Free Menu Planner: Step by Step Instructions

Easy Step By Step Instructions to help you make a free menu planner!

Working through these pages will help you create your own simple Printable Menu Planner which will help you:

  • Avoid the daily time-consuming, decision making process of “What’s for dinner?”
  • Have all the ingredients you need in the house.
  • Have a year of meal ideas worked out.
  • Create your weekly grocery list.
  • Cut down on expensive take-away meals
  • Save money
  • Be creative and involve your children in the meal preparation
  • Save time by cutting down on shop visits - the need to get this or that ingredient!

It's not difficult to do or follow, but by the end of the process, you will have a menu planner which will take the daily stress out of meal preparation.

Step 1: Write your family's list of favourite recipes

Family Recipes, Quick Meals and New Ideas

  1. In order to make your menu planner, you need to write out 12-15 of your family favourite recipes in a list.  You can do that on the Meal Ideas Page under “Family Favourite Recipes.
  2. What are some meals that everyone loves, the ones which are a huge success in the home?
    Write them out.
    You will find some ideas on My Meal Ideas List.
  3. Now, add some Easy Ideas.  Not every meal needs to take a huge amount of time to prepare, and often we don’t have the luxury of having a lot of time... so prepare to have some quick and easy meals which will work well on those days you are bringing children to sports activities, or out on an errand.  Add these meal ideas under the heading, “Easy Ideas.”
  4. There are some ideas on My Meal Ideas List
  5. Lastly, add some New Recipes which you would like to learn. 

Would you like  to learn a recipe you tasted at a friend’s house or saw in a magazine or watched on My Kitchen Rules?
Write the new recipe idea down on the Meal Ideas Chart.      

Step 2: Write out the Recipes

1. My Favourites Recipe Page

On this page, you need to add the ingredients and the method involved in making your favourite recipe.
Although, you may know this recipe by heart, it is important to write out the ingredients at least,  since you will need it when you make your weekly grocery list.

Click and Print the weekly menu planning Favourite Recipe Template.

Please Note: The pdf template on the right is a part of the Menu Planner Guide; This is not the same as the free download.

2. New Recipes

You've just watched Master Chef or you've been reading Great Food Magazines and you're inspired? Great!
Get ready to learn a new recipe and add it to your cooking repertoire.

Now, copy the ingredients and method onto the New Recipes Page. This will also be useful to you when you plan your weekly grocery list.

Weekly Menu Planning New Recipes Template.

Step 3: Create weekly menus for 1 month

This Weekly Menu Planner will be created once (right now), but used by you each month for the entire year. The work you put into the menu planner right now will save you time each week to come! When this page is complete you have the basis of all the meals you will be cooking over not just one week, but a whole month and in fact, for the whole year.

From this chart, you will create your weekly grocery lists which you can simply take with you to the shops. Now, you will have your cupboard and fridge stocked for the menus you have planned for that week! Simple!

Let's create your Weekly Menu Planner now!

  1. Look back at your favourite recipes list and add them to the Weekly Menu Planner which you can click and print right here. If your family loves spaghetti, put it on the list of a few weeks in the month (e.g. Week One and Week Three)

  2. Keep adding your favourite recipes and also add in some new recipes you would like to try, but don't have a week of new recipes.. Scatter them over the month.

  3. Next, add some easy menus to each week. I am sure you have very busy days , so choose the busiest day in the week for a really easy meal or a slow cooker / crock pot meal which you can put on in the morning.

  4. Don't forget to allow for a take-away meal. Add it in once a week, fortnight or month - whatever your habit is (or what you'd like it to be!)

  5. Keep filling in Menu Ideas into the weeks so that you have 7 meals written down in each week.

  6. Remember, this does not mean that you need to have 35 different meals written down. Repeat favourite meals, add your easy meals, add some new recipes and add a takeaway and you'll have 7 in no time!

Click and Print the Weekly Menu Planner Template and fill it in now!

Create your own free Menu Planner with these Printable Pages:

Step 1:
Menu Ideas

Step 2:
New Recipes

Step 3:
Month of Menus

Step 4:
7 Day Template

Step 5:
Grocery List

Generic List

Extra Printables

Menu Planner Guide

Or... The Easier Solution - Buy it in one download here! 

The Easiest Solution:

The Menu Planner Guide is a step by step guide to help you plan your weekly meals, over a month with all the related grocery lists.  Everything included (more than what you see here) as well as easy instructions for you to follow.

This Guide can be purchased separately as a downloadable file  or as one part of the Complete Household Notebook.

Buy for $3.95

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Complete Household Planner Includes:

The Complete Household Notebook  $11.75

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