I know it seems overwhelming.
I know even just planning dinner sometimes seems overwhelming.
But, seriously, who wants to wake up and decide in the pre-coffee fog what to feed the troops for breakfast?
It has to be decided ahead of time.
Everyone talks about how much planning out dinners saves you from mental effort and decision fatigue, but that’s only 1/3 of the meals you feed people! Imagine if all the meals were planned – how much mental effort and decision fatigue would that reduce?
Personally, I think the reason we balk at planning all the meals is that we build dinner menu planning into this herculean effort. Do we want to do that 2 more times over? No way! But if we simplify not only the two lighter meals, but also the dinner effort, we can have our plan and our peace of mind as well.
Make an Easier Dinner Plan
You don’t need to have elaborate dinners every night to have a complete, healthy meal. Try thinking in threes and keeping easy to prepare vegetables always on hand. Rather than browse Pinterest or magazines to come up with dinner ideas, keep a list of your family’s go-to meals. Or, use Simplified Dinners, which is your list and guideline already put together.
Make an Easier Lunch Plan
Lunch, whether you have to pack it or pause the other business of the day to prepare it, it always seems to get in the way. While taking a lunch break is refreshing, taking the time to prepare it is not.
Make an Easier Breakfast Plan
Breakfast hits us out of the blue, first thing in the morning. Rather than rolling out of bed without a clue about what to feed the troops, you need a plan in order to get things moving without feeling out of control.
A solid breakfast starts the day off on the right foot, so planning it is essential.
Planning All the Meals
Try this menu plan option to plan ALL. THE. MEALS. for your household. You’ll be amazed at how much it simplifies your life and reduces the brain power required to maneuver through your day.
With this format, you can plan all three meals on one sheet, including the reminder right there on the sheet to plan a complete dinner: main, side, and veggie/salad. There’s also a spot to name your days: Remind yourself that Monday is Mexican or Friday is pizza or Wednesday is crockpot.
One word of caution, if you have certain meals planned that take a bit more prep, make sure to not save all of them for last- you may end up with three or four days of hard work meals. Instead, decide each day what you are up for, what your schedule will allow for, and you will be just fine.
Download the menu plan below! It is totally free and flexible to use with any meal method or type.
You can do it! You can plan all the meals!
I promise it will relieve more mental strain than it causes.
This menu plan template will help streamline your process.