How To Plan Your Meals + Free Weekly Meal Planner Printable

Updated on August 21, 2020

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I love planning my meals. It helps me to stay on track with healthy eating habits and saves me a ton of time (+ nerves!) when I try to decide what’s for dinner or while I’m shopping for groceries.

I never used to plan my meals, and it always ended up in a food disaster. Either I ate something quick and unhealthy or bought tons of food to cook, just to never actually decide WHAT to cook. Busy days and zero energy just stopped me every single time.

Meal planning, however, helped me to improve this part of my life a lot and I think it can help your life too.


Meal Planning Mini Guide


Why It’s Important To Plan Your Meals


I believe the most important reason to plan your meals is health. Period. Nothing else is as essential.

When you plan your meals, you can control what, when, and how much you’re eating. You can avoid unhealthy choices that happen when you’re really hungry and can’t decide what’s your best (and fastest!) option to cook. You avoid overeating and you can stay on track with your health or weight loss goals.

However, there are a ton of meal planning benefits that aren’t related to health!

Once I started planning my meals, here’s what happened in my life:

  • I stopped throwing out expired ingredients that I didn’t use up (it’s horrible, I know… I’m completely ashamed of it and I just want to forget about it).
  • I managed to eat a very clean and healthy diet, just like I always wanted.
  • I was able to coordinate the meals with my partner to make sure both of us are happy with the food choices we made.
  • Even when I was tired, I always knew what I am going to cook – no more energy wasted on googling meal recipes.
  • I saved a lot of money since I wasn’t buying too much unnecessary food or food for “in case someone comes over.”


How To Plan Your Meals


Meal planning is simple, but one thing is essential – you have to develop a habit of sitting down for 15-20 minutes every once in a while (Sunday works great!) and thinking of meals that would suit your week best.

I love to scroll through Pinterest to see if there’s anything I like. Otherwise, I simply decide on my favorite healthy meals and write them down.

If my partner wants to eat something else, we try to think of two meals with similar ingredients to make sure we’re not buying too many products that we can physically use up until they expire.

Update: Right now, I’ve simplified my nutrition to several clean, tasty, and healthy meals that I repeatedly eat throughout the whole week. I’m doing this for weight loss purposes, but I noticed that it saves me even more time on meal planning and grocery shopping. I don’t even have to look for recipes anymore!

food ingredients for meal planning


Free Weekly Meal Planner Printable


So if you’d like to plan your meals as well, here’s a cute, free weekly meal planner printable that I love to use for my meal planning.

It’s free for your personal use, and all you have to do is print a bunch of these to have them ready whenever you sit down and plan your weekly nutrition. It will look like this:

meal planner on table to plan your meals

Click the links below to download this free weekly meal planner in your preferred page size:

Free Weekly Meal Planner in size A4

Free Weekly Meal Planner in size US LETTER

If you’re looking for a cleaner, and more modernized version of a meal planner, check out this one from my Planner Essentials collection:

an example of how to plan your meals with a meal planner

I hope you loved this mini-guide on how to plan your meals and will try this nutritional/organizational approach yourself.

If you like these tips, scroll down for more – there’s so much more I want to share with you.

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