A Few Small Things - Meal Planner Printable

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Welcome to the second of our A Few Small Things Blog series!!  Each week we will be featuring something that everyone can do or try to make the planet a bit better than it was yesterday. One of the biggies that the Crazy House had issues with was wasting food. We were HORRIBLE about meal planning and would just grab something “quick” or on the fly. This meant a lot of trash and in turn wasted or even spoiled food because we “forgot” (or, let’s be real here for a minute, were too lazy to cook). It happens, but we really wanted to change.

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So, knowing this, we started looking for ways to overcome the issue. It took a lot of commitment and a ton of habit changes. We started getting serious about meal planning but just couldn’t get into a routine. I tried a ton of ways but we got distracted and wouldn’t follow through. It’s HARD to change peeps, it really is. That was when I decided we needed something that would work for us, not against us.

The concept of working for us typically means making something work long after it shouldn’t. In the Crazy House, that usually means I have to create something designed just for us. Yes, sometimes it means using velcro and ratchet straps to make the dishwasher function or hot gluing a port on the rug cleaner so it can still clean (I wish those were not real examples, but hey, I’m handy)!

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So, finding a simple, printable meal planner was added to my list. I wanted something clean and uncluttered that I could also keep a running shopping list on. I searched and found several that almost worked, but they just weren’t right. It is hard to explain so rather than continuing to search, I just created one. And voila!

So, today I am sharing it as a printable freebie for anyone to use! It has helped us tremendously with our planning. I print out a whole month (I flip it over and print on both sides) and plan according to our monthly bulk trips to Sam’s Club! I can make notes and add weekly to the shopping list for the things we need. It’s posted on our weekly dinner board in the kitchen where we all can see it and hold each other accountable daily.  

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Since using it, we’ve almost completely eliminated any food waste and are actually eating healthier too! By planning out our menu we can also plan out our buying trips. This means two things. The first is that we can buy more fresh fruits and veggies because we already KNOW when we are going to eat them. The second is having an organized list MASSIVELY helps with my shopping anxiety. I don’t talk about it much, but the actual act of shopping makes me extremely anxious. It is the worst in Wal-Mart (which I attribute to them sucking my soul out over the years) but to be honest, the less time I have to spend in a crowded, cramped store the better. Having a list helps and makes it easier to shop.

So, this meal planner has helped the Crazy House immensely, money/budget wise as well helping us cull our food waste all while improving our overall diet. I hope it can help you improve your life and create less waste. Feel free to share the blog link with anyone who may need some help with meal planning, reducing food waste or if they just want a freebie printable!

Google Drive Download Link: Free Printable Meal Planner & Grocery List