Simplified Menu Planning: Day 10 – Choose 1-3 Quick & Easy “Plan B” Meals

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31 Days to Simplify Your Menu Planning

31 Days to Less Stress in the Kitchen

Reduce the mental effort and time you invest in your pantry, grocery list, menu plan, and dinner recipes process. This 31 Days to Simplified Menu Planning series will break down the simplification into baby steps and show you how to develop a simple, easy, and effective strategy for feeding your family every day: without an overflowing pantry or extra trips to the grocery store.

Step 10: Plan for Emergencies and Failures

Even with a list of simple meals, some nights just don’t go as planned and a plan B becomes a necessity. Rather than having pizza or take-out be your plan B, have a planned back-up plan B like a carton of soup, jarred spaghetti sauce & pasta or even a pizza in the freezer. Find something that you like and that can come together within 15 minutes.

It might cost more than a from-scratch meal and it might have less desirable ingredients, but emergency dinner situations do crop up, and it will still be less than delivery and fewer undesirable ingredients (and calories) than burgers. Knowing you have options should dinner fail or the hour surprise you or some other emergency befall goes a long way toward reducing stress.

So pick an emergency meal or two and add those elements to your master pantry list, which we will finish up tomorrow!


Mystie Winckler began menu planning at 11 years old when her mom delegated one dinner a week to her. Marrying at 19, she’s had a lot of practice over the years. But between growing and homeschooling her family, meal planning often requires brain power that just isn’t there any more. Simplified Dinners is her solution to take the effort and thought out of healthy, frugal cooking. And now it is available for you, too!

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