Five Day Meal Planner
Start your week off right with a healthy meal plan. Here’s how:
- Print a copy of the five day meal planning worksheet in English or Spanish. Print a few extra to save this step in the future weeks. Think about what your family has coming up during the next five days. Do you need quick meals, company meals, something for a potluck, or something for a slow cooker? Note this on your planner. You’ll notice that the planner does not include days of the week. This allows you to be flexible and switch the order of your meals throughout the week.
- Check what you have on hand. Check the refrigerator, freezer, and cupboard for foods that need to be used up. Write these foods on the menu planner under “on hand.”
- Review the items you listed under “on hand” and think of ways you can use these foods. Write those ideas in the spaces for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner/supper. You may need to buy some foods to go with these items. If so, put these on the grocery list. As you use up items from the “on hand” list, cross them off your meal planning sheet.
- Check for grocery specials. If you don’t get the grocery ads in the newspaper, you can download them from the store’s website or app. As you spot items that are on sale, work them into your menus for the week. It is a smart idea to plan for leftovers. For example, if you are making a big pot of spaghetti on Monday, work it into your menu plan later in the week to be sure it doesn’t go to waste.
- Review your meals and see if there is something from each of the food groups in most of your meals. This is the simplest way to make sure your meals are healthy.
- If you have extra money and there are good specials on items your family uses regularly, try to stock up. If you continue to plan using this method, these bargains will be put to good use as part of your “on hand” list.