One of the hardest challenges is preparing healthy and delicious meals throughout the week while also working full-time. I’ve created a weekly dinner planner that you can print to help your meal planning and grocery shopping ten times easier!
When Bobby and I first started dating, we used to eat out A LOT, especially later in the week and weekends! Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, but boy was it expensive! Even after dating for a few years, we found ourselves spending a lot of money on bills from restaurants. Because we wanted to save more money, we decided to start cooking meals together, including one weekend night a week. Now, I prefer to cook dinner and relax on the couch with a glass of wine rather than getting dress up to go out and spend a ton of money on food and drinks!
In order to be successful at preparing more meals vs. eating out, I created a weekly meal planner (see below)! Meal planning allows me to really think about what we want to eat through out the week. Because of that, I’m way more likely to prepare a healthy dish than grab a bowl of cereal for dinner (c’mon, I know we’ve all done that a few times). It also allows me to choose a variety of meals instead of making the same old staples. Because I find meal prepping to be a little overwhelming, I created a weekly dinner planner that makes it such a breeze!
Click here to download a pdf file.
Here is an example of what I plan on making this week:
- Monday: Veggie spaghetti tossed with shrimp and steamed broccoli
- Tuesday: 3 cheese grilled cheese with tomato soup (okay, maybe not the healthiest, but definitely a great comfort dinner on a chilly night!)
- Wednesday: Vegetable stir fry with brown rice
- Thursday: Wegmans Ready to Cook Crab Stuffed Salmon and roasted asparagus
- Friday: Eating out for my Dad’s birthday
- Saturday: Southwest Vegetarian Bake- I recently found this recipe from a magazine and plan on sharing my version
- Sunday: Black bean burgers- these are the BEST black bean burgers I have ever had, including any I’ve tried at restaurants! I plan on sharing this recipe with you guys soon because its one of my all-time favorites!
As you can see, I love buying groceries that will make cooking throughout the week easy! Wegmans has precut vegetables that make preparing dinner after a long day super easy, as well as so many other prepared foods for your convenience! Plus, the prices are comparable to other grocery stores! I highly recommend you check out your local Wegmans!
How to use the planner
I like to sit down the day or night before we go to the grocery store and plan dinner for each night. I typically use multiple resources to find recipes and inspiration in the kitchen! (Stay tuned for a blog post on my go-to resources for finding recipes)! Once I figure out what I want to make for dinner, I make sure I have a hard copy of the recipe, so I’m always printing recipes off of the Internet! I know this is old-school, but I love everything printed out! I love having the printed recipe in the kitchen to reference while I’m cooking! Bobby gets so mad at me for not saving them on my iPhone/Ipad, but I would rather have everything on paper! This step is obviously optional for all of you tech lovers out there!
Next, I write down the meal plus any sides I plan on having under each day of the week. Next to the meal, I write down all ingredients we need to buy at the store. I typically don’t write down ingredients we have on hand because I also use this planner as my grocery shopping list (and I don’t want to buy more than I need)!
You will notice the bottom has “other groceries” which I use for household items, groceries for breakfast, or miscellaneous items I need at the store that week! You can also use this to write down groceries for lunch, but since I work at a hospital with a cafeteria I tend to buy my lunch everyday.
I hope this meal planner helps you as much as it has helped us! Let me know if you guys want other meal planner templates. I’m thinking of creating one with three meals per day!