Are you one of those trying to follow a diet? Maybe you want to lose some weight, gain some, or want to have a diverse menu for the entire week/month. If you want to try different dishes on various days of the week, having a weekly menu planner is necessary.
It will not just help you plan what when to make. It also helps you record all the groceries you will require for the task at hand. If there is enough grocery or not, and what else is missing for the upcoming dish can be figured out well in advance and saves you a lot of trouble.
Most of all, it will keep things to avoid the confusion of “what should I make today?” because you will be planning it all in one go before the planner starts.
What is a Weekly Menu Planner?
In straightforward terms, it is like a timetable for your meals that you will be taking at which day of the week- for lunch, dinner, and breakfast.
The extra things you can add to this timetable are the list of things required to make those dishes and keep your supplies in check.
It is a handy thing, which one can test and know for themselves. Look at the article to see different types of free Weekly Menu Planners available for you right in one place.
Here are Your Free Weekly Planners
This is a simple one, with what you want to make each day to be written on the left side. The shopping list for the same is to write on the right side. The blocks for writing the dishes for each day are of average size.
Neither too big nor too small. You will write the name of the dishes chronologically for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in each block. That is all that should fit in them and suffice. Keep your grocery list concise and precise. This means having only the important names and a few extras that might be required and nothing more.
This one is like the previous planner that we just mentioned. The main difference here is that this one has a simple black and white and sleek look. The job here to be done is the same. You write the dishes on the left side and the list of the groceries goes on the right.
Now to help you out a little bit, make sure to keep variation in your dishes. Meaning, try not to keep the same three or four dishes that you have had on Monday, follow up for the entire week. The whole plan was for you to have variations in your diet for whatever reasons that may be.
You can have vegetarian food on Monday, non-vegetarian food on Tuesday, and so on. Keep the grocery list up to date and check it occasionally during the week. You would not want to run out of the required stuff after all this weekly planning now, right?
This weekly menu planner is for those who might have kids or those who love to have colorful things in their homes. This one does not have a grocery list separately. As you can see, this one is quite direct in its approach.
It has seven boxes representing the seven days of the week. Each block representing one day, has three sections – for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, respectively. You do the same here, that is, “to decide what you would want to have for breakfast, for lunch, and dinner.”
If you plan to make this planner for your kids, it would surely help you keep enough variations in the meals for each day. Kids love to try new dishes.
This way, you can also manage their diet and nutritional supplements that they take, thus taking care of their overall health. Most of all, do all of this in an organized and quite efficient manner.
There is also a dedicated section for notes that you may want to add to your weekly menu planner. In this notes column, you can even write the list of groceries, though I suggest not to. The notes section can add the names of dietary supplements or extraordinary grocery/things that may be needed in the future.
If nothing else, the notes section can be used to write a note to yourself. That means you can remind yourself not to overeat or overcook anything of the sort.
This one is for those of you who are a little bit lazy comparatively or do not want to write each and everything down. This weekly menu planner is useful for students or a bachelor. It is helpful for someone who is trying to follow a strict diet.
As you can see below, there are several columns and sections in this weekly menu planner. To begin with, it has a section for mentioning the week, month, and year. Now that may or may not be of concern to you. Let us come down.
As you can observe, on the right-hand side, there is a section called “Ingredients to buy.” This one has a list of the most common things that one may want to buy from a sure edibles category. There is a section for vegetables, fruit, dairy products, poultry products, pork, and beef. Extra columns are given in case you may want to add something of your own in them.
On the left-hand side is a short section divided into subsections. The subsections include the week’s days, which is further divided into B, L, and D sections. B is for Breakfast, L for Lunch, and D represents dinner.
You will pen down the name of the dish/dishes in each section. Create diversity in the dishes as per your needs or preferences. Those who are following a diet for gain/loss of weight can add the total calories for each dish in the sections for B, L, and D. They must make sure to be concise in their writing.
Finally, coming to the last weekly menu planner on our list. This one is my personal favorite, and it has all the necessary sections that you may want in your meal planner. It will be better to have a large printout of this one. At the top, you can see various sections for days of the week. You know what you must do there. Just below it, you can see around eight blocks:
Fresh Produce– To add the list of the green vegetables and fruits you bought in fresh and consume them fresh.
Dairy: To keep a list of dairy products like cheese, milk, butter, cream, etc.
Meat: To keep track of your meat products like beef, pork, chicken, ham, steak, and more.
Non-Perishable- This may contain things varying from your Spices and flavoring products, canned foods, dry fruits, and dehydrated food products.
Pantry Staples– This one can include your rice, cereal, tomato ketchup, oatmeal, boxes of pasta, vegetable oils, and other oils, sauces other shelf products with a long shelf life.
Toiletries/Home Supplies: Anything that you want to keep a reminder of is shampoo, soap, duct tape, knives, and more.
Refrigerated/Frozen– Here, you can make an inventory of the freezer products, like frozen peas, frozen meat, frozen corn, and frozen ready to make snacks.
Kids/Pets– This one is pretty obvious. Anything special you may want to keep for your kids or keep track of the dog food at home.
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With this, we come to an end to our list of Weekly Menu Planner and Groceries List. You can take any one of the planners mentioned here. If not, then you can make your own by taking ideas from here or on the internet. It is a great way to keep your days organized by having your meals organized.