Planning your family meals on a weekly basis has several benefits. It helps to ensure that food is used up before it goes bad and keeps you from ordering takeout or going out to eat. This will save you time and money in the long run, while keeping your family well fed with healthy home cooked meals.
I have struggled with being overweight all of my life. For me, the hardest part of dieting and eating healthy has been meal planning. My brother and I recently started working together to become healthy and lose those pounds. I made a two-week meal planning sheet that will hopefully keep us on track. It should also help make grocery shopping easier, as we plan beforehand. This planner has been easy to use so far! Best of all, it's reusable so we aren't wasting paper! You could also make this on your computer, but mine is down at the moment. I wanted a planner sooner rather than later and drawing it was quite fun!
Total Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 1 planner, back and front
1 sheet white card stock
1 fine-tip permanent marker
laminator with sheets
fingernail polish remover, alcohol, or hand sanitizer
1 paper towel or cotton ball
With the page turned horizontally, draw a vertical line on the left side of the page, about 3/4 of an inch wide. Next, draw a horizontal line at the top of the page.
Draw five horizontal lines, a ruler's width apart.
Draw six vertical lines a little less than a ruler's width apart.
The first left column will serve as your meals. I labeled mine: B for breakfast, L for Lunch, D for dinner, and S for snacks. Use the top row for your days of the week. Turn it over and draw another planner on the other side so you can plan two weeks at a time.
Laminate the planner. Fill in your meals and snacks using an ultra fine tip BIC marker. I used a fine marker, but ultra would provide more space from smaller writing. I just filled in a few of each meal as an example. When you are finished with a meal, you can cross it out. Or if you decide to swap parts of a meal, you can cross out only what you ate. For example, let's say I planned to eat beans on Monday and rice on Friday. I decide to eat the rice on Monday instead, so I just cross it out and not the beans.
Use a paper towel and hand sanitizer to wipe off the planner for a new week! You can also use finger polish remover or alcohol.
Here's a different way to fill out the planner. If you don't want to have to rewrite meals every week, how about just a number? I made 4 meal idea sheets (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks) and laminated them. I only filled out a few on each sheet as an example. These will make it easier to plan because all my meal ideas will be readily available. As you can see, I numbered each square on the idea sheets. So now I can write that number on the weekly planner and not the entire meal. I have examples on the pictures below. You can see that I used numbers from breakfast, lunch, and dinner to fill out several squares on the planner. I decided to just write in the snacks, as there's nothing much to them. I did use a ruler to draw these and letter stickers for the titles. You can create them on the computer too though.
Thank you so much! My biggest obstacle to losing weight is that I am an emotional eater. I thought that planning exactly what I am going to eat would ease the stress of having to choose, when I am ravenous.
Hopefully, my brother and I can get on the same page and start soon. Right now, we are trying to stop drinking soda and limit eating out to once per month.