Inside: Need to get your family dinners back on track? Looking to streamline your grocery shopping trip? Whether you prefer a plan on paper or enjoy using digital tools, keep reading to find the perfect family meal planner for you! Save money, time, and your sanity with these smart menu planning tools!
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Feeling like your meal planning needs a boost? I’ve been there.
Those busy evenings when you realize it’s 6:30 and you forgot to defrost the chicken… Again.
Those last minute fast-food runs. And the bitterness that comes with paying $25 for greasy fries and burgers for your family dinner.
Those blank stares in the grocery store aisle, wondering “What do I actually need?”
Oh yeah. Been there.
But the good news is that it’s now easier than ever to break out of your meal planning rut!
Whether you prefer to have a plan on paper or use digital tools, using a family meal planner doesn’t have to be complicated.
In fact, creating a meal plan is one of the simplest ways to save big on groceries, feed your family healthy food, and feel like a rock-star in your kitchen.
I’ve put together the best printable and digital family meal planner options for you. Keep reading to find your perfect match!
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Printable Family Meal Planner
Are you a pen and paper girl? Me too! I like having my meal plan right in front of me on my desk or fridge. It keeps everything organized so I don’t forget to stick to the plan!
Is a Printable Family Meal Planner Right for You?
If the list below sounds familiar, then a printable meal plan is the way to go!
- You already have a decent list of meals that you cook and love.
- You’re not looking for a ton of new recipe ideas. A quick Pinterest search can fill in the gaps here and there.
- You enjoy writing and seeing your plan on paper!
- You want your family to be able to view the menu plan, too.
- You like a simple, free meal planner, right at your fingertips.
There are several ways to meal plan on paper. One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to creating a menu plan for your family. The key is to find what works for you and makes you feel organized and confident!
If you love writing out your meal plans, you could:
- Write it on your calendar.
- Start a bullet journal page. Use these layouts for inspiration!
- Scratch out a list on a scrap sheet of paper.
But I’ve found that I’ll stick to the plan better if it’s just pretty!
I created this two week family meal planner to be functional and cute to look at!
Here’s how I use this printable two week family meal planner:
- I plan for two weeks at a time.
- Plan on Sunday afternoon, shop on Monday. (Usually at Aldi! I save so much money there.)
- I laminated my meal planner and use wet erase markers. So easy and fast!
- Once I’ve got the meal plan filled out I put it on my fridge so the whole family can see it.
- I’ll also jot down the menu of the day in my planner. This way I’ll have double reminders to defrost what I need for that evening!
Digital Family Meal Planner
So maybe you’re not the type to love a printable meal planner. No worries! There are tons of digital options that will help keep your meals organized.
Is a Digital Family Meal Planner Right for You?
Maybe you’re not a pen and paper girl. If so, a digital meal planner could be the right answer for you!
- You’re feeling adventurous and wouldn’t mind a few new meals on your menu.
- You don’t know where to start and just want a done-for-you meal plan.
- You like having your meal plan in the palm of your hand on your phone.
- You want a meal planner that syncs with your favorite grocery stores, pick-up, and delivery.
- You’re totally up for spending a few dollars up front since you know you’ll save BIG all month long on food costs.
Four Insanely Easy Digital Meal Planning Options
One of the best digital family meal planner tools out there is eMeals. eMeals is pretty much the complete package when it comes to planning your meals online.
Here’s what eMeals has to offer:
- Mobile app to make menu planning super easy on the go!
- Offers tons of menu options, including Quick and Healthy, Keto, Budget Friendly, 30 Minute Meals, Kid Friendly, and more!
- Just click to add an individual meal to your plan. Or choose an entire week’s menu planned for you!
- Integrates with Walmart Grocery Pick-Up, Kroger, Amazon Fresh, Instacart and Shipt. One click and every single ingredient you need can be added to your shopping cart.
- You can choose your meals for the week and have your shopping list sent for pickup or delivery all while waiting in the carpool line!
- Subscriptions start at $4.99 a month for a 12-month subscription. You also have the option of a 3-month subscription for $9.99 a month.
Try eMeals Free for 14 Days and see what all the fuss is about!
Another great option for digital meal planning is Yummly. I love that Yummly offers both a free and paid app option!
With Yummly, you can do all this:
- Use the mobile app to make it simple to create a meal plan!
- Use search filters to narrow down meals by ingredients, cuisine, diet, or more!
- Use personalized recommendations to build a meal plan your family will actually eat!
- Save favorite meals in your Yum Box!
- Schedule a recipe to the exact time you want to eat and add it to your calendar.
- Auto-sync grocery lists and add items from your recipes.
- Using the iPhone or iPad app, you can order your grocery list on Instacart and have it delivered to your door!
A third option for meal planning on your device is MealBoard. What I love about MealBoard is that it combines kitchen inventory management along with meal planning. So smart!
MealBoard offers these perks:
- Generate your shopping list with a single tap. The shopping items get sorted by aisle!
- Search for recipes or browse your favorite websites and add to your meal plan with a click.
- Easily move meals to another day, add meal notes and adjust the number of servings.
- MealBoard lets you keep track of items in stock in your pantry so you don’t overbuy.
- You can set up MealBoard to sync across all your devices.
- $3.99 paid app, only available for iOS.
Download the MealBoard app now!
Finally, you’ll also love PlateJoy to take the stress out of meal planning. PlateJoy is another subscription service that makes planning menus for your family so easy and painless!
When you sign up with PlateJoy, you’ll get:
- Tailored meal plans that include recipes and grocery lists for more flexibility and control.
- Digital Pantry, which remembers what you have on hand to make sure you get grocery lists that keep your budget in mind!
- PlateJoy integrates with Instacart to offer grocery delivery!
- Plans start as low as $8 a month and they’re still offering $10 off PlateJoy subscriptions with code GET10.
Get $10 Off your PlateJoy subscription or start a free trial!
So, you ready to take your menu planning to the next level? Creating a solid plan will save you time, money, and your sanity!
What’s your planning style? Are you a pen and paper girl like me? Or maybe your itching to try one of these genius digital family meal planner apps.
Whichever you choose, I’m so excited for you! You’re on your way to finally feeling confident in your kitchen.
Share with us, which meal planning tool will you use? Let’s chat in the comments below!