Weekly Meal Planning

Weekly Meal Planning
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Is weekly meal planning too complicated or the lazy way out?

Recently a friend told me that she was too lazy to do weekly meal planning. I told her that I did weekly meal planning WHEN I was too busy or too lazy to think up new foods. For me, it’s a quick way to get 5-6 meals planned out with recipes and a grocery list. I have a few favorite go-to sites that I use and even one that’s vegetarian. 

weekly meal planning

On the weekend I print out a weekly meal plan that includes recipe links and a grocery list (such as this one here). I open my calendar and match up meals to our schedule for the week, crossing out or replacing any that don’t fit our week or our taste buds. I then modify the grocery list to eliminate any items for recipes I’m not using. Lastly, I cross-check the grocery list with my fridge and pantry marking off any items I already have on hand.

All that should take less than 15 minutes depending on how many rabbit trails I took when skimming the recipe links or reorganizing my pantry. My kitchen wall holds a menu board that I fill in for dinners and meal prep, making any notes of evening activities, and assigning a chef and dinner time for each night. Tuesdays often say MYO (make your own meal night) because I work late and my husband plays soccer. 

meal planning

After adding a few breakfast and lunch supplies to the list, I take a trip to the grocery store. Meal planning is done! Next, I do a bit of meal prep that can be done ahead of time. Finally, whoever is assigned to cook has the recipe link and the items on hand.

My daughters got added to the cooking rotation when they were in high school, and it was super helpful for all of us when I was working full-time and caregiving for my parents. I have even asked guests to cook a night or two if they are staying more than a week or to help with some meal prep.

So, for me, weekly meal planning is the lazy way out! Just print and go! When everyone picks recipes to cook, it’s more costly and time-consuming, so we don’t do it that often. Years ago I first got started with meal plans using 100 Days of Real Food mini-challenge. Visit my At Home page for some of my current favorites, including meal plan sites. How about you? Do you think weekly meal planning is lazy or complicated? 

More meal prep and weekly meal planning ideas here:



Table Talk: Who plans your meals? What would make meal planning and grocery shopping easier at your house? What’s your favorite go-to meal for a busy night?

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