Meal Planning Made Easy + FREE Printable

If there is one thing I’m best at in the kitchen, its eating. We always have a house helper who is in charge of cooking so I never worried about what to eat. 

That was until I became yaya-less for the NTH time. 

At present, I am in charge of almost everything in the house, including cooking. Thankfully, I am getting good at it. To make my life easier, I decided to do some weekly meal planning so I don’t have to think about what to cook and to save time and some brain cells thinking about what to serve. 

So, I came up with this: Meal Planning 1Sunday is my grocery day, so at Saturday night, I already plan what dishes to cook on a specific day. I usually get recipes from the Internet, magazines, or cookbooks. If I’m in the mood, I look for recipe inspirations then twist it to suit my own taste. Or at times, I just invent something then cook it again on succeeding weeks, trying to perfect my “imbento” dishes. 

Benefits of Meal Planning  

To be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of meal planning. I just let our helper decide what to cook, with my go signal of course. Then I realized that planning meals ahead could be beneficial, especially now that there is scarcity of extra hands and managing the household could be tiring.  

First, it saves me time. Since I plan meals ahead, I usually marinade and/or cook in big batches then just place it in the freezer for future use. I also don’t have to think about what to serve on that specific day and simply refer to my list. 

Second, meal planning limits food spoilage. Since I plan ahead, I will only buy ingredients I need for that specific week – apart from our staples in the grocery list – thereby limiting wasted ingredients. Wasted food equals wasted money, and I hate that. 

Third, it promotes healthy eating. I have to admit that takeouts or food delivery made my life convenient. I don’t have to wash the dishes and pans and I could use the extra time doing other things, like folding clothes or finishing a deadline. Since I plan ahead (and marinade ahead), I am assured that my family will only eat healthy, natural foods. 

More importantly, it is less stressful. Apart from my kids and the household chores, I also have an online job and online business to handle. Call me overreacting but the thought of “What to eat for dinner?” could take up some of my mental energy. Now that I am meal planning, I defrost what needs to be defrosted and prepare what must be prepared, then keep my kids busy in the morning or put them to sleep in the afternoon so I could cook. Meal Planning 2Just because I am meal planning, it doesn’t mean I have to strictly stick to it and there is no room for adjustment. My husband and I allowed ourselves once a week takeout any day of the week as a “treat.” Also, there are times when the kids requested a specific dish, so I adjust the menu for the day according to their taste. 

If you notice, I also left the “Breakfast” part in Week 4 in blank since we often have leftovers. My mom’s helper also brings food for us regularly, so at times, we just eat what was given in the morning. 

In other words, add variety to your meal planning and don’t be too stringent. Allow some adjustments on your weekly menu.  

You can download the Meal Planning template here to jumpstart your meal planning. Don’t forget to place it in a clearbook filler so you can reuse it and place it on the fridge for easier reference. 

How about you mommas? Are you also into meal planning? Share your tips and let’s all learn from each other. 

15 Comments

  1. Richelle Molon

    June 13, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    Thank you for the template! I love meal planning because all of what you said were correct.

  2. Monica

    June 13, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    Ah yes, i have a love hate relationship with meal planning. There are days I’m on a roll and I can fill out all the boxes of my meal planner…but there are just days I have a hard time completing it! Haha!

  3. momi berlin

    June 14, 2016 at 4:29 am

    Love planning our meal for the week. Helps me budget as well as prevent spoilage of food. I could also rest and not wake up too early on same days because I know I could reheat food for breakfast. Pa borrow ng template ha. Thanks.

  4. Janice

    June 14, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Congratulations on making meal planning work for you. I never really get around to making a meal plan. Maybe because when it comes to food, I cecide to cook only whatever I feel like eating on that given moment, and that changes from day to day. Haha!

  5. Nilyn_ECM

    June 14, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    Like you my mother-in-law takes care of the cooking at home since I needed to sleep during the day and work at night. Back when it was just Dane and I, I used to plan the weekly meal too. Now, hindi na. Pero I’m thinking of doing it again so my MIL will have a guide too. That might help us save more pesos.

  6. Liz Aquino

    June 14, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    This is just what I need! I’ve been on a very tight budget so splurging on food (especially dining out, take away food) is no longer an option. I’m not really a good planner but I better get started with this one. 🙂

  7. den

    June 15, 2016 at 1:15 am

    Thank you for sharing that downloadable meal planner! A life saver! I’ll try out meal planning next week and see how.it goes. Good din that you have a day for take out para at least you rest din.

  8. coffee and beyond

    June 15, 2016 at 2:41 am

    It is true that meal planning consumes a lot of our brain cells. I too have troubles in what to eat everyday. Even our househelp is having a hard time. I don’t store much in the fridge since palengke is very accessible from our place. I like it fresh everyday. Your meal planning tip is great and I can still use it to preserve the brain cells. And it is great to have one less of your worries.😊

  9. Maan Laxa

    June 15, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Meal planning takes up much of our time talaga! Thanks for this template; I’m also looking for something that would fit my planner.

  10. Neri Ann

    June 15, 2016 at 9:46 am

    Im not really good at meal planning so I always assign it to the partner heheh. It is really hard to think of what meals to cook next everyday! Budget for a day also helps so you can think what food to buy or to cook.

  11. Ma.Me.Mi.Mommy

    June 16, 2016 at 6:00 am

    I’ve been meaning to do this but can’t get around to it. Haha! In my mind, I know that it’s an easier way to do everything. But but but…

  12. mrsEnerodiaries

    June 16, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Wow! Thank you for sharing mommy, kailangan ito ng first time mom like me. 🙂

  13. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen

    June 17, 2016 at 9:17 am

    For the life of me, I can’t figure out while I can’t stick to the menu plan I make!! huhuhu.

  14. Mhaan Arambulo (@momyrockinstyle)

    June 18, 2016 at 7:30 am

    I can relate, when hubby and I living in our small condo I am having a hard time what to eat for lunch and dinner. This meal planning is also perfect for busy mommies. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Edel San

    June 20, 2016 at 7:37 am

    I do meal-planning also because it really saves time especially when buying the ingredients. It also a nice bonding activity when I discuss what dishes to serve the following week and hubby and daughter gives their suggestions.

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