Menu planning can make your life easier, sure – but did you know that it’s easier on the budget as well? When you’re not rushed into a dinner plan, you’re not tempted toward takeout. Planning meals in advance also allows you to make great use of the items you bought at a great price (taking advantage of that stockpile!). Often, coming up with recipes that will work is half the battle!
Understandably, online menu planning services are becoming quite popular. For a small monthly fee, you can have a menu and shopping list provided for you each week. Of course, there are always cheaper options to find similar information with a little effort. Since many of you have made meal planning a resolution for the new year, here’s a list of FREE resources to get you started!
FREE Menu Planning Websites, Services & Resources
Make Dinner Easy
Each week, you’ll find five free simple weekly dinner menus, quick & easy dinner recipes, and an organized free printable grocery list. Each menu includes kid-friendly recipes that use fresh fruits and vegetables and a minimum of processed ingredients.
Once a Month Mom
Freezer-friendly meals for each month that feature seasonal grocery specials – available in 2 formats, traditional and diet! Look back through previous menus for great ideas as well. Also great information on making and freezing homemade baby food.
A free meal planning calendar helps you keep all your recipes and meal ideas organized in one place. There are daily meal ideas for when you need a little inspiration, and you can automatically create shopping lists from your meal plan. Smart phone accessible.
Register (at no cost) to receive 5 meal and 2 side dish ideas via email each week. You can add your own recipes and quickly create a shopping list (grouped by grocery aisle!) based on your choices for the week. Sample weekly menu
Woman’s Day Month of Menus
A complete dinner menu for the month with a side dish recommendation and printable shopping list. Take a look at previous months for ideas as well!
A free weekly meal plan including 6 meals with sides (and something special for Saturday), a printable weekly calendar and grocery list and a detailed daily printout. You can also personalize your menu plan for a fee. Sample weekly menus
An article to get you started…
Menu Planning Made Easy by the Hillbilly Housewife
Great information on how to plan meals based on the three basic methods: the night before, a week/2 weeks/month at a time, or a rotating menu plan.
Plus printable forms to help you put your ideas on paper!
Printable Menu Planning Pack from Money Saving Mom
You’ll find fourteen different customizable forms you can print – you can even modify them and save to your computer. If you like to reuse menu plans, this is a great option to have! You’ll find shopping lists, one-week, two-week, and month-long planners in different formats, so you’re sure to find something that works for you.
Can you think of a website I’ve missed? Please comment!