Menu Planning at its Easiest

We all have been told that menu planning is important- saves us money and makes it much more likely that we will eat healthier food because pretty much everything made at home is going to be better than fast food.
Here again, perfectionism can rear its ugly head. We feel like we must have a beautiful printout, or maybe a chalkboard wall in our trendy kitchen. And the list needs to be full of mouth-watering 3-course meals.

Slow down, lady!

Don’t make menu planning such a chore. Keep it simple. ❤️

Save the hassle and subscribe to a menu plan

If menu planning stresses you out in any way shape or form, outsource it!! There are TONS of excellent options for menu plans, and if you go with REAL PLANS, you can customize it to fit the pickiest of eaters, which was a wonderful option!
Click here to get a 14-day free trial of Real Plans

Or create a reference list for easy planning

If you don’t want to buy a menu plan, you can create a full reference list to make your weekly menu planning session super easy.
Sit down with your family and in three categories (Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners) list out all the meals your family enjoys.
When you need to plan out your week of meals and your grocery list, you can simply refer to your long list of meals you already know how to make easily and you know your family enjoys.
This prevents you from getting into a rut of serving the same meals each week or having to spend hours on Pinterest looking for ideas.

Keep your menu simple

Changes are hard, so if you want to change, ease into changes.
If you normally eat out every meal, start with just planning to make/eat three meals at home in the week.
Instead of deciding you are going to eat a fresh salad with each meal (but you rarely make salad) aim at having one or two meals with a salad.
Learning to cook something new is great- but don’t overwhelm yourself with a new elaborate recipe or technique for all your meals. Keep to a few family favorites and plan one or two new dishes.

Prepare ahead to simplify the rest of the week

When I make breakfast, I often double the batch of pancakes or french toast so that I can serve it again another day.
I also plan on making enough dinner so that my husband can take leftovers to work for lunches.
And I regularly evaluate what is in the fridge and if we need to have a use-what-you-got meal and just eat up the left-overs. Because we don’t have very many Tupperware type containers, if there aren’t any containers in the drawer, I know it’s time to eat the food in the fridge.

menu planning doesn't have to be a long drawn-out chore. Here are my tips to simplifying the process and make it easy on yourself.

About Rachel Jones

Hi there! I’m Rachel Jones, and I founded Nourishing Minimalism in 2012 at the beginning of my minimalist journey after I'd been doing a yearly decluttering challenge for 4 years and started to see a change in my home. If you're looking for encouragement in your journey, please join our FREE Facebook Group: Nourishing Minimalism Facebook Group


  1. Teresa on 09/04/2019 at 12:37 pm

    Great video Rachel!!Going on the carnivore diet has definitely simplified my meal planning!!😉

    • Rachel Jones on 09/04/2019 at 3:31 pm

      Ha! I bet it has!! 🙂

  2. Molly Brewer on 09/05/2019 at 9:33 pm

    Here’s how I plan meals if any of this might be useful to others. I mentally run through the list of: what’s the weather out (chili when it is 100+ degrees out doesn’t usually cut it), who is eating at home and who isn’t, how much prep time do I have, what leftovers need to be used up and if any do they go together well, what do we have upcoming schedule-wise in next few days and how tired am I. I live with three other adults and we all have wildly varying schedules..nobody works the same days or even the same hours when they do work. Add a full college schedule and illness to the mix and it gets, well, interesting.

  3. Shoren on 10/22/2019 at 12:33 am

    I finished 2019 items. I need to start a new sheet. Could you please email me one. Thank you,
    Shohreh (Shoren)

  4. Tammy on 01/25/2020 at 9:38 pm

    I decided many months ago because I have my grandchildren 2-3 days a week, and always on Fridays, and I am so tired by Friday..that is always Pizza night. I just buy a frozen pizza and make salad or cut up veggies to go with it. Grandkids love it, so does my 23 yr old son, and me too! Husband at work.

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