How to Meal Plan in 20 Minutes a Week so it Doesn’t Feel Like a Second Job

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I’m guessing that you have goals of being more organized, getting healthy meals on the table more consistently, and basically just being healthier, right?

There are programs all over that are helping you do all of those things. There’s the Kon-mari thing and the Home Edit that helps you organize your home. There are a billion meal-planning and weight loss programs. There are programs that claim to make you rich.

But you know what none of them take into consideration? The fact that you literally have zero time to actually implement any of them. Sure, they may have some amazing ideas that you have every intention of doing. But then a couple weeks in, you’ll probably realize that you just don’t have time to spend making them happen.

I mean, really, who wants to spend half of their Sunday in the kitchen prepping for the week ahead? I absolutely refuse to spend my precious family time stuck in the kitchen chopping veggies and cooking batches of rice and veggies for the week ahead. #nope

But I know how important it is to do some planning if I want to get healthy meals on the table for my family every night, especially on the busiest of days.

That is why I’ve figured out how to get all my meal-planning done in 20 minutes. Just 20 minutes every week then I’m done and can move on.

On to what matters. On to the tickle fights with my kiddo. On to movie night with my favies. On to never-ending monopoly games. On to date night with my honey.

So how do I do it? How do I get the daunting task of “what’s for dinner?” done in only 20 minutes every week without drawing a blank as soon as I sit down to make a list?

That’s what I’m here to tell you.

How to Meal Plan in 20 Minutes a Week

Store all Your Recipes on Pinterest.

Maybe you hate Pinterest. That’s ok. You don’t have to use it for all the crafty stuff.

Recipe boxes full of index cards are outdated and take up space. Cookbooks require hours and hours of sifting through them to find exactly what you want to make. Plus it’s just overwhelming to have recipes all over the place. Saved on Facebook, stuffed in binders, in a recipe box, and some on Pinterest.

Have all your recipes organized on Pinterest to make life a billion times easier.

Have a List of Tried and True Recipes

Do you feel like every time you go to make up a menu of the week ahead, you’re just pulling from the entire universe of recipes? While it’s totally fun and acceptable to try out new recipes on your family, it’s important to stick to the ones you know they’ll love.

You’ve cooked them before so they don’t take as long. Plus, there won’t be much of a fight at dinner time when it comes to actually eating it. Have a list of tried and true recipes, or better yet, how about a whole board on Pinterest dedicated to recipes your family loves?

Always Include a Back-Up Meal

You know what always seems to get in the way of getting dinner on the table?


Life is unpredictable. Life is messy. Life is full of late nights at work. Life is full of headaches. Life is unplanned trips to the Urgent Care for sore throats and broken bones. Life is full of traffic jams on the way home.

Things you cannot control.

This is why it is so important to always have the ingredients in your pantry for a back-up meal. Something you can throw together in seconds, or better yet, something your husband or teenage son can make. I’m thinking black bean burritos. Vegan Grilled cheese sandwiches. Veggie Quesadillas. EASY!

Because you never know when something will come up and the dinner you planned just isn’t going to happen. These back-up meals may seem unhealthy, but I promise you that they’re better than anything you’d pick up at the drive-thru!

Always have ingredients to make a couple of these back-up meals on hand. You’ll thank me later.

BONUS TIP because I care about you so much!

Order Your Groceries Online.

Seriously. If you want to save even MORE time, find out if your local grocery store offers online ordering. I know since 2020, most, if not all, stores have offered grocery pickup and even delivery. 


I promise you, that extra $10 fee is worth it every single time. Plus, you won’t end up with tons of impulse items in your cart like you would if you were shopping in the store.


Get on Pinterest right now and create a “Tried and True Dinner” board and a “Dinners to Try” board. If you’ve ever pinned something that you’ve made and would make again, add it to the Tried and True Board. Then do a quick search for “Quick Vegan Dinners” and pin a handful into your “dinners to try” board. 

Next time you go to figure out what’s for dinner, you’ll start at the tried and true board to make sure you get something everyone loves.

Then move onto the dinners to try board and build your meal plan and grocery list off of that.

LASTLY – I like to add this week’s meals into a “Dinners this Week” board so I don’t have to hunt it down among ALL my other pins.



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