Clean Eating Meal Planning + Free Printable Grocery List

Clean Eating Meal Planning Tips Tricks and a Free Printable Grocery List from Heather of // Mom and baby boy southern blog style

Clean Eating Meal Planning Tips Tricks and a Free Printable Grocery List from Heather of // Clean Eating Recipe


Clean Eating Pantry Staples FREE Printable List from Heather Brown of // Grocery List Printable // Meal Planning basics

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Today is an exciting day because at 6:15 am this morning, I was on our local CBS station talking about clean eating meal planning. Well, really more just about meal planning in general but you guys know we are a mostly clean eating/paleo kind of family so it has a healthy slant. You can see the meal planning segment here. I was SO excited to see that the meal plan we made for Ashley (the hostess) cost her only $27 when she shopped it!

I first learned why meal planning was important when my husband and I lived off of frozen meals, burgers and chicken for the first year of our marriage. Whoops!

Thank God Jane DeLaney from found me through my Birmingham blog at the time and took me under her wing to teach me how to meal plan and offered me a job to launch their blog, run their social media and ultimately write the Publix for 2 meal plan.

What is Clean Eating Meal Planning?

I’ve talked about Clean Eating for many years here on the blog and you can read more about it in several of the articles linked here and below this post. But, long story short it’s cleaning up your diet from processed items. In fact, I created a clean eating pantry staples list that I’m giving everyone for FREE when you sign up for my email list here on the blog at the top, in the sidebar or HERE.

Meal planning is:

  • A simple tool to save time, money & effort.
  • A tool to help you find what works for you and your family.
  • Answers the question, “What are you eating for the week?”

Meal planning can mean a weekly meal plan, a monthly meal plan, a plan that involves your slow cooker, freezer cooking, batch cooking or going as detailed as writing out your breakfast, lunch and dinner. However you best find you can simplify the process of what to eat each week before you go to the grocery store is how you will enjoy it the most. It is meant to be a simplification tool, instead of a headache.

Why should you Meal Plan?

  • Free up time, money and resources.
  • Grow your wealth & minimize debts.

Meal planning saves us on average about 2 hours a week and $50 a week conservatively. That’s huge savings when you think about it over time. When I’m not spending an extra 30 minutes each day panicking and rushing out to the store or the drive-thru, or just scratching my head trying to figure out what to cook everyone is more settled and time is saved. With that time we save, we sometimes go for a family walk, head out to the pool or just get more time to relax as a family. That’s something we aren’t willing to give up!

Who Should Meal Plan?

  • This should come as no surprise at this point….EVERYONE!
  • Just like there are recipes for everyone, there’s a meal planning style for everyone.

Popular Options for Clean Eating Meal Planning:


80Fresh: This is a great healthy option for those on the go who need a few meals a week shipped to your house already prepped and ready to go. Sometimes we’ll do a couple of 80Fresh Meals and cook the rest ourselves when our week is too crazy to manage.

Consider It Joy Baking (for Birmingham locals)


Your favorite blogs


Theme nights: Monday is pasta night, Tuesday is seafood night, Wednesday is leftover night, Thursday is Mexican night, etc.

Pen & paper: Ideas from family on fridge

When Should I Meal Plan?

  • Personal preference: what will work best for you?
  • Decide if you want to do it weekly, bi-weekly or monthly
  • Take into consideration what your week looks like.

We meal plan every Sunday. This is a great time at the start of our week to sit down with our calendars and discuss what is coming up. This helps Eric and I stay on the same page, know what to prepare for and helps me know how many dinner meals we need to prepare for in our home as well. We know without fail, every Wednesday is QUICK NIGHT because we host small group in our home. Sometimes that means a salad with prepared chicken from the refrigerated section if it was on sale that week, a frozen meal, or leftovers.

Will you prep ahead of time? Freeze items?

This truly depends on your lifestyle and when grocery shopping fits into your schedule. A lot of people tell us it fits them best to meal plan on Sunday or Monday…at the beginning of the week. If you use eMeals, you can pull up the companion app, look at your week and decide when to make the “quick meal” or “slow cooker” meal based on when you need that, skip meals you don’t want to make or add in family favorites to your shopping list. The most important thing is consistency. Try to make a plan each week to sit down and do the meal plan to set yourself up for success.

Clean Eating Meal Planning Tips Tricks and a Free Printable Grocery List from Heather of // Meal Planning 101 and how to save money without coupons from My Life Well Loved

How can I save money while meal planning?

You can read the full article I wrote on this a few years back.

The Store Ad: CIRCLE principle

I showed the way that I meal plan in the segment, but basically what I do is use the circle principle based on store sales. I get the store ad and circle everything that’s on sale I think I may be able to make a meal out of or I’m interested in. If you are doing this online, just write it down or type it in your phone. You’ll want to make note of the items you are interested in buying that are on sale all in one place.

I wrote down everything that stuck out to me on a sheet of paper and broke it out into main dishes, sides, and other items we need that are on sale. Then I start mentally checking off items we have in our pantry that may make out the rest of the meal, search Pinterest for ingredients on sale in recipes I’ve saved, and voila, before I know it my meal plan has come together seamlessly. Make sure you check out the segment to see how it works!

Clean Eating Meal Planning Tips Tricks and a Free Printable Grocery List from Heather of // Clean Eating Recipe

Don’t forget to grab your free clean eating pantry staples list by signing up for the My Life Well Loved VIP email list. What are your favorite go-to recipes for clean eating meal planning or just easiest/quickest meals at all? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Free Pantry Staples List

Free printable clean eating list

Get the FREE Clean Eating Pantry Staples Printable List plus healthy living lifestyle tips from!

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