Step by Step Guide to a Weekly Menu/Grocery List

The intent of this post is to show you how simple it is to make a weekly menu/grocery list for several weeks so that you can then use it as a rotating menu plan. This will take a load off of the weekly shopping trips by having your grocery list already written out for you every week. You’ll make a menu and then make a grocery list of what you need to make that menu happen.

You can do 6 weeks’ worth of menus or you can do 10! I usually never have more than 5 different menus because I enjoy cooking and eating the same foods regularly. But I found because of that it was easy for me to get into a rut and so having different menus helped me to work my way around to making old recipes that I had forgotten about. This Menu plan works well for whatever state of life you are in. If you’re single, married, or parents, this plan can help you bring some organization to your life. Below I’ve listed the steps I take to make 1 weeks’ worth and all you have to do is do it a few times over and you have yourself a rotating menu plan complete with a weekly grocery list to boot!


1. Start with a full menu

This can be done in one of two ways. You can only plan dinner each night and then wing the other meals. Or you can have a full menu with breakfast lunch dinner and every snack time in-between. The latter is defiantly more complicated but if you’re dieting or on a tight budget it would probably be the best option. When I first started this menu/grocery list plan I only planned dinners and I would add to the list a few necessities that I would have for my breakfast and lunches. But after a while, I realized that having those things on the menu would end up helping me in the long run, time and budget-wise.

Goo HERE to view and download my FREE menu template! 

2. Tackle Each Meal

Next, you need write in what you’ve got planned for each meal, I think this is easiest tackled by the meal itself rather than the day, for example, instead of filling out what you’re eating all day Monday and then moving on to Tuesday, start with what you’re eating every day for breakfast all week, and then once you’ve filled that our move on to snack time for all week. As far as the dessert column goes I just put down what day I’m making one if I am at all.

3. Write Your Ingredient list

Once you get your menu made it is time to pull out the cookbooks! You’re going to want to take each meal and write down what you need for each different meal. I even go so far as to say how many cups of cereal we eat for breakfast every day. You want every ingredient you use even down to spices!

4. Grocery list!

Once you have the ingredient list for the whole menu you can make a grocery list for that week’s menu! Remember not to take into account what you have in the house already. This is a grocery list you want to be able to use multiple times so you want to put everything on there.

5. Put it to use!

The last thing to do after you’ve done all this hard work is to use your pre-made menu/grocery list! Then whenever you’re getting ready to go shopping for the week print out your grocery list (or I also put the list into the notes app on my phone. Before you head to the store you’ll need to go through your pantry. Check off anything you already have in stock. And then whatever is left is what you’ll be getting at the store that day!


And that’s it! That’s how you make your own menu and grocery list. This may seem like a lot of work and I’m not going to say it’s not. But once you’re done it is so worth it! If you’re just starting out you can make a menu once a week for a few weeks and then begin to recycle the old ones! I did this a few months ago and I found it very helpful. Lately, I’ve found some new recipes that I wanted to use so now I’m reconstructing all of my menus. I actually really enjoy the menu planning if you would like any tips please let me know in the comments!

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