Courtesy of

Planning your meals ahead of time often saves you time as well as money.

There are many different ways to plan your meals. How you plan yours depends on how much time you want to spend now to save yourself time later.

I plan my meals once a week. Because I have limited refrigerator/freezer space and a small family to feed (three), this plan seems to work best for me. I only go to the grocery store once a week. When I’m getting ready to go to the store, I sit down and start planning my menu for the next week.

One day I was looking at the readymade templates that came with my word processing program, and I noticed there was a weekly menu planner and grocery shopping list. I printed out enough weekly menu planners to last a month or two.

The weekly meal planner has columns for every day of the week with “Breakfast” “Lunch” and “Dinner” listed for each day. Every weekend you write in your meals for the week, and then make up a shopping list to take to the grocery store.

The menu planner has a place at the bottom to write in your shopping list, or you could make up a separate list. Download a free menu planner template from Just print, and photocopy as needed.

The best way to organize your menu planners is in a three-ring binder. Customize your binder to suit the needs of your family.