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Weekly meals planned out under the day of the week

Key Takeaways

  • Using a bullet journal for meal planning can improve organization, time management, and mindfulness of food choices.
  • Incorporating seasonal produce and tracking expenses can reduce food waste and save money.
  • A bullet journal allows for customization to individual needs and preferences, including special diets or using up ingredients on hand.
  • Creating separate grocery lists for perishable and non-perishable items organized by category with specific quantities can prevent overbuying or underbuying.

Have you ever heard the saying, ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’? As someone who has always struggled with meal planning and organization, I can attest to the truth of this statement. I used to find myself scrambling to figure out what to cook for dinner or making multiple trips to the grocery store because I forgot an essential ingredient.

Are you constantly struggling to plan and organize your meals, juggling grocery lists, and ultimately resorting to unhealthy or costly last-minute food choices? Well, look no further! This guide will show you how to use a bullet journal for meal planning.

Not only does this ingenious system streamline your meal planning, meal ideas, and process, but it also encourages healthier eating habits, and makes identifying possible food allergies easier, all while saving you money.

food surrounding a notebook for meal planning in a bullet journal

Benefits Of Using A Bullet Journal For Meal Planning

Using a bullet journal for meal planning offers several benefits, such as improved organization and time management, increased mindfulness of food choices, reduced food waste and cost savings, customization to individual needs and preferences, and a creative outlet.

Improved Organization And Time Management

One of the most significant benefits of using a bullet journal for meal planning is improved organization and time management. As a busy individual, it can be challenging to find the time to plan out meals, shop for groceries, and cook healthy dishes for yourself, your friends, or your family.

For example, when I first started using my bullet journal for meal planning, I noticed that I no longer had to scramble last minute trying to figure out what’s for dinner. Everything was laid out clearly two weeks in advance.

Additionally, having an organized way of jotting down upcoming meals made grocery shopping more efficient since I could create a list based on what was needed for those recipes rather than aimlessly wandering through store aisles trying not to forget anything crucial. You know the feeling, as soon as you get home, you realize you never got what you actually went to the grocery store for.

Increased Mindfulness Of Food Choices

One of the main benefits of using a bujo for meal planning is the increased mindfulness of food choices it cultivates. By putting in the time and effort to meal plan, you’re more likely to focus on healthier options and be aware of any nutritional gaps in your diet plan.

For example, let’s say you’ve noticed that every time you indulge in sugary snacks during the afternoon slump, you feel sluggish and cranky later in the day. By being mindful of this pattern and noting it down in your meal planner, you can then brainstorm alternative snack ideas such as fruit or protein bars that will leave you feeling energized instead.

Reduced Food Waste And Cost Savings

Incorporating meal planning into your bullet journal can significantly reduce food waste and help you save money. By carefully organizing your recipes, grocery lists, and meal plans, you ensure that you’re only buying the ingredients needed for each dish. Doing so will cut down on impulse purchases or overbuying perishable items that might spoil before they’re used.

Not only does this approach reduce food waste in your household but it also translates to cost savings on groceries. Meal planning with a bullet journal enables you to make smarter choices while shopping by sticking to the essentials and avoiding unnecessary expenses.

Customization To Individual Needs And Preferences

One of the biggest benefits of using a bullet journal for meal planning is the ability to tailor it to your unique needs and preferences. Unlike pre-made planners that may not suit your specific dietary requirements or food budget, a bullet journal allows you to create pages that work best for you.

For example, if you follow a gluten-free diet, you can include a section specifically for recipes and meal ideas that fit within those guidelines. Or, if you have certain ingredients on hand that need to be used up before they spoil, you can plan meals around them in order to reduce waste.

Creative Outlet

Using a bullet journal for meal planning can be more than just a great idea and a practical tool. It can also serve as a creative outlet and a way to express personal style in the kitchen.

There are so many ways to customize your bullet journal spread with different themes, fonts, colors, and doodles that reflect your busy life and personality and add some fun to a busy life and meal planning.

For example, you could create pages for your master list of recipe ideas with illustrations or photos of your own favorite recipes or dishes. Or decorate your grocery list with stickers or washi tape for an extra touch of creativity.

In addition to being a creative outlet, using a bullet journal for meal planning has several practical benefits. As mentioned before, keeping track of food budgets and shopping lists can help individuals save money while still eating healthy meals.

Adding color-coded symbols or sticky notes can make the organization even easier when paired with relevant keywords like “dinner ideas” or “snack ideas” from the above.


A note book spread open with a Meal Plan spread

How To Use A Bullet Journal For Meal Planning

To use a bullet journal for meal planning, start by setting up dedicated pages for meal planning and grocery lists, determining your food budget, planning meals for the week or month ahead, incorporating seasonal produce to save money, and tracking meal prep and leftovers to reduce waste.

Setting Up Meal Planning Pages

When it comes to setting up meal planning pages in your bullet journal, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Start with a blank page or template that works for you: Whether you prefer a weekly spread or a monthly calendar-type layout, make sure it’s one that fits your needs and preferences.
  2. Create designated sections for each meal: This will help you easily plan out what you want to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks each day.
  3. Use symbols or color coding for easy reference: Decide on a system of symbols or colors that work for you, such as using a star symbol to indicate a favorite recipe or color-coding different food groups.
  4. Incorporate grocery lists and budgeting: Include space on your meal planning pages for grocery lists and tracking your food expenses.
  5. Add inspiration and recipes: Don’t forget to include space for jotting down new recipe ideas or finding inspiration from cookbooks or online sources.

By following these meal planning tips above, you can create effective meal planning pages in your bullet journal that help save time, money, and stress in the kitchen.

Determining A Food Budget

One of the most significant benefits of using a bullet journal for meal planning is that it can help you determine a food budget. When you plan your meals in advance, you can make informed decisions about what to buy when grocery shopping and avoid going over your budget.

An excellent place to start is by setting a weekly or monthly food expense goal and breaking it down into individual meal budgets. This way, you can prioritize where to allocate your funds based on which meals are more costly or require specific ingredients.

For example, if you want to eat fish twice a week but it’s pricier than other protein options, consider choosing cheaper cuts of meat for other meals.

Additionally, tracking your expenses with a bullet journal meal planner provides insight into how much money each type of ingredient takes from your overall budget. You will be amazed at how much you can save and how easy it is.

Planning Meals For The Week Or Month

Planning meals for the week or month can seem like a daunting task, but with the help of a bullet journal, it can be a breeze. Here are some tips on how to plan your meals for the week or month in your bujo:

  1. Start by deciding how often you want to plan your meals. Some people prefer to do it weekly, while others prefer to plan for the entire month.
  2. Make a list of all the meals you want to cook during that time period. This will help you avoid any last-minute meal decisions and ensure that you have all the necessary ingredients on hand.
  3. Use color coding or symbols to identify which days you plan on eating out or having leftovers.
  4. Take note of any special events or holidays that may require special meals.
  5. Keep track of which recipes you want to make and which ingredients you need to buy in order to make them.
  6. Be sure to incorporate seasonal produce into your meal planning, as this will help keep costs low and ensure that your food is fresh and flavorful.
  7. Consider batch-cooking certain dishes ahead of time so that they’re ready when you need them throughout the week or month.
  8. Don’t forget about snacks! Plan ahead for healthy snack options that will keep you energized throughout the day.

By following these simple steps, meal planning in your bullet journal can save you time and stress throughout the week or month while also helping you eat healthier and save more money in the long run.

Creating A Grocery List

Creating a grocery list is an essential part of meal planning that ensures you have all the necessary ingredients for your meals. Here are some tips for creating a grocery list using your bullet journal:

  1. Plan out your meals for the week or month beforehand, so you know what ingredients to add to your grocery list.
  2. Create separate lists for perishable and non-perishable items to help prevent food waste.
  3. Organize your list by category (produce, dairy, meat, etc.) to make shopping more efficient.
  4. Include specific quantities of each item to avoid overbuying or underbuying.
  5. Consider incorporating seasonal produce into your meal plan for more budget-friendly options.
  6. Use symbols or color-coding in your bullet journal to designate priority items or organize items by store aisle.
  7. Refer back to previous grocery lists and adjust as necessary based on what worked well and what didn’t in terms of meal planning and budgeting.

Remember that creating a grocery shopping list beforehand is just one aspect of effective meal planning with a bullet journal. It helps streamline the shopping process and prevents unnecessary spending while ensuring you have everything you need for healthy and delicious meals throughout the week.

Incorporating Seasonal Produce For Budget-friendly Options

One of the best ways to save money on groceries is by incorporating seasonal produce into your meal planning. This means using fruits and vegetables that are in season, as they tend to be cheaper and more readily available.

For example, in the summer you might plan meals around fresh tomatoes, zucchini, and berries; while in the winter you might use root vegetables like carrots and potatoes.

Another way to incorporate seasonal produce is by shopping at farmers’ markets or joining a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. These options often offer local, organic produce at lower prices than grocery stores, making it easier to eat healthy while sticking to a budget.

Plus, buying from local farmers supports small businesses and reduces food waste associated with shipping long distances.

Tracking Meal Prep And Leftovers

When using a bujo for meal planning you also benefit from being able to track your meal prep and leftovers. With this meal tracker method, you can see what meals you have prepped for the week or month and how much food you will need.

You’ll also be able to keep an eye on any leftover ingredients from previous meals that can be incorporated into new recipes, saving both time and money. By keeping notes in your bullet journal about your previous meal preps and adjustments made along the way, you’ll get better at estimating portion sizes, which can help reduce food waste in the long run.

Money stacked with a grocery cart for grocery shopping

Tips For Effective Bullet Journal Meal Planning

Incorporate color-coding or symbols to keep your meal planning pages organized and visually appealing, experiment with new recipes to add excitement to your meals, and meal plan around your local grocery store’s weekly ad for extra cost-saving options.

Plan Meals Around A Grocery Store’s Weekly Ad

One effective way to save money and spend less while meal planning is to plan meals around a grocery store’s weekly ad. Take advantage of sales and discounts on ingredients you need for your planned meals, or switch up your own weekly meals to incorporate new items particular ingredients that are on sale.

Even better, shop at multiple stores to get the best deals. For example, if one store has discounted meats and another has discounted produce, plan meals accordingly and make stops at both stores.

Prep Meals In Batches For Efficiency

One of the key benefits to using a bullet journal for meal planning is the ability to prep meals in batches for greater efficiency. By dedicating a specific day or time during the week to prepare multiple meals at once, you can save valuable time and energy throughout the rest of your busy week.

For example, I like to dedicate Sunday afternoons as my designated meal prep day. During this time, I’ll chop vegetables, cook grains and proteins, and portion out snacks into individual containers for easy grab-and-go options throughout the week.

Having pre-made meals ready in advance not only saves me time but also reduces stress during busy evenings when there may not be enough time to cook from scratch.

Allow Room For Flexibility And Adjustments

One important thing to keep in mind when using a bullet journal for meal planning is to allow room for flexibility and adjustments. Life happens, plans change, and sometimes we don’t feel like eating what we originally had planned.

That’s okay! Using post-it notes or leaving space in your journal can be a helpful way to make changes as needed. For dinner ideas for example, you may have planned four weeks before to make spaghetti for dinner on Wednesday but ended up having a really busy day and just want something quick and easy.

Instead of feeling stuck with the original plan, simply swap out the spaghetti with a different meal that fits your current mood and schedule.

Another way to add flexibility into your own bullet journaling meal planning is by incorporating theme nights such as “leftover night” or “breakfast-for-dinner night.” This allows you to use up any extra food from previous meals or switch things up when you’re not quite sure what you want to eat.

Remember, at the end of the day, meal planning should work for you and not against you.

Use Color-coding Or Symbols For Added Organization

Color-coding and symbols can make bullet journal meal planning even more efficient and organized. Creating a key for different categories like protein, vegetables, or snacks can help quickly identify meal components on your weekly spread.

For example, you could use green to indicate veggies, red for proteins, and blue for grains or carbs. This visual system will allow you to see at a glance how well-balanced your meals are.

Additionally, using symbols can help differentiate between leftovers that need to be eaten soon versus those that have a longer shelf life. As mentioned earlier in the important facts section of this article, it is recommended to adapt symbols to suit individual planning needs.

Experiment With New Recipes

Trying new recipes is a great way to add variety and excitement to your weekly meal-planning routine. When using a bullet journal for meal planning, it’s easy to incorporate and discover new and favorite recipes.

You can dedicate a page in your journal specifically for recipe and menu ideas, or keep track of them throughout the week as you come across ones that look interesting. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Perhaps a different cuisine or ingredient that you’ve never cooked with before.


Recipe ingredients and notebook on a table

Customizing Your Bullet Journal For Meal Planning

Make your meal planning even more fun and personalized by experimenting with different decorations, adding recipe and inspiration pages, and incorporating reflection and progress tracking into your bullet journal.

Decorating Meal Planning Pages

As you set up your bullet journal for meal planning, don’t forget to add some creativity and personal touch to keep yourself motivated and stay focused. Here are some tips for decorating your bullet journal meal-planning pages:

  1. Use colorful pens or markers to make the pages more visually appealing.
  2. Add stickers or washi tape to create borders or emphasize important information.
  3. Incorporate inspirational quotes or food-related doodles to stay inspired.
  4. Create a key or legend using symbols or colors to categorize different types of meals.
  5. Use different fonts and styles to add variety and interest to your pages.

Remember, the goal when starting meal planning is not just to plan meals, but also to enjoy the process and have fun with your bullet journal. So don’t be afraid to get creative and make it your own!

Adding Recipes And Inspiration

As you create your weekly meal planning pages in your bullet journal, it’s important to add some inspiration and variety to your weekly meals too. Here are some ways to do that:

  1. Add new recipes: Don’t be afraid to try out new recipes! Look up healthy meal ideas online or in cookbooks and add them to your journal for future reference.
  2. Keep a recipe bank: As you find new recipes that you enjoy, keep them all in one place within your bullet journal. This will make it easy for you to reference them when planning future meals.
  3. Incorporate seasonal produce: To keep things fresh and budget-friendly, plan meals around what produce is in season. Not only will this save you money, but it will also ensure that your meals are packed with fresh and healthy ingredients.
  4. Experiment with flavors: Don’t be afraid to mix things up by experimenting with different herbs and spices. Adding small amounts of bold flavors can completely transform a dish.
  5. Get creative with leftovers: Leftovers don’t have to be boring! Use them as inspiration for new dishes or snacks throughout the week.

Remember, the key to successful meal planning is finding what works best for you and your family’s needs. Use these meal planning ideas and tips as a starting point and get creative!

Incorporating Reflection And Progress Tracking

To make the most out of your bullet journal meal planning, it’s essential to incorporate reflection and progress tracking into your routine. Regularly reviewing your bullet journal meal planning plan and noting what worked well or didn’t can help you adjust future plans accordingly.

Consider adding a dedicated page in your bullet journal for reflection and tracking. This could include notes on recipes that were particularly successful or adjustments made to any other aspects of the menu throughout the week.

By taking time to reflect on your own healthy eating habits, you’ll be able to identify areas for improvement and make changes that align with your goals.

Meal Plan Bullet Journal Layouts To Try

Get inspired to eat healthier, with these creative meal plan bullet journal layouts! From weekly food and bullet journals, to healthy food planners, there are plenty of options to fit your personal style and goals.

Weekly Food Journal

One of the most effective ways to use a bullet journal for meal planning is to create a weekly food journal. Here are some tips on creating this type of bullet journal meal planning tracker layout:

  1. Start by drawing a table in your bullet journal with seven columns for each day of the week and rows for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
  2. Next, plan out your meals for each day of the week and write them in their respective boxes. Be sure to include healthy options for each meal and incorporate seasonal produce where possible.
  3. If you have allergies or dietary restrictions, be sure to take note of them when planning your meals.
  4. Include a section in your weekly food journal where you can write down any new recipes you want to try or upcoming events that may affect meal planning.
  5. Before going grocery shopping, consult your weekly food journal to create a grocery list based on the ingredients needed for your planned meals.
  6. With this type of layout, you can easily see what meals you have planned and keep track of what you’ve eaten throughout the week. It’s also helpful in preventing food waste since you’ll be buying only what you need from the grocery store.

Healthy Food Journal And Planner

Are you looking to use a meal planner and your bullet journal for healthier eating habits? Try incorporating a healthy food journal and a meal planner into your meal planning routine. Here are some tips:

  1. Start by setting goals for your health journey. Write down what you want to achieve and how you plan on getting there.
  2. Create pages in your bullet journal specifically for tracking meals, snacks, and water intake.
  3. Use color-coding to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy food choices.
  4. Plan out your meals in advance, focusing on whole foods and nutrient-dense ingredients.
  5. Incorporate new recipes or ingredients each week to keep things interesting.
  6. Make note of any cravings or emotional triggers that may affect your eating habits.
  7. Reflect on your progress each week and adjust as needed to reach your goals.

By using a healthy food journal and meal planner in conjunction with traditional meal planning pages, you can stay on track with your health goals while still enjoying delicious food options.


Using a bullet journal for meal planning can be a game-changer for those looking to improve their organization, save money and eat healthier. With benefits like reduced food waste, increased mindfulness of food choices, and the ability to customize your meal plan to fit your preferences and budget, it’s no wonder why so many people are turning to this method.

By following the tips and layouts outlined in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to creating a sustainable meal-planning system that works for you.

Let me know how your meal planning has changed once you have incorporated this into your bullet journaling. After reading this do you still have some questions? If so, please comment below and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Have you included meal planner into your bujo practice? If so, please share with the community below what has worked and what changes you have made in your process.

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