Weekly Meal Planning in under 15 Minutes

If creating a meal plan for your family makes you want to pull your hair out, you are not alone.  Meal planning can be such a chore but can make your life so much more simple if you take a few minutes and do it.

There are also a lot of misconceptions about meal planning.  Like, since I meal plan I must make these elaborate meals every night for my family and let me say emphatically, that is simply not true.   Today, I am going to share how I weekly meal plan in under 15 minutes.  

How do you create a weekly meal plan in under 15 minutes?

Meal Planning Journal sample weekly meal plan

1. Choose a 15-minute block of time & set a timer

I normally sit down on Friday afternoons but there is no magic day.  Some choose Sunday afternoons, others like to wait until the grocery store ads come out so they can plan meals according to deals.  You just need time to do it.  Put it on your to-do list for a specific day and do it!  Set a timer.  Read this article about why setting a timer makes you way more productive.

2. Grab your family calendar and check your weekly schedule before you meal plan

This piece is critical, you don’t want to plan a meal that takes a lot of prep work on the night you are running carpool.  Thursday night is notoriously busy for us so I plan an extra simple meal on that night.  Sandwiches, leftovers or frozen pizza usually!

3.  Choose 5  meals for your meal plan

We eat at home every night of the week.  Occasionally, we will eat out but I do not plan on it. However, even though we eat at home every night, I don’t cook every night.  I plan on making 5 meals and then plan for leftovers and simple meals for the other nights.

How do you choose dinners?

Ask your family what they want.  This also helps with picky eaters wanting to eat.  Read all my picky eater tips and tricks here.

Consult the meal planning ideas printable (shown below).  Print it off, there are 50 meals to choose from!  You can get your meal planning printable by signing up here.

Look at past meal plans.  Keep all your meal plans in one spot in the 52-week meal planning journal, buy it here.

4.  Record your meal plan ideas in your meal planner

Now that you have your 5 dinner ideas, plug the meals into your meal plan based on your schedule.  The Simple Purposeful Living 52-week meal planner is a great tool.


Buy Your Meal Planner Here


5.  Make your grocery list that matches your meal plan

If you use the Simple Purposeful Living Meal Planner, then you can jot down your grocery list on the adjacent perforated page.  Make sure to check your meal plan twice, so you don’t forget any ingredients.  Add in any breakfast, lunch, and snack staples you need as well.

If you don’t like grocery shopping or you are running short on time, you should really try Walmart’s online grocery order and pick-up service.  I can’t remember the last time I went grocery shopping.  I can check my list twice and if I forget something, there is time to add it on before pick-up!  Use this code for $10 off your first order.

6.  Take a look at the meal plan every morning

I keep my meal plan on my fridge with a magnet, while my coffee is brewing in the morning I take a look at what’s for dinner.  I grab out any meat that needs to thaw and put anything in the crockpot that needs to cook.

7.  Enjoy dinner with your family

When it comes time to make dinner for your family, make what’s listed on the meal plan.  If something comes up, you can easily switch to another planned meal.  You are in the driver’s seat and your pantry and fridge have all the necessary ingredients for the week so it’s okay to make a switch.


Need some more help with your meal plan?

Check out these resources – 

Simple Kid-friendly Lunch Ideas

25 Simple Meal Ideas 


Just Remember-

Meal planning helps you to know exactly what you are going to have for dinner every night of the week, less stress and more time to do what matters with those that matter.  You can do it!  If you need help getting started, download my free meal ideas printable with over 50 meal ideas by signing up here.



Want help with meal planning?  

I wrote down this recipe along with the rest of my meal ideas for the week in the Simple Purposeful Living 52-week meal planner.  Get yours here.   Join the Meal Plan Simple on Purpose group on Facebook for more meal planning ideas and support.  Join here.


Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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