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Extension >Family > Health and Nutrition > For Families > Smart Shopping > Menu Planning

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Smart Shopping

Menu Planning

Menu planning may seem hard at first, but taking the time to plan ahead can save you money. After a bit of practice, you’ll be a pro! Get started with the resources below.

Meal Planning Guide — Save money, reduce stress, and spend time with your family by planning your meals for the week. English (424 K PDF) | español (688 K PDF)

Thinking Ahead — Planning Guide — Easy-to-use template for planning your meals for the week. English (415 K PDF) | español (421 K PDF)

Planning Meals on the Go (336 K PDF) — Planning is an important step when eating away from home.

Other Recommended Resources

Spend Smart, Eat SmartIowa State University Extension Service — How to navigate the three easy steps to healthy meals: plan, shop, and eat. Includes recipes in Spanish.

Stretching Your Food DollarsOregon State University Extension Online resource to help provide healthy meals for your family on a limited budget.

Meal Planning: Stretching Your DollarUniversity of Missouri Extension — Suggestions to help stretch money used for food, as well as simple ways to save at the supermarket. In English and Spanish.

Ideas for Planning Thrifty MenusThe University of Maine Cooperative Extension — Tips to help you stick to your food budget.

Better Meals with Better Planning: Plan MenuseXtension.org — A step-by-step guide for planning a weekly menu.

Menu PlanningHealthy Meals Resource System; United States Department of Agriculture — Resources for planning menus, ensuring nutrition in meals, using seasonal produce to stretch food dollars, and more.

Food Shopping and Meal PlanningNutrition.gov; United States Department of Agriculture — Resources to utilize the MyPlate guidelines, find local farmers' markets, plan healthy meals, and more.

Fruits and Veggies More Matters — Information on the benefits of fruits and vegetables. Includes planning and shopping tips, recipes, and more.

Lists of Fruits and Vegetables — Find a new favorite with these lists of different fruits and vegetables by color.

List of Whole Grains — Learn more about the different whole grains that are available.

Menu Planning — Menu planning worksheets, a sample cycle menu, recipes and more from the Great Trays™ toolkit.

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