Menu Planner FREE Download

The beginning of the school year always seem like a good time to refresh. If you or your kids are going to school this fall I bet you are busy buying all your school supplies and getting them organized. I LOVE shopping for school supplies. There is something almost magical about the smell of a new box of crayons and freshly sharpened pencils. Not to mention all the cute organizing supplies that are out there!!

I'm pretty much done with my kids school shopping but still have a lot of organizing ahead of me... and we only have about a week before school starts. So, I need to step up my game BIG TIME.

In keeping with the whole refreshing theme, I added a refresh of my grocery list (here and here) -- it was totally time for a change! It is one of my most popular posts by far and my top downloaded printable. This time I not only made it a little easier for printing (it's black and white so you can save on your ink) but I also made it available as a full 8.5"x11" (A4) size and a half sheet size 5.5"x8.5" (A5) so if you are the type that wants to keep it in your planner you can!

So, lets talk about this new menu planning sheet for a second.  This is the perfect size to print off and make your own menu planning notepad. You can either print and bind it yourself at home or take it to your local print shop and have them do it for you.

 This new menu planning sheet has premade categories and suggested items to purchase within those categories. There are also blank lines under each so that you can add your own. When we sit down to look through the grocery ads and plan out our menu and shopping list for the week, we will cross a line through the things we don't need to buy that week and write in anything extra that we need.

My husband (who does most of the grocery shopping -- because he is WAY better at it than I am) will even write down the price of the item and which store he is going to buy it from. Since we have some food allergies in our family and have to shop at multiple stores this is a great tool for us to be able to keep track of what we are getting where, so that nothing gets missed or left out.... because really, who wants to go back to the store again...

On the side of the page I have the menu portion of the planning page. We pretty much always do our shopping on Saturdays so I have that as the first box on the list. If you do your shopping on another day you can totally still use the page as is (you'll just have to go around your menu and back up to the top to finish out your shopping week... no biggie).

There is plenty of space in these boxes for you to plan not only dinner, but your breakfast, lunch, and snacks too! We will sometimes even write some notes in as reminders. If we know we have somewhere to be on a certain night (sports, church meetings, etc.) we jot that down in the box before we sit down to menu plan. That way we know if we need a quick dinner or if we can have one that is more time consuming to put together.

On the bottom of the page I left a large area simply marked "OTHER". We use this portion for out Costco and Target shopping lists. Our menu planning notebook is kept in the kitchen so that when we need to add something to the list it's really easy to do so. I even keep a pen with it so I don't have to hunt around for one... because if it takes too much effort to do it, I just won't... in all honesty.

The nice thing is that because everything is all in one spot, and my husband knows where it is, even he will add things to the shopping list throughout the week. Awesome, right!?

The last part of the updated menu planner is the date. I added a "week of" section for those of you who like to rotate meals... we are totally not that kind of family... sorry, but I know that a lot of you out there probably are. So, if you choose to bind your planner, or put them in a 3-ring binder, you will be able to keep track of what meals you had when.

So, that's the large format menu planner in a nutshell. Of course, you are totally welcome to use yours anyway you want, and if you print it out and bind it totally tag me on Instagram!! #the_mama_shop I would love to see how you put yours together.

Now, if you are more of the planner type, this second option may be the one for you. It is very similar to the other planner, but with less space you don't get the detailed categories that you have with the bigger planner. BUT, that's okay because good things come in small packages too!

My half sheet menu planning pages come as a PDF with 2 planner pages per sheet (8.5"x11"). So, it's easy to simply print and cut them in half. Don't you love easy peasy goodness? I know I do! 

There are still categories on your mini menu planner with lots of lines for you to write out your shopping list. I left a margin on the left side so that you could punch holes in it to fit it in your planner. OR, you could TOTALLY turn this into a mini menu planner notepad too! This one would be purse sized so you could take it with you all the time to menu plan during your lunch break at work.

Again, if you use the mini menu planner printable, please tag me on Instagram #the_mama_shop I will totally feature some of your awesome ideas on my Facebook page!!!

So, now it's a question of how are you going to use your menu planner and which size will you choose. Leave me a comment below and let me know!!

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