Meal planning can help you save thousands of dollars per year. But while it’s a major boon to your budget, getting started can feel overwhelming.
However, just as spreadsheets are the best tool for tracking your food spending, they’re one of the best tools to help you plan meals and grocery shopping.
Using spreadsheets to organize your meals for the upcoming week, two weeks, or even month ahead can help you plan your food expenses instead of just letting them happen to you.
Check out these spreadsheet templates – created by budgeting experts – that can help you get started today.
1 – Automated Meal Planning Spreadsheet
If you are looking for a totally geeky, .csv-exportable, all-out spreadsheet, look no further! Provided by Nicole Burt, this meal planning spreadsheet allows you to do it all.
You can store recipes. Compare those recipes against what you have in your cabinet. Auto-populate your shopping list.
While it may feel like a lot to enter information down to the ingredient the first time, it’s completely worth the time and stress you’ll save over the first few months alone. The spreadsheet will end up doing the heavy lifting for you.
2 – Shopping List by Aisle Spreadsheet
This spreadsheet, built by Zero-Waste Memoirs, allows you to meal plan and plan your trip to the grocery store by listing products by aisle. No more wandering the store or doubling back!
This system is simple, and there’s a lot of power in simplicity. This sheet won’t build itself for you like the previous example above, but it will keep you organized as you head to the produce section.
3 – Nutrition Tools Spreadsheet via Reddit
This incredible spreadsheet includes the following sheets:
- Ingredient List
- Recipe List
- Daily Stats
- Calorie Breakdown
- Pantry List
- Grocery List
You can read details about how the Nutrition Tools Spreadsheet works and why it was created here on Reddit. Bonus – there’s also a fitness tracking spreadsheet at the link.
4 – Nutrition-Based Meal Planning Spreadsheet
Head on over to Reddit to find a meal planning spreadsheet that tracks your nutrition. It doesn’t just track your diet, though. It also breaks down your cost-per-meal and calculates total prep time for you. I don’t recommend counting calories as a way of pursuing health, but if you do, this sheet will help you log those units of heat, too.
5 – Monthly Meal Planner Spreadsheet (Plus Shopping Checklist)
One of my biggest struggles when I meal plan is forgetting to do the prep work in the morning. Take the meat out of the freezer. Make the marinade. Etc.
This is why I love that Kalyn Brooke includes a section specifically for prep work on her meal planning spreadsheet.
She has a simple setup that allows you to plan your food over an entire month, which can allow you to plan out your spending even more efficiently.
6 – Comprehensive Meal Planning Spreadsheet
If you want a meal plan spreadsheet that can help you store recipes, store data about the ingredients you already have in your cabinet, and help you populate a shopping list, you have lots of options above.
If you want a spreadsheet that can help you do all that and account for dietary restrictions, you’ll want to check out this meal planning spreadsheet from Jack Carey.
Because it allows you to account for dietary restrictions, it will highlight any conflict with these restrictions in your recipes. You can then either avoid that recipe or see if there’s a substitute you could use to make sure everyone enjoys the meal without going into anaphylactic shock.
7 – Keto Meal Planner Templates
If you’re following a Keto lifestyle, you know planning meals is rather complicated. Here are two free Keto meal planning spreadsheets that make it easy to track fat, protein, calories and other intakes. Note that these might be helpful even if you’re not following a Keto diet.
Share your favorite meal planning template
Have you found ways to save money on food, through planning or other methods? If so, please share them in the Tiller Money Community.
FURTHER READING & ADDITIONAL SPREADSHEETS
- The Meal and Grocery List Planning Spreadsheet That Will Save You Time and Money via Nicoleburtblog.com
- Free meal planning kit from Joyce Zahariadis of My Stay at Home Adventures
- Printable Shopping List Template (Organized by Trader Joe’s Layout) via TheKitchn.com
- How I Use Google Sheets for Meal Planning via The Kitchn
- Excel Weekly Meal Planner from Contextures
- Weekly Meal Planner for Excel from Microsoft Office
- Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day – Top-rated book
- Muchlab App – recipes based on ingredients you already have at home