Meal Planner

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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7 Steps to Create A Simple Weekly Meal Plan

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 meal plan and answers some frequently asked questions on this topic!

How do you meal plan?  Follow these 7 steps to create a simple weekly meal plan tailed for your family.


1. Choose a 20-minute block of time.

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!

2. Grab your family calendar and check your weekly schedule.

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.  Come up with 5 dinners.

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.

If you need help coming up with ideas, you can download this free meal idea printable with over 50 meal ideas to get you started.  Sign up to download it here.

Buy Your Meal Planner Here

4.  Record your meals on 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.

5.  Make your grocery list.

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.  Also 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?

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

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.


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

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Simple Purposeful Living Products

Shop Here

They are here.  They are here.  They are here.  The first Simple Purposeful Living products.  Say what? If you didn’t see that coming, either did I?

How Did We Get Here?

After chatting with so many of you, two main points kept surfacing.  Meal planning and spending purposeful time with God.   I have struggled with both myself but I know how essential both are to a simple and purposeful life. You have to feed your family and time with God is food for the soul.  Women kept asking for simple and purposeful solutions and by golly, I was going to try to find one!

So in January, I started testing out different methods.  What worked, what didn’t. Then, this summer I was chatting with some local friends that I had these ideas but that I was stumped in the graphic design department.

I knew I was in over my head.  So, they suggested I enlist design interns and I found a set of 3 very talented sisters.  They helped me do the heavy lifting when it came to adobe photoshop and hand-drawn lettering and illustration.  Yes, every graphic was hand drawn (not by me).

As the design was coming together, I consulted printing companies.  No one wanted to work with an unknown commodity.  I didn’t have the capital or the guts to order a set amount not knowing what the response would be.  Finally, a friend gave me a contact for a retail printer who agreed to do a pre-order with me.  Bingo!

So, we are ready to launch these bad boys into the world and my hope and prayer are that these products will be valuable tools in the lives of each of you.  The real power will come from you using them, they are nothing without you!  So, enough of the behind the scenes, let me introduce you!

Simple Purposeful Living Products

The Simple Purposeful Living Daily Journal

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Do you struggle to find time to spend 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 Daily Journal.

Buy Here

Buy Here

Simple Purposeful Living 6 Month Daily Journal Product Details –

The 6-month daily journal will be delivered by 12/15/18

Each month section includes 30 Daily Journaling Pages with prompts, 4 Sermon Notes Pages, and 2 Monthly Prayer Journal Pages.

6 Undated Monthly Tabs.

Page size: 8.5 x 11

Product Price – $45 (Shop here)

Simple Purposeful Living 52-week Meal Planner

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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.

Buy Here

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!

Simple Purposeful Living 52 Week Meal Planner Product Details –

The 52-week meal planner will be delivered by 12/15/18

52 Weekly meal plan sheets adjacent to a perforated weekly grocery list

Product Price – $20 (Shop here)

Both Products include –

60 lb. Premium Journaling Paper (so pens don’t bleed through)

Durable Laminated Colored Covers (nice and durable 🙂 )

Navy Spiral Binding (of course!)

Simple + Purposeful Design


Simple Purposeful living Bundles will save you 10% off retail price, check them out too!

SPL Journal + Meal Planner Bundle (exclusive weekly coaching sessions with this bundle only)

SPL 2 Meal Planner Bundle (give the gift of meal planning)

SPL 2 Quiet Time Journals Bundle (give the gift of purposeful daily time with God)


All products and product bundles will launch for pre-order at 12 pm CST on Wednesday, November 8th and you will have them in your hands by December 15th!  Shop here!  Let Simple Purposeful Living help you live simply on purpose with the new Simple Purposeful Living Daily Journal and the 52-week meal planner.  We only get one life, let’s live simply on purpose!


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

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