Learning how to meal plan? Download this free printable monthly meal planner below and get started creating a meal plan that works for your family’s busy schedule.
What to Expect in a Monthly Meal Planner Template
In a monthly meal planning template, you’ll want to use the following:
- A list of your favorite recipes (and where you saved the recipe card, if needed)
- A grocery list
- A monthly calendar or printable meal planner (with extra room if you want to add your schedule, grocery list, or notes on each daily square)
If you’ve never created a monthly meal plan, check out my video for how to create a monthly meal plan in less than 15 minutes.
Bonus points if you organize your meal plans and save them for another month (or season).
Whether you’re just getting started or you’re a meal planning veteran, a great place to organize your meal plans is in the Organized Kitchen Binder, which has meal planning pages, kitchen inventory sheets, and 50+ recipes and meal ideas.
When You need to use a Monthly Meal Planner and Grocery List
If you’re looking for a guide to get started with monthly meal planning and making a grocery list to simplify your shopping and save you money, use a meal planner template (with a grocery list).
The following are some of the key factors that will help you decide if a meal planner is for you:
- Do you know how to cook (if not, check out a meal planner app, like MyFreezEasy, which has done-for-you meal plans and simple recipes)?
- Do you have more than three people in your household?
- Do you want to reduce the time it takes to cook dinner each day?
- Are you looking for a way to save money on food?
If so, then a meal plan is right up your alley!
However, there are two main types of meal plans: weekly meal planners and monthly meal planners.
The easiest way to decide which type of meal planner to use is to review your schedule. If your schedule changes regularly, you may find that a weekly meal plan is best for your family. Also, if you want lots of room to plan EVERY meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), you may want to use a weekly meal planner with large spaces and room to write.
If your schedule is pretty consistent, especially from season to season, a monthly meal planner is the perfect solution.
You can create themed days, like Taco Tuesday, Pizza Friday, or Slow Cooker Sunday with both meal plans, although this is typically easier to do with monthly meal planners. You can also save and reuse your monthly meal plans without worrying about getting tired of your own cooking.
Both weekly and monthly planning pages are in the free meal planner download below.
Should You Use a Monthly Meal Planner App?
While I prefer to use printable meal planners that I can save and reuse from month to month, meal planning apps can come in handy for inspiration.
I use the MyFreezEasy meal planning app on a night when I forgot to thaw my meat, if I need to use a different cooking method (like if my schedule changed and I need to toss dinner in the slow cooker instead of preparing it in a skillet), or if I only listed a generic meal, like “chicken” on my meal planner.
I also love using the MyFreezEasy Meal Planner App’s done-for-you meal plans. You can choose a different meal plan for the entire month based on your cooking preference, dietary needs, or the number of meals that you want to prepare throughout the month.
Another great meal planning service is Slow. You’ll receive dump and go dinners that basically cook themselves in your slow cooker.
Free Printable PDF Monthly Meal Planner
Sign up for the free printable meal planner here and get started meal planning today!