Planning meals is one of the important jobs in the daily household chore list. A good way to make the work of cooking easy, is to know what exactly to make when. In this article, we’ll give you some meal planner templates that you can use to make your job easier and more organized.
When I was growing up, there was one question that my mom asked me almost every single day after she returned from work, “What should I make for dinner?” If it wasn’t her asking me what she should make, it was me asking her “What’s for lunch tomorrow?” These questions were almost like a daily ritual, and no matter how hard she convinced herself, my mother could never stick to a weekly meal plan, that dictated what meal should be made on which day of the week and the month. She said it got ‘too boring’ and that it limited her culinary abilities to whip up delicacies for us. So I convinced her to use a monthly meal planner instead. Believe me, it was one of the best things! She systematically wrote down each meal that she was going to make throughout the month. It gave us something to look forward to and helped us to prepare in advance for a meal that we did not really like. If you’re looking for something on the same lines, then you can have a look at the meal planner templates that we have for you in this NutriNeat article.
What is a Meal Planner
A meal planner, as the name very obviously suggests, is a plan for the different meals that you will be consuming throughout a specific period of time. It is a table that will give you the liberty to plan out each daily meal: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and other snacks, well in advance, so that you don’t have to fret about it later. We have two templates given below. One is a weekly planner, for short term planning, and the other is a monthly meal planner, which will help those who find it imperative to plan the entire month’s meals in advance. Right below the images are the links by which you can access the printable PDF planner. So click on the links and get your planners printed.
Weekly Meal Planner
Monthly Meal Planner
Benefits of a Meal Planner
Planning meals can be quite exhausting and frustrating, especially if you’ve had a rough day at work or have had some other engagements. The very thought of beginning right from thinking about what to make, then worrying whether your kitchen is stocked with all the necessary ingredients, dragging yourself to check, getting more frustrated when you see that you don’t have the ingredients, and sitting to plan out a whole new meal all over again, can easily convince anyone to just pick up the phone and order an unhealthy pizza. With the help of a meal planner, you’ll be able to see the organized discipline involved in cooking. Take a look at the many benefits of planning your meals.
- When you have a meal planner, the task of thinking about what to cook will not have to be done. Since you’ll plan it all out on the first day of the week or month, you won’t have to bother about it again. This will save you a lot of time and you can always do with some more of that.
- When you have a set meal plan, you get a good idea of the grocery shopping that you need to do. Assuming you know how to cook everything that you put on your meal planner, you’ll know what are the ingredients required for all of them, and you can go grocery shopping as and when required for the specific meals.
- Meal planners are especially helpful to those who need to be on special diets. It gives them a good way to plan out what they should be eating and get it approved by their dietitian or doctor.
- Another advantage of having a fixed meal plan is that the planner gets to proportionately divide the meals according to everyone’s likes and dislikes, healthy and junk food, and even turns of cooking. So everyone has something they like and something that they aren’t really fond of, to expect in the meals. This way, they can prepare themselves for the ordeal of having to eat what they don’t really enjoy and wait expectantly for the meals that they enjoy.
- Having a fixed meal plan helps to balance the type of food and also the nutrition value in each meal. For instance, if you have a carbohydrate rich lunch, you can keep dinner light with something steamed or a salad. This way your health will also get better.
Having a meal planner comes in handy because all you have to do is sit the family down, and get suggestions on what should be made and when. This way no one can argue about how what they like is not being cooked! You can make a day out of it and have some fun planning out the meals for the entire week or month.