Are you ready for a meal plan that stops the dreaded rat race of what’s for dinner?
Meal planning just makes sense to save time and money and keeps you from aimlessly buying food at the store.
Setting up your weekly meal plan just got one step easier with my Printable Monthly Meal Planner!
Let’s talk about how a monthly meal planner can be printed and filled in to get rid of the daily stress and make that weekly menu easier.
My 50+ page printable meal planner comes with everything you will need to help you:
- Create a meal plan that works for your family- with printables for daily or weekly meal planning plus a monthly overview.
- Stay on track and feel motivated with printables that suit you
- Inventory what you currently have at home to stay on budget
- Add in meal idea to lose weight, incorporate more veggies, use up leftovers, and more.
- Use your family’s favorite meals without getting sick of repeat meals every week- no need for elaborate meals that take hours
- And so much more!!!
Benefits of Monthly Meal Planning
There are SO many benefits to using our monthly meal planner and for meal planning in general, including saving time, money, and sanity!
If a printable monthly meal planner is not for you, there are plenty of awesome meal-planning apps you can use.
Say goodbye to the days of stressing out over last-minute meals and trying to hastily throw dinner together.
Spend Less, Eat Better
One reason to make meal plans a part of your routine is to save money!
When you have a meal plan for your food, your wallet will thank you in many ways.
You are less likely to impulse buy at the grocery store- no more spending money on random groceries.
As soon as I started using our binder, I saw a huge difference in my grocery bill- I spent so much less and had better meals!
I stopped impulse buying at the grocery store because I learned how to meal plan, and I really stuck to my grocery list.
Plus, you’ll eat out less and skip fast food when you’re super busy and on the go.
You’ll have all your options picked out and ready to go- so meal planning can help you eat healthier at home and save money from cheap eats!
Prevent Food Waste
The amount of food waste the average house creates is shocking! Research shows that Americans throw out a whopping 32% of the food they buy.
That means if you spend $400 on groceries in a month, as most Americans do, then you may be throwing out almost $130 worth of food!
Monthly and weekly meal planning are the best ways to prevent buying too much and having food go to waste.
You can plan your meals, get a grocery list set up that you stick to, and make sure you use up everything you buy.
With a built-in day to eat leftovers, I have been saving money on food waste, too, because we make sure not to let food go bad.
So leftover chicken can be used for lunch the next day or incorporated into another daily meal, easy as pie.
Efficiency At Its Finest
I love how a good plan comes together and makes my life easier- making our meal plans for the whole month is the perfect example!
We may switch things up now and again depending on added plans, but typically we can stick to what we pick, get dinner cooked quickly, and move on with our evening.
If we have things cooked ahead of time, I can just pull it out of the freezer and heat it- making my weeknights smooth sailing.
We get to spend less time in the kitchen and more time together as a family during the entire week.
And it makes me so happy- the meals are laid out, and nobody has to ask me the dreaded question: “Mooooom, what’s for dinner?”
What is The Savvy Couple Monthly Meal Planner?
Our monthly meal plans are an excellent tool to get yourself organized to meal plan and take back control of your family’s nights and get balanced meals on the table.
It doesn’t hurt that you’ll also be saving money by buying the meal plan papers!
It’s a printable and digital binder that you can mix and match pages to make the perfect binder that works for you.
What’s Included in the Monthly Meal Planner?
All of the following pages are included in the binder to get your meal plan started, plus more!
And you get lifetime updates to anything we make changes to or add in the future.
Check out some of the printables in my monthly meal planner:
Savvy Meal Plan
I’ll tell you five ways we stay on budget for the whole month with meal planning and still have delicious meals and side dishes we don’t get sick of.
Weekly Meal Planner
You can write down your plan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the week.
Along the side, you can record down snacks by using budget-friendly snack recipes.
Also includes the weekend because we often forget about Saturday and Sunday when meal planning.
Dinner Meal Plan
See our example of what a rotation calendar would look like for a monthly meal plan with “themed days” throughout the week.
Print the grocery list out and fill it up before you go grocery shopping. Use your meal plan to get your week’s meals and add everything you need.
Keep it handy every week to add things as they come up so you don’t forget.
It’ll save you time in the store as well, based on how it is organized.
Daily Meal Planner
Here is a daily printout to have your daily meals planned and ready, keep up with your water intake, and make sure you get enough from every food group.
I have routine ones I use, with simple meals every day, that I laminate and rotate to change things up.
Or you can put your printable in a plastic page protector and reuse this page with a dry-erase marker if you want a fresh page every day.
On the right-hand side, you can shade in your daily water intake and record the number of servings of your fresh fruit, veggies, protein, grains, and dairy.
7 Steps To Make A Meal Plan Like A Master
1. Update Your Calendar
Place all your monthly activities and dates on a calendar first before you get started on your monthly meal plan.
There’s one included in my Savvy monthly meal plan; I found this step very helpful and can’t recommend it enough if you want to stay organized.
You don’t want to plan a 30-minute meal for dinner tonight when you have hockey and dance practice on the same evening.
2. Break Out The Recipe Book
Keep shopping lists of your family’s favorite meals in your binder for when you are stuck on meals and need something easy.
In our binder, I have a dedicated section to The Classics, and I recommend you do the same. I have a few recipes I can make by memory- or flub my way through it!
But having the recipes ready is one way you remember to add in family favorites once and a while to keep everyone happy, and it’s one less step for cooking.
3. Have A Schedule With A Few Staples
Have a weekly menu with themed meals (see my menu ideas below) that you can rotate through the entire month.
For example, we have meatless Mondays, taco Tuesdays, etc., and have those at least once or twice a month to make meal planning simple.
Also, don’t be afraid to print out recipes to try, it’s always good to try new things!
Just make sure to meal plan new recipes in the calendar well- I always seem to take more time than they say because I reread and double-check the directions so much.
4. Treat The Paper Like Sudoku
Always use a pencil because life happens, and you may need to make changes to your monthly meal plan.
I usually have a small pouch of pencils, erasers, and highlighters ready to use, even in the kitchen (once a teacher, always a teacher!).
You can even find pouches that have three-hole punches in them so they plop right into the binder!
5. Visit The Farmer’s Market
Use the season to help you plan out your meals- using seasonal vegetables and fruits are a must!
We love buying local- the farmer’s market will have the freshest options to make better meals.
Not only is it great to support small businesses, but it’s usually cheaper for you!
And cheaper meal planning means more money in your pockets for other things on your to-do list.
I love finding juicy watermelon on good sales in the summer and making warm, hearty crockpot meals in the fall.
6. Plan Your Hectic Days
When you sit down to get your meal plan together, you’ll be planning around some pretty hectic schedules.
Think about the days when you don’t want to cook- when the kids have activities after school, you have extra work to handle, or anything else life may throw at you.
You can cook ahead to make those days more seamless!
You can make a pizza, lasagna, or casserole to freeze, then pop it in the oven and be ready for dinner in no time.
I love doing pizza and movie nights on Friday to wrap up the week, and having it ready for the oven means more time to snuggle my kiddos.
7. Don’t Be Afraid Of Repeats
Repeat some recipes each month in your meal plan, especially if they make the kiddos happy or give you leftovers for work.
Tacos every Tuesday? Sure, why not?
It’s quick and easy, and you can change them up a little with toppings to keep things interesting.
For me, having breakfast for dinner is the perfect example. We can do pancakes or waffles with maple syrup every week and never be sick of it.
That’s why my monthly meal planning has the weekly meal plan template- so you can set your favorites up and use them again and again!
Sample Themes For Meal Planning
Here are some of my savvy ideas to get started on your weekly meal planning.
You can repeat these themes in a weekly menu throughout the whole month and swap things up as much or as little as you like!
Here are some ideas to incorporate into your monthly meal plan:
- Vegetable Barley Soup
- Eggplant Parmesan
- Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
- Portabella Mushroom Burger
- Fettuccine Alfredo With Broccoli
Taco Tuesday (or Mexican Martes)
- Mexican Pizzas
- Mexican Stuffed Shells
- Chicken Quesadillas
Wednesday Hump Day
- French Toast
- Breakfast Sliders
- Biscuits and Gravy
- French Toast
- Oven Fries
Thursday Toss Up
We make Thursday an easy one-pan dinner night, where we make casseroles.
- Tuna Noodle
- Cream of Chicken
- Million Dollar Spaghetti
- French Onion Beef Casserole
- Tater Tot Casserole
Fun Day or Favorites Friday
Any day can have fun recipes, but this is the time to shake it up with cool new recipes or have the kids pick a yummy favorite to celebrate the weekend.
- BBQ Chicken
- Spinach & Artichokes
Slow Cooker Saturday and Sunday
- Orange Chicken
- Tomato Tortellini Soup
- Pasta Fagioli
- Beef and Broccoli
What supplies do I need for my meal plan binder?
Not much is needed once you have your meal plan papers! Just a simple 1-inch binder from Amazon will do the trick. It never hurts to have some colorful markers and pens, either.
Where can I get a copy of the Savvy Monthly Meal Planner?
Head over to The Savvy Mama Shop and add the meal plan to your cart.
You’ll get instructions on how to download The Monthly Meal Planner Binder and be well on your way to organizing in minutes!
How is monthly meal planning different than meal prepping?
These are really only different in execution- based on the words “prep” versus “plan.” That’s it!
One is a plan for your meals in advance, while the other is preparing your meals before the night of.
First comes the meal plan to save time and money, then comes the prep to get veggies and meals put together ahead of time to make your nights less hectic.
So are you ready to get your meals under wrap, Mama?
Getting dinner in the oven can become a lot easier with a monthly meal plan that breaks things down into a weekly meal plan that fits into your schedule.