With the end of summer and the start of the school year, so many of us feel Fall bringing a fresh start to our routines and schedules. One way our family simplifies our daily and weekly routine is by following a weekly meal plan. Some of you may like to keep things a little more fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, but this is what works for us! 

At the start of each month, I’ll write out 3 or 4 weeks of dinners options. I usually have a rough idea of what our month looks like so I can plan accordingly. And this is often written in pencil so you can change it up as needed!

For example, Monday nights we have bible study, so I try to do something simple or a crock pot meal that night since we have to eat a little earlier and get out the door. Same for Saturday’s- we go to church at 5pm Saturday evenings, so we do crock pot meals or carry out after church since everyone is starving by the time we get home.

Generally, I grocery shop on Friday. So on Thursdays I pull out my meal plan and make my grocery list based on those meals. Since it’s just my husband and me + a toddler, we keep breakfasts super basic – scrambled eggs and fruit most of the time – and usually leftovers for lunch. So I don’t map this out. If you have school age kids or teens involved in activities, you might list out your breakfast and lunch options along with after school snacks.

For me this approach makes grocery shopping a breeze! I also think a weekly plan helps me waste less, shop more strategically and it eliminates the 5 o’clock rush: “Oh wow, everyone is hangry and I have no clue what to make for supper!” We all love pizza delivery in a pinch, but that’s not budget friendly 3 nights a week 😉

How do you simplify your routines this time of year?

~  Jillian Combs

P.S. To download your own free copy of my weekly calendar above, visit the Emily Ley shop here:


And if you ever use Walmart’s grocery pick up, I’ll link to a $10 coupon in the comments.