planner also includes a daily serving checklist which is great for making sure you are hitting all the major food groups and eating healthy meals.

Grocery Shopping List By Category

Grocery Shopping List By Category

@ HeyThereHome

I love grocery lists that separate items by category, it makes shopping so much easier since all like items are grouped together by which section in the store they are located. It’s a great time-saving idea to get in and out of the supermarket faster.

Freezer Inventory Template

Freezer Meal Planning Template Inventory Sheet

@ Organized Home

Make-ahead freezer meals are a great way to save time in the kitchen but sometimes it could be difficult to know what you have on hand. This freezer inventory tracking sheet solves that problem because you always know what you have and what meals need to be replenished.

Monthly Meal Planning Template

Monthly Meal Planning Template

Get Your Monthly Meal Planning Printable Here

If you’d rather meal plan for a month instead of a week at a time, then this monthly meal planning template is for you. What I like to do is create a meal plan for the month and reuse it from month to month making meal planning a one-and-done task.


Printable Set Of Meal Planning Templates

Printable Meal Planning Templates

@ Becoming Christine Smith

Here is a great set of meal planners complete with a meal planning calendar, shopping list, and meals category form to organize all your meal planning ideas.

Fun Weekly Meal Planning Template

Daily Meal Planning Template With Grocery List

@ Heart Made Blog

Love the artwork on this fun weekly meal planning template! It has space to enter all your meals for the day on one planner as well as a grocery list area to write down the ingredients you need to buy.

Slash Your Grocery Budget

Is your grocery budget out of control?

Grab this FREE guide and learn 9 simple, yet effective strategies to save money on groceries ever single week. 

(spoiler alert: no cooking from scratch required) 

Weekly Menu  Template Planner & Grocery Shopping List

Weekly Menu Template with Shopping List

@ Crafts We Create

This weekly menu plan and Grocery Shopping List has everything you need at the tip of your fingers. Plan your weekly menu and add ingredients you need to make those meals in the shopping list area. There’s even a snack planner area on this meal plan template!

Printable Menu Template

Printable menu template

@ Tip Junkie

This pick your lunch menu planning idea is genius if you have picky little ones. At first glance, you might think that this idea is never going to help you to meal plan better.

But in actuality, you are giving your kids limited options with what you have on hand saving money and reducing food waste.

Grocery List Meal Planning Template

Grocery Shopping List Meal Planning Template

@ Design Sponge

Here is another grocery shopping list option for you to try. What I like about these templates is that all you need to do is check a few boxes and your shopping list is done, another time saver!

Bullet Journal Meal Planning Templates

Bullet Journal Meal Planning Template Idea

@ Little Coffee Fox

If you are into bullet journaling then this meal planning template is right up your alley. Using post-it notes to not only list your meals but list everything you need to make those meals is nice because you can always switch things up if needed.

Weekly Meal Planning Templates

Weekly Meal Planning Template with Grocery List

@ Seven Thirty-Three

I’m loving this owl weekly meal planning template. It’s beautifully designed and makes creating your weekly meal menu and shopping list really easy.

Plan your weekly meals, Monday through Sunday in the space provided, then make a shopping list for your weekly shopping trip all on one meal planning template!

Free Printable Meal Planning Templates

Weekly & Monthly Meal Planning Templates

@ Printable Crush

Grab these free printable weekly meal plan and monthly meal plan templates so you can have options to create either a weekly menu or meal plan for an entire month.

Complete Grocery List Template

Complete Grocery List Template

@ Grocery List 

You can grab these free ultimate grocery list templates in both Excel or Google Sheets formats and in an editable PDF format so you can customize it to fit your preferences.

Printable Grocery Shopping List

Shopping List By Food Category

@ Home Storage Solutions

Another great grocery list template with sections based on the type of food you are buying making grocery shopping a breeze. It also includes a few categories of items that you might need at a department store or drugstore.

Meal Planning Kitchen Inventory Template Set

Kitchen Inventory Printables Set

@ Simply Stacie

Knowing what food and ingredients you have on hand are what helps you save money meal planning, which makes these printable kitchen inventory templates so handy.  Plus it makes creating a shopping list so much easier.

Grocery Price List

Google Sheets Grocery Price Book Template

Get Your Copy Here


Meal Planning Templates Conclusion

As you can see, there are many different meal planning worksheets you can use to create a meal plan to save money and time every week.

If none of these fit your needs you can even create your own editable meal planner template in word or excel, or you can just use a notebook if you want, just find a way that works for you.

If you want to save even more every month by meal planning? Grab your copy of the Stretch Your Grocery Bucks binder that has all the tools you will ever need to save hundreds of dollars every month on food while still feeding your family healthy and delicious meals.

Stretch Your Grocery Bucks Grocery Budget Binder

More Ways To Save Money On Groceries

Cheap grocery list for when you’re on a tight budget

23 Items you should always buy in bulk

15 Things you should never buy at a grocery store

Meal planning on a budget

Are you overspending on groceries? Use this Grocery Budget Calculator to find out

How to build a sensible stockpile

50 Cheapest foods to feed your family when on a tight budget

Couponing tips and tricks for beginners

Get paid to shop with Ibotta

How to start a container garden to save money on food

How to control food waste so you can stop throwing your money in the trash


17 Meal Planning Templates To Make Daily Meal Prep Easier