grocery shopping

Free Meal Planning Worksheet

by Sally on September 23, 2014

Meal planning is a gift that keeps on giving. Spending 5-10 minutes on it at the beginning of the week means no more 5:30 “what’s-for-dinner??” angst.

A crucial step in meal planning is food shopping. I make my week’s dinner menus and grocery list at the same time. That way, I can avoid last minute trips to the store where I run in for garlic and come out with $150 worth of other stuff. And completely forget the garlic.

I’m old-school with my meal planning and still prefer paper to apps. I used this template from 100 Days of Food for a while, but found myself making separate columns for multiple stores and scribbling my meal plan at the bottom. So I asked my husband to make a sheet that fit the way I do meal planning.

I typically shop at two stores for groceries (usually ALDI plus my neighborhood grocery store or natural foods market). I also like having the week’s dinners right on my grocery list so I can be sure I’ve got everything I need, including sides.

To view or print a copy of my free meal planning worksheet, click HERE.

What kinds of tools do YOU use for meal planning and grocery shopping?

Meal Planning Worksheet from Real Mom Nutrition


Throughout the pages of my new book Cooking Light Dinnertime Survival Guide are tricks that help me save time, money, and sanity. I call them “Crazy Tricks That Actually Work”. I’m sharing a few of these on my blog.

The Smartest Place to Buy Herbs & Spices

I’m a pretty frugal shopper, and shelling out $6 for a tiny jar of dried herbs is painful. So I head to the ethnic foods aisle. Did you know that the herbs and spices there are generally a lot less expensive than those found elsewhere in the supermarket?

(Yes, I know some cooks have very discriminating tastes and prefer to buy theirs at specialty shops. I’d rather save time and money wherever I can.)

Example 1: Smoked Paprika

Cheapest smoked paprika in the spice aisle (.9 ounces): $5.99

Smoked paprika in the ethnic foods aisle (2 ounces): $1.79

Example 2: Ground Ginger

Cheapest ground ginger in the spice aisle (.8 ounces): $4.99

Ground ginger in the ethnic foods aisle (1.5 ounces): $1.79

What are your best money-saving tricks at the grocery store?

Dinnertime Survival Guide

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I’m pretty frugal. I coupon. I’ve even been known to hoard groceries when I come across a really good deal. So naturally, I love Aldi. I love their no-frills approach. They don’t need fancy lighting and free samples. They’re not going to give your kid a balloon at checkout. They’re not even going to bag […]

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