Bullet Journal Meal Planning 101 The Beginner’s Guide

Today you’re going to learn how to set up meal-planning bullet journal spreads.

In fact, these bujo food layouts helped me to eat healthier and save a ton of time, money, and energy.

So if you want to learn why meal planning is important and how to:

  • make your meal plan easier
  • use a bullet journal to meal plan
  • make a food calendar in a bullet journal
  • plan meals on a tight budget

Then you’ll love this ultimate guide on how to meal plan with a bullet journal.

In order to grab some awesome bullet journal ideas for meal planning and free bullet journal printable resources, just keep reading.

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. It means that I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase a product that I have recommended. It won’t cost you any extra money.

Why is Bullet Journal Meal Planning Important

Just in case you’re wondering why you should even care about meal planning, there’re some good reasons to do it.

Save Time

Unquestionably, the most valuable thing you have is time. Once you waste it, you never get it back.

With this in mind, instead of thinking of what to eat for dinner every single night, having already set up a meal planning system significantly saves you time.

Decrease Stress and Anxiety

In addition to this, planning your meals ahead allows you to cut down on stress and anxiety. 

For example, how many times have you felt irritated when your family asked you every two minutes when dinner will be ready? 

Alternatively, you’ve studied for three hours, and now you’re starving.

You can even be angry, and rude.

It might be a big issue, especially for a highly sensitive person.

For that reason, if you don’t have a ready-to-eat meal, the most likely scenario is that you eat something extremely unhealthy or order greasy Chinese food. 

Eat Cleaner and Healthier

Speaking of unhealthy eating habits, planning all your meals ahead helps you eat cleaner, healthier, and regularly.

Planning in advance makes it easier to add healthy ingredients to your favorite recipes.

For example, you can decide that you eat meat only once a week.

Besides, you control the amount of salt, fat, protein, and carbs intake.

Improve Grocery Shopping Habits

grocery list sticky notes
a grocery list

Along with this, meal planning definitely will better your grocery shopping habits.

First of all, you’ll never again go shopping when you’re hungry.

Creating a grocery list based on your weekly meal planner prevents you from compulsive shopping. 

Additionally, your grocery shopping becomes much more efficient and you get it done way faster.

Decrease Food Waste

In general, we tend to waste so much food.

Now, when you’re ready to cook at home more often, it’s time to become more conscious and less wasteful.

Meal planning allows you to shop with a plan.

Basically, you don’t buy food you don’t need. 

Besides, you can always cook a little bit more, and use leftovers as a meal for another day.

It’s one of my favorite meal-planning tips ever.

Save Money

Cook Once, Eat All Week:...
7,773 Reviews
Cook Once, Eat All Week:...
  • Garcia, Cassy Joy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 400 Pages - 04/23/2019 (Publication Date) - Victory Belt Publishing (Publisher)
Healthy Meal Prep:...
925 Reviews
Healthy Meal Prep:...
  • Tornatore, Stephanie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 160 Pages - 12/12/2017 (Publication Date) - Alpha (Publisher)
Meal Planning for...
118 Reviews
Meal Planning for...
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Hronec, Christine (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update on 2023-06-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Last but not least, meal planning will save you a lot of coins.

Not only you won’t be tempted to buy a ton of junk food in a grocery store, but also you’ll prepare meals by yourself.

Therefore, you’ll cut eating out costs. 

Additionally, meal planning saves money on household bills because you cook a bigger portion once and then you freeze and/or use leftovers for another day.

How to Meal Plan with a Bullet Journal Step by Step

1. Brainstorm Bullet Journal Recipes & Favorite Foods List

Favorite Meal Ideas Bullet Journal
bujo’s favorite meal ideas

First and foremost, you need to build a solid foundation.

Gather your family, brainstorm your favorite meal ideas together, and make a list of your favorite dinners.

To make your life easier, you can divide the meals by, for example, ingredients (chicken, veal, pasta), cuisine (Italian, French, Indian), or type (vegetarian, gluten-free, low fat).

If you feel uninspired, just ask your family and friends for their favorite meals and put them on the list of your favorite foods in your bullet journal.

Also, you can create your recipe base with step-by-step instructions at the end of your bullet journal notebook with a place for useful tips and nutritional information.

In my opinion, it’s ok to try something new once in a while, but looking for inspiration on Pinterest every single day might be dreadful.

Nevertheless, you can create a “Recipes to Try” bullet journal page, where you write down all new meals you want to try.

seasonal product guide bullet journal
seasonal guide in a bujo

Moreover, I’m a huge believer that eating seasonally lets you eat clean, healthy, and on a budget.

For this reason, creating a seasonal product guide in a bullet journal is a good idea.

2. Check Out Your Current Bullet Journal Weekly Schedule

Now, you go to your current bujo weekly spread and see what’s happening in the following week.

Basically, you need to know your family’s schedule.

Maybe your husband attends a conference with free lunch or you visit your parents-in-law at the weekend.

Check out how many meals you have to plan. 

3. Create a Bullet Journal  Inventory List and Inventory Tracker

Fridge Pantry Inventory Tracker
bullet journal inventory list

The next step is to go shopping at your home and just inventory and dig in your fridge, freezer, and pantry. 

Undoubtedly, you’ll find so much forgotten stuff buried in the back of your freezer. 

Then create a bullet journal inventory list and write them down.

They’re the first ingredients you use in your meals.

Additionally, I’d highly recommend you make an inventory tracker.

Therefore, not only do you never run out of your stash again but also you avoid food waste.

4. Set Up Bullet Journal Weekly Meal Planning Spread

meal planning post-its
meal planning with sticky notes in a bullet journal

At this time, all you need to do is to prep your weekly meals with a bullet journal meal planning spread.

Personally, I plan all my meals including snacks for the whole week.

But if you feel it’s too much for you, just start with planning dinners.

Undoubtedly, you’ll see a difference.

Also, you can create a dynamic bujo spread with sticky notes.

For goal-oriented people, adding a simple but actionable weekly goal can be helpful due to developing healthier habits like eating meat twice a week.

Now you can plan your favorite dinners for a whole week.

It may sound awkward but set your goal.

For example, it could be to have at least one fish meal, two vegetarian dinners, and a “cheat days” food like pizza or burrito.

Also, you can track your water intake with a simple waterlog and/or five daily servings of vegetables.

Besides, for those of you who want to keep your meal planning on a budget, leave some space for budgeting logs like expense tracker and savings log.

5. Make a Grocery List in a Bullet Journal

grocery list pantry inventory bujo

At this time, you can make a grocery list in your bullet journal or, alternatively, write it on a sticky note to pull it out and take it to the grocery store.

Because the fact I like to take it to another level, I organize the entire list by store’s sections such as fresh fruits, fresh veggies, dairy, meat, fish, baked goods, drinks, snacks, grains, condiments, frozen, canned food, spices, exactly as Maria and Josephine did.

Moreover, it’s sorted according to my go-to grocery store layout.

Therefore I’m not tempted to buy anything extra and it makes shopping so much faster. 

6. Create a Bullet Journal Meal Prep Page

Optionally, you can set your meal prep plan ahead.

Overall, it helps organize all cooking steps in the right order.

Furthermore, you may want to develop your own weekly meal prep routine.

Having a bullet journal meal prep page allows you to write down even the smallest thing you need to make in order to prepare your meals for the following week. 

Diet Bullet Journal Ideas

plan weekly meals bullet journal

Generally, it’s said that “you lose weight in the kitchen, you gain health in the gum”.

For those of you who have an issue sticking to a meal plan but still want to achieve health goals, it might be a great idea to create weekly meal planning spreads like Sunisa or Gigi.

Also, you may want to try the following bullet journal pages:

  • bullet journal food log
  • food tracker 
  • daily meal journal
  • healthy eating tracker
  • meal tracker 

In order to stay accountable, write down everything you eat during the day in your meal tracker spread. 

Sometimes, thinking about getting another cookie twice is enough to stay on track.

Also, you can put your personal diet guidelines with the recommended serving size, macros, calories, etc.

Free Bullet Journal Meal Plan Printables

bullet journal meal panner printable
weekly meal planner printable available in my resource library

From my own experience, I know how hard is to find some time for creating all these layouts, charts, and lists.

Luckily, there are plenty of free monthly and weekly meal plan journal templates you can print out and glue into your notebook.

For example, I designed the free weekly meal planner template with fridge and pantry inventory, grocery list, and menu ideas, divided into four categories of your choice.

Free Bullet Journal Meal Plan Printables

Along with this, I found other amazingly designed free meal planner templates.

For example, Crissy created 30 pages meal planner with recipe cards & sheets, inventory lists, grocery & shopping lists, a weekly meal planner, a holiday meal planner, a baking conversion chart plus 15 recipe category divider sheets.

On the other hand, Christene’s free meal planning printables include a meal planner for two weeks with a grocery list.

The next meal planning bundle via Designer Printables includes pages like meal ideas, meal planners, calendars, shopping lists, recipe cards, and weekly meals.

Last but not least, Rebecca’s meal planner is printable with a place for groceries and snacks.

How to Make Your Bullet Journal Meal Plan Easier

Now, when you decide you want to plan your meals ahead, it’s so easy to lose your motivation.

Undoubtedly, it can be overwhelming, especially for beginners.

Because I’m a huge fan of simplifying, here are my top tips on how to make your meal plan easier.

Do Your Research First

Generally, every time you start something new, it’s crucial to do your research first.

For this reason, read blog articles, and watch YouTube videos to get to know a different kind of meal planning system.

Create Your Guidelines

As a rule, we all have different lifestyles, needs, and family situations.

With this in mind, after exploring different styles of meal planning, fit them into your lifestyle, and create some guidelines for yourself.

It helps you overcome feeling overwhelmed by all the options.

Simplify Your Process

daily menu planner bujo layout

Try not to overcomplicate things.

Keep your meal planning system simple. 

And beautiful as Clarissa’s daily page.

Although it’s completely optional.

For instance, I personally think that it’s so much better to ask your grandma or mom, for quick and simple recipes (after all they also have to manage home and work) than search Pinterest for inspiration.

Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with exploring new cuisines and tasting new meal options.

However, it usually takes a lot of time and the end result in most cases is mediocre.

Personally, I limited trying out new recipes to once per two weeks.

How to Plan a Meal on a Tight Budget in a Bullet Journal

Because I’m always all about budgeting and saving money, here are some tips and tricks on how to plan a meal on a tight budget.

  • cook simple meals
  • cook the double size of meals and freeze them
  • organize your pantry, fridge, and freezer
  • buy local, seasonal fruits and veggies
  • always make a grocery list
  • pick two or three stores you like and stick with them after a few visits you’ll learn their layout, products, product arrangement, pricing, etc. 
  • read about tricks grocery stores use to get you to spend more money
  • when you go shopping, leave the kids at home.
  • make a list of sales and coupons for your weekly grocery shopping
  • if you find a good deal, buy one for now and one for later 
  • alternatively, choose online grocery shopping. It allows you to avoid impulse buying and stick to the budget
  • try out the store-brand products
  • use leftovers for another day or as an ingredient for a new meal

Bullet Journal Meal Planning – Final Thoughts

bullet journal meal planning

As you can see, meal planning is a simple system that helps you not only save a lot of time, energy, and money on bills and groceries but also waste less food. 

Moreover, using bullet journal meal planning spreads turns the entire process into a fun experience.

For example, Mareike’s bullet journal layout reminds me of mind mapping.

What a great way to come up with new meal ideas.

On the other hand, feel free to keep your meal planning spread super simple as Dara.

The next weekly bullet journal spread, created by Hayden, includes weekly meals with a grocery list plus leftover reminders.

And a simple, but colorful bujo spread with dinner ideas has a place for budgeting (source unknown).

Last but not least, two pink meal planner pages via Creative Figgy and Rhio prove that even planning meals in a bullet journal can unleash your creativity.

Also, feel free to set up a separate journal notebook designated only for meal planning with a bunch of favorite recipes, food doodles, healthy eating guidelines, meal logs, etc.

What’s Next? Check out Another Bullet Journal Collections:

150+ Bullet Journal Page Ideas Perfect for Your 2023 Bujo

Bullet Journal Budget Layouts To Master Your Finances in 2023

Level 10 Life Bullet Journal Spreads To Track Your 2023 Goals

Bullet Journal Meal Planning