Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Need a Weekly Meal Planner, a Grocery List, or Price Books? We Have 36 of ‘em.

As with war, politics, and solving a Scooby Doo mystery, when it comes to saving cash and eating well, nothing is more important than having a plan. Grocery lists keep you from blowing dough on extraneous stuff. Price books give you the best possible food costs. Menu planners ensure you’re not scrambling to put dinner on the table, thus preventing dangerous bouts of crazy.

My own time-tested system combines a half-baked price book, hastily scrawled grocery lists, and yelling, “HON?! What are you in the mood for?” It works for now, but I’m thinking of going the pen-and-paper route. It’s working for Leigh, after all.

Fortunately, there are gazillions of downloadable menu planners, grocery lists, and price books all over the web. Unfortunately, many aren’t free, and involve some kind of weird sign-up or registration. Unless it’s for health insurance or Idol voting (Bowersox 4-evs), I hate doing that.

So, for your organizing pleasure, here are 36 free templates that’ll get you cooking. To know:

  • There are no memberships or sign-ups required.
  • All files are printable images, PDFs, or Excel spreadsheets.
  • To make sure the sites were kosher, I downloaded/opened at least one form from each page. My computer has not virusized yet. (KNOCK ON WOOD.) Still, use at your own risk.
  • Again: free.
If you’re craving more than a basic Word document, starred (*) entries go beyond the usual cells and tables. Their artsy graphic designs are Etsy worthy, and will look particularly cute hanging on your fridge.

Readers, if you know of any good templates/spreadsheets/whatever I missed, add ‘em in the comment section. Prettified ones will receive extra bonus points. (Meaning: a quiet “yay” in my small Brooklyn apartment.)

These websites include many different kinds of templates.

Better Budgeting
Basic weekly menu planner and weekly dinner planner, along with a grocery list organized by aisle.

Free Printable Grocery List
Dozens of grocery lists and menu planners, both blank and with pre-formatted checklists. Some have cute (but minimal) designs. Click on the sidebar and start printin’.

I’m an Organizing Junkie
Grocery list and weekly menu planner/grocery list combo. Formatted in boxes. A twist!

Keep and Share
Nice compilation of grocery lists for diet restrictions, including gluten-free, kosher, diabetic, lactose-free. Includes a pair of massive two-pagers, as well.

Mom’s Budget
Weekly and monthly meal planners, price logs, pantry inventories, and grocery lists in blue, green, orange, pink, and purple.

Money Saving Mom
Fourteen free downloads, including weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly menu planners as well as a master prep, ingredient, and shopping lists.

Each of these single documents will do double-duty as say, a menu planner AND grocery list.

*A Feathered Nest
Menu planner/grocery list combo that’s super cute without being twee.
Weekly menu planner and shopping list.

*Carina Gardner
Anthropologie-esque weekly menu planner with a grocery list on the bottom. Nice! (It's the one pictured at the top.)

*Design Sponge
A weekly menu planner/grocery list combo, as well as blank and checklist-style grocery lists. Cute!

Organized Home
Weekly menu planner and shopping list

*The Project Girl
Menu planner and shopping list, with the best design out of everything here. Very pretty!

Saving Your Cents
Weekly menu planner and shopping list. Simple and clean. Use #1. (The others are already on this list.)

Excel documents unless otherwise noted.

Cheap Cooking
You have to do a little deleting here, but it should work otherwise.

It’s Your Money
A larger file requiring unzipping.

No Credit Needed
Uncomplicated and easy to figure out. My favorite of these options.

Organized Home
This one’s not an Excel spreadsheet. It’s a fill-in-the-blank-with-your-own-pen-style price book.


Busy Bee Lifestyle
Weekly planner with separate columns for kids and adults. With a picture of a bee! (Note: I like bees.)

*Disney Family Fun
Dinner planner only, but with a cute, kid-oriented design.

*From the Kitchen of…
Super fun weekly planner. Be aware that it’s a big file, and has to be unzipped. I don’t know why, but it reminds me a little of a Lynda Barry cartoon.

Home Life Weekly
Rainbow colored weekly planner.

The Home School Mom
Has one with a weekly activity planner on the side, and one without. Pretty basic.

Main Street Mom
Super, super basic design. But effective.

Meal Planning Mommies
Weekly plan with “I’m a meal planning mommy!” written across the top. Helpful if you forget who you are, not helpful if you're male.

Organized Home
Weekly menu planner made especially for notebooks.

*Petit Elefant
This one involves some re-sizing, but has a totally cute format and design.

Available in spreadsheet or PDF form. Clean and efficient.

Vertex 42
Basic weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly menu planners in both portrait and landscape print styles.


Excel Template
Three printable spreadsheets of varying sizes, for general-to-specific shopping.

Mom Ready
Simple and straightforward checklist for your weekly trip.

Painted Gold
Simple blank list organized by department.

Pike’s Pickles
PDF files with both a blank list and formatted checklist.

Split Coast Stampers
Another checklist-style Excel spreadsheet. Also in PDF format if you scroll down a little further

Landscape-style one-page checklist with many attractive boxes. Pretty thorough.

The Ultimatest Grocery List
Huge single-page checklist, with a massive bonus list for vegetarians! Maybe the best option if you’re looking for this kind of thing.

Vertex 42
Blank template organized by category. Handy.

Readers, whatchoo got? The comments are open!

If you like this article, you might also enjoy:

Design by Free Wordpress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Templates