If your 2017 has been less than organized on the cooking front, give meal planning a try! Today’s post features a free printable meal planner that is pretty enough to display in your kitchen all week long.
One of my 2017 goals is to spend more time in the kitchen making wholesome meals. My resolve for that goal has been weak, to say the least, so I decided to create this printable meal planner to keep myself on track! After I made it, I thought that it might be helpful to you, too.
Why Use a Meal Planner?
Even if you love eating (and who doesn’t?), sometimes it’s difficult to cook! After a long day of working, the temptation is to go out to eat or throw together something quick but questionable. If you make a meal plan, however, the likelihood of making last-minute nutritionally “meh” decisions will go down. Instead, you’ll have a week-long roadmap in front of you detailing what you’re going to eat and when. That’s great for people who want to incorporate healthier choices into their diets!
If you’re watching your budget, meal planning can save you a significant amount of money. First of all, cooking at home is often cheaper than eating out. Secondly, you’ll have an exact idea of what you need to buy at the grocery store. That means less impulse buys! Finally, if you’re cooking for a family, meal planning allows everyone to weigh in on menu decisions. You can find out in advance whether picky eaters are going to make a fuss about a certain meal, and you can modify the plan accordingly.
How to Use This Printable Meal Planner
You’ll need thirty minutes or so to make a meal plan, which is why I like to make mine on (usually quiet) Sundays. First, download the meal planner for free by clicking here. Once you “check out”, you’ll see that there are two versions of the meal planner available: one with white boxes, and one with yellow boxes. Print out the version that you prefer, then, if you want to, you can write dates under the days of the week.
Next, go to your favorite source for recipes. For me, that usually means Pinterest, but I also have a collection of cookbooks that I love to consult (my favorite is Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty More)! As you choose recipes to make, use them to populate the meal plan. I usually pick 2-3 new recipes, and for the rest of the meals, I stick to tried-and-true or simple staples.
Once your meal plan is finished, make a grocery list. Despite my love of writing things out, I use a (free) list app called Wunderlist to make my lists. It’s quick and easy; I can make the list on my computer, and it syncs to my phone. Then, yes, I become one of those people staring at their phone in the store, but it’s oh-so-convenient and fun to check off those Wunderlist boxes! I’m sorry, I sound like a Wunderlist spokesperson … I’m not, I just really like the app. If Wunderlist doesn’t sound enticing, then a good ol’ handwritten list will absolutely get the job done!
What Makes This Meal Planner Special
If you’ve been reading the TPK blog for any length of time, then you know that I’m not into computerized-looking designs. I love original illustrations and calligraphy, which is why I like to incorporate them into all of my printables. This printable meal planner features a hand-drawn fork illustration created with sumi ink and Roman Style hand-lettering …
After I made the illustration and calligraphy, I used the steps outlined in Lesson 4 of the Digitizing Artwork and Calligraphy eCourse to make the PDF. The last step was to add meal titles, which were created using a computer font that I actually made myself. In short, this is a printable that was made with care and attention, and I hope that you enjoy using it to keep yourself more organized in the kitchen! My goal here was to make a printable that’s visually pleasing enough to put on a bulletin board or refrigerator, and I hope that I succeeded in that. That said, if you would like something a little more colorful, you can always download this citrus-themed Menu Planner (which was also hand-illustrated)!
Again, you can download this free printable meal planner by clicking here. If you have a few minutes this weekend, I encourage you to give meal planning a try! Fill out the printable, keep it in a conspicuous place to keep yourself on track, and enjoy an elevated state of organization. 🙂
Thanks so much for reading TPK, and enjoy your weekend!