Meal Planning: Simplified

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Meal Planning Doesn’t Have to be so Hard:

Listen up my friends—I think we make this meal planning thing too difficult.

I have written a lot about my efforts to keep things simple—to stop myself from being ridiculous with over-complicated systems. I mean, the last thing I need is another system.

Some people take meal planning to a level that is just off the charts–devoting entire walls in their kitchens to the display.  You see them all over Pinterest and wonder if there is any way these people actually stick with it!  (Check out examples of what I’m talking about here, here, and here)


Meal planning doesn't have to be so hard! Check out the super simple meal planning system that works great for my family!

Maybe these methods work for some people—the type who thrive on order and routine.

But not for people like me, who quake in fear at the thought of schedules, label makers, and daily dockets. Ugh!

I have tried to be different, you guys—I have tried to use all of those tools to organize my life, but the only thing that can save me now is my effort to SIMPLIFY!

For the past 6 months or so I have said goodbye to the time-consuming methods and I’ve been using my own (what I can barely call…) system.


Meal planning doesn't have to be so hard! Check out the super simple meal planning system that works great for my family!

The 33 Meal System:

Step 1:

This is probably the step that is the most time consuming. You need to make a list of 33 meals. You can do more or less than that, I just picked 33 because that’s how many came off the top of my head and off my Pinterest board—you can choose the number that works best for you.

You do not need to write down the actual recipe—just the title. If you need the recipe, make sure you jot down where you can find it.  I pin all my recipes to Pinterest so I can find them quickly when I need them.

Oh and I do not include basic meals like spaghetti, BLTs or pizza because those are usually fillers for when I don’t feel like cooking.

Step 2:

Every week I choose 7 meals off my list—even if know I’m only cooking 5 days—this way I have options!

Step 3:

After I make my 7-day list, I go through the recipes and determine what I need from the grocery store.

When I get home from the store, I post my meal list on the fridge so I can remember which meals I planned and any meals that don’t get made get pushed to the next week.

That’s it.  It’s so easy, it’s almost dumb!


You can check out my Pinterest Meal Planning Board for more inspiration—I’m always adding new recipes there.

One comment

  1. Michele says:

    I like it, mine is similar. “Hey hon what do you want to eat this week?”
    Write the days and meals in a notebook, compare pantry to recipes.
    Shop with a list.
    Save a bunch of money and headaches.

    Your right, it doesn’t have to be that complicated!

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