Meal Planner

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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10 Frequently Asked Questions about Meal Planning

When I tell people I meal plan for our family, they always want to know how I do it.  I shared how I meal plan in this post, read here.  Then, after I explain how I do it they have lots of questions.  So, I thought I would answer a few of the most frequently asked questions I get pertaining to meal planning today!

Download your free meal idea printable here.

1. How do you think of meals to make your family?

1. Ask your family for suggestions.

2. Create a list of your favorites.  Read this post for 25 go-to meals our family loves.  

3. Make a  board on Pinterest for main dish ideas, here is mine!

4. Go through the main food types – Italian, Mexican, all-American, soups, meat & side, within each of those categories you will come up with several ideas.  For example for Mexican cuisine, you can make fajitas, tacos, enchiladas, and quesadillas to start.

2. Do your kids eat everything you make?

No!  However, I only make one meal at dinner so the rule of thumb at our house is they have to eat the same number of bites as their age.  So, my 3-year-old has to eat 3 bites of each food item to be excused from the table.  I do ask my kids for any meal suggestions and they are always excited when their request is granted. #tacos #alwaystacos

3. How do you come up with new meal ideas and not get stuck in a rut?

I try to incorporate a new recipe one time every week or every other week, depending on our schedule.  New meals take more time to prep so I might save that recipe for the weekend.  Some new recipes are winners and some are losers.  With the Simple Purposeful Living Meal Planner, I will circle ones we like and cross out ones we don’t!

I also can flip back in the 52-week meal planner and see what foods we have been eating a lot and which ones we haven’t had in a while!

You can download my free meal idea printable full of more than 50 meal ideas to help you get started.  Sign up here to get your download.

4. What do you do for breakfast?

My family has a few basic choices and I make sure to check my pantry for what we need when I make my grocery list.  My husband loves cereal and orange juice so I just ask him what kind of cereal he wants next and order that for him.  The kids usually go between frozen pancakes & waffles, cereal, bagels, and toast.  I usually just do a Lara Bar with my coffee!

5. What do you do for lunch?

Once again, I just make sure my kids have items they like to take in their lunches.  They are creatures of habit so they like to take peanut butter sandwiches or meat and crackers with raw veggie, fruit and a small dessert.

My husband takes leftovers every day to work so I make sure to make more than I think we will eat of most meals.  Lucy and I either eat leftovers or she eats what the big kids pack in their lunches.  I sometimes like to eat those bagged salad mixes too!

Buy your meal planner here.

6. How often do you meal plan?

I like to meal plan once a week.  It works well for our family so that our meal plan matches our schedule.   If you are just starting out, I would suggest meal planning once a week so you don’t get overwhelmed.

7. Why do you meal plan?

I hate that feeling of not knowing what to make for dinner and then not having the right ingredients on hand to make something.  We don’t have the budget to eat out very often, so meal planning helps me to make simple meals that match our busy schedule without a headache.  A little planning ahead makes my world go round.

8. How often do you go to the store?

Once a week.  Once I meal plan, I order all my groceries online and pick them up usually on Mondays’ for the week.  Occasionally, I forget something or something comes up I didn’t account for and then either my husband or I will run to grab that item but that’s rare!

9. Do you use coupons or shop at different stores?

I don’t.  I online grocery shop.  Not being in the store, I am not as tempted by all those things not on my list.  I save a substantial amount of money and stay under our weekly grocery budget ($125) almost every week!

10.  What tools do you use to meal plan?

I use the Simple Purposeful Living 52-week meal planner.  You can create your meal plan and jot down your grocery list on the adjacent perforated grocery list.  When I get stuck on what to make, I can flip back and see what I have made in the past.  You can buy yours here.

You can download my free meal idea printable full of more than 50 meal ideas to help you get started.  Sign up here to get your download.

Need some more help?

I have you covered, check these resources out!

52 Week Meal Planner

7 Steps to Create a Weekly Meal Plan

10 Frequently Asked Questions about Meal Planning

25 Simple Meal Ideas + Free Meal Ideas Printable

How do you meal plan?  What questions do you still have about meal planning?  Make sure to leave them in the comments and I will answer them!  Don’t forget to head over to the Simple Purposeful Living shop and check out our new products!  They make perfect Christmas gifts.  Give the gift of simple and purposeful living this holiday season!

 

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

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Simple Purposeful Living Products

Simple Purposeful Living Products

BEST-SELLING Simple Purposeful Living 52-week Meal Planner

Buy Here

Do you struggle with meal planning?  You are not alone.  Providing healthy meals for our family is an essential recipe for life but it makes many of us want to pull out our hair.  Enter the Simple Purposeful Living 52 Week Meal Planner.  It helps people just like you create simple and delicious meals for their family that they will love every single week of the year.

Plan your meals, write down the corresponding grocery list on the adjacent perforated tab and then rip it out to order your groceries online or head to the store.

Buy Here

Never Forget To Buy That Needed Item At The Store

Then, as you create the meals you planned throughout the week and think of things you need to get at the store, write it down on next week’s grocery list conveniently located right next to your meal plan.

 

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Stuck on creating a meal plan for the week?

Never fear, just flip back to all your previous meal plans secured in the spiral-bound pages.  At the end of the year, you will have 52 weeks’ worth of meal plans you and your family love.  You won’t be stuck in an “I don’t know what to make for dinner” rut again!

 

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.

 

 

Shop the Full Line of Simple Purposeful Living Products Now

 

The Simple Purposeful Living Mini Journal

Simple Purposeful Living Mini Daily Journal

Do you struggle to find time to spend quality time with God?  Do you struggle to know what to do when you do find the time?  You aren’t alone!  So many others feel the same way but spending time with God is an essential part of our Christian walk.  Make the most of your precious time with the Simple Purposeful Living Mini Daily Journal.

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Simple Purposeful Living Gratitude Journal

gratitude journal

 

Gratitude really can change how you see the world.  Check out this post for more tips on creating a gratitude attitude. Record what you are grateful for every day in this Simple Purposeful Living gratitude journal and watch your attitude change right before your eyes.  It’s so simple but purposeful.  This journal is perfect for kids too.  Check out this post about how to create a grateful child.

 

gratitude journal pages

 

Why did we create these products?

We created them with YOU in mind.  Life is crazy busy and we wanted to create simple purposeful solutions to help you maximize your times so that you can do what you want with those that you want.  

 

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

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