The Surprising Thing That Simplified My Meal Planning

Simplified Meal Planning

As you know, we’ve been sorting and going through items to make our living and spaces more intentional {If you don’t, see here}. Though this topic, meal planning, isn’t a typical space organization system you can create in your closet or basement at home, it does affect your space for the positive, as well as other components of your life.

The idea…

Here’s the scoop.  This idea will revolutionize how you think about meal planning.  How many times do you rummage for the items in your pantry or your groceries for inspiration of your next meal?  How many times do you have the discussion that begins with…So what do you want for dinner tonight…? Having to make this decision each night is an ominous raincloud over the day’s events. Solving this quandary isn’t as complicated as we want to make it. We can live simply by living with less. As home chefs, we often feel pressure to create an original feast every meal or like we must have every restaurant option on our home menu.  If you browse Pinterest for meal planning ideas you’ll see pin after pin sharing hoards of collected recipes in one place.  “52 Weeks of No-Repeat Meal Plans” “75 of the Best Healthy Recipes” “101 Cheap and Healthy Meals”  It’s no wonder people (myself included!) get overwhelmed.  Having a set number of recipes that are favorites, healthy, and budget friendly is the key.  That’s it, did you catch it?  Simply rotate your favorite recipes!

The perks…

I have around 10 recipes that I use frequently. Most of my meals are low-carb, budget friendly, can stretch for 2 meals, and take less than 30 minutes to make. You can see how this saves me a lot of time, effort, and space.

  • – I don’t have to figure out if a new recipe to try will fit into my family’s healthy eating style (& tastes). I know that these recipes work for us because I’ve done them before.
  • – I don’t have to calculate how much money this recipe will cost me before I go to the grocery store because I’ve done it before. In fact, I can double, triple this recipe to fit the number of guests I’m cooking for and know immediately how much a dinner party will cost me.
  • – I don’t have to cook as often. Since I’m planning ahead, I have the meal ingredients on hand, can double the recipe, and save myself hot cooking time (and extra dishes) in the kitchen.
  • – I don’t have to cook as long. I know the recipe. I simply don’t have to follow a recipe because I can remember it in my noggin. However, if you are one of those people who has to follow recipes, you can tape, attach, magnetize, the recipes to your most convenient surface, like the inside of your pantry door.
  • – I don’t have a chaotic pantry and fridge. Because I don’t need all the ingredients in the world, I know where the ingredients go that I most frequently use. This has a domino effect on the space-time continuum, not really but it sounds cool for saying it saves space and time. I can find things quickly; I can create a shopping list faster; I can clean out my fridge easier because I use most of the stuff in there completely and don’t have to keep checking dates of expiration.

The boredom…

I know you are thinking, don’t you get bored with only 10 recipes? To be honest, yes and no. If we solely depended on cooking those 10ish recipes, yes. If I factor all the church events, friend’s homes, and work luncheons, we don’t get bored at all. Oh, and you can go to a restaurant too. One beautiful thing to realize is our 10 recipes is the norm, which there are always exceptions to. My favorite exception is cooking for a date night. I’ll break out a new recipe and spoil us. Don’t forget you are in control, and you can always change your recipes out. If you find that you just don’t want to make it anymore, don’t. You aren’t married to your recipes, you can sub one out for a fresh recipe off the bench. Just like mixing metaphors, mixing your recipes up is your choice.

Meal Planning Made Easy

About Ashley

Ashley is very happily married and the mother to a beautiful little girl and handsome little boy. She is the main voice behind Embracing Homemaking.


  1. Eileen Yder says

    Hi Ashley, I just discovered your website today and think it’s terrific! I’ve been trying to declutter and organize my home so now I can follow your system and get more done. Thanks a lot.

  2. Portia wright says

    This looks like it could work

  3. What 10 or so recipes does your family regularly rotate through?

  4. I also try to have easily modifiable meals, such as baked chicken with different spices or marinades and then an easy starch and frozen veggie.

Speak Your Mind