That Mom Life

Meal Planning Made Easy

It’s that time a day where you ask the dreaded question, “What’s for dinner?”

The back-n-forth dialogue between you and your person goes something like this..

“I don’t know what do you want?”

“Maybe chicken tacos?”

“No, I don’t really feel like that”

“How about a salad?”


“Stir fry?”


“Do you have any suggestions then?”

“Buddha bowl?”

(insert eye roll here)

When you finally figure it out, a tiny voice in the background says; “I don’t want that, I only want mac and cheese!”

Now at this point dinner feels hopeless, someone is definitely getting hangry (hungry & angry) and you realize you do this sort of exchange almost daily.

Our family would almost rather eat out because one, it’s convenient and two, by the time you get all the ingredients for a recipe, the cost can be a challenge for a family of 4.

Admittedly, I am not the best at coupons or meal planning recipes that can stretch the whole week.

But what does work for us is our family menu. Meal Planning Perfected.

Sunday’s I typically meal plan, taking an hour or two out of the day to shop and organize meals based on what might be on in the schedule.

Most days I rarely have it in me after a long week to think of what I even like to eat let alone plan a weeks worth of meals.

Add in trying adopt any kind of “diet” and you’re over it before you even start.

Please tell me I’m not the only one.

I began making a list each week in my phone using the notes app. I did this whenever I could double up my time.

Ie. Sitting in the car while my husband was driving, while watching my boys soccer games or even referring back to recipes I pinned or saved on Instagram.

It took me no extra time out of my day because I was already doing something else.

Not only did it help me outline each day of the week, but it became a point of reference that I could always refer back to in the weeks to come.

This is a huge help if you struggle with digestion or have a sensitivity to random things.

Making a list each week helped me to identify patterns as to what I was eating and whether that could be the source of some of the digestion troubles.

But then one day… I got an idea.

When you go out to eat, you order off a menu… it’s so easy right?

A full page or two of options, right there waiting for you to just pick one.

So I thought, why don’t I create a menu for our family that would make meal planning and prep super easy.

Once I did this, heading to the store each week became way easier and I was able to be better organized while mindful of cost.

The best part about this is that you can arrange your menu any way you want.

For example:


  • Appetizers
  • Lunches
  • Dinners
  • Desserts
  • Snacks
  • Quick n Easy
  • School lunches


  • Vegetables
  • Protein
  • Grains


  • Meatless Monday
  • Taco Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Foods that begin with “T” Thursday
  • Fast food Friday
  • Sandwich Saturday
  • Sunday Supper


  • Mexican Monday
  • Thai Tuesday
  • Foods that begin with “W”
  • Throwback Thursday
  • French Friday
  • Sushi Saturday
  • Southern Sunday

As you list out each column, you would pick one item from each column to create your meal.

You get the idea..

Once you have a master menu, you then list out your weeks worth of meals and begin writing your list.

You’ll want to be sure to include breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks or whatever cadence of meals you generally eat.

Be sure to edit your master menu every so often adding new recipes or even starring family favorites.

PC Tip:

Consider having your local supermarket deliver.

There is generally a small fee associated but it’s a huge time saver and you avoid throwing all the extras into the cart which often leaving you say, “I don’t understand why it was so expensive, I barely bought anything.”

This is also super helpful if you don’t want have to worry about children tagging a long which can result in the case of the gimmies or cart add ons.

But… if you’re the type of mama who uses the grocery store as some coveted me time, well I get it.

I do the same. I sometimes treat myself to a coffee, throw on a podcast or audio book and hit the store with my list in hand.

If I have to do a chore, I might as well make it more enjoyable.

If the thought of paying a large supermarket your hard earned dollar to shop and maybe deliver, consider ordering it online and picking it up at the store which typically has no associated cost.

Curious what’s on my menu? Click the button below!

Hopefully you get some ideas and save time while doing it.

After all, time is the most valuable currency.

If you find yourself writing your list down on the back of any available paper, you can also find the instant download of my quick and easy weekly shopping list here:

PS. Print 4 copies of pages 4 & 5 and you’ll be all set for the month.

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Multi-passionate creative, creator of 2, cocktails-well any time and fashion I cant afford. 

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