Simplify Your Dinner Routine with a Minimalist Meal Planner

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It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed with meal planning. There are stacks of recipes, calendars of meals, grocery lists, and more. In the attempt to solve one problem (getting food on the table), you end up causing another one! Simplify your meal planning routine by using a minimalist meal planner! Here’s everything you need to know about making a minimalist meal plan & the tools you need to do so.

weekly menu printable

What is a minimalist meal plan?

Just like any other meal planning template, a minimalist meal plan is a template used to organize your meals. You can organize your meals by the week or by the month!

Typically, it will include one sheet of paper to track all of the meals for the week, often including snacks.

You can also call this a weekly menu and some folks just track their dinners as that’s the trickiest part of meal planning!

Set up a simple minimalist meal planning routine!

This customizable bundle helps you:

  • Minimize food waste
  • Turn meal planning into a plug-and-play experience
  • Keep your pantry stocked with ease
  • Make sure you’re getting the best prices

Why would you want to use a minimalist meal planner?

By taking some time to outline your meals for the week, you’re committing to your health goals and budget. You’re saying that you want to prioritize your values and don’t mind spending a litte time getting organized.

What makes this meal planner minimalist?

Well, there are several reasons why this is a minimalist meal planner:

Neutral modern design

Clean aesthetic, modern typography, and simple lines

thoughtful design

One-page design allows you to minimize food waste, plan your meals, and track your grocery list in one spot

one page weekly meal planning template

How do you use this one-page weekly meal plan?

I use this minimalist meal planner to meal plan for the week in about 5-10 minutes. There are several reasons why I can do it this fast. Learn how to simplify meal planning here.

  • Step 1: Quickly scan your fridge for aging produce, sauces, and stocks. Track those under the “Use It Up” box.
  • Step 2: Brainstorm simple recipes to use up the leftovers. Try to use them up in a soup or a casserole on Sunday that you can eat for leftovers on Monday night!
  • Step 3: Plan out the rest of your meals. Keep it simple! Aim to repeat meals whenever possible.
  • Step 4: Record any groceries you will need for your meals in the grocery list.

Pro Tip: Create a master list of recipes

If you’re newer to meal planning, the steps above may still feel confusing, especially tackling food waste!

If that’s the case, ignore that step for now. The very first thing to do is build your repertoire of easy meals. (And I mean easy).

To help jumpstart your meal planning routine, this bundle also includes:

  1. Favorite Meals List
  2. Pantry Staples Checklist (my version & a blank copy)
  3. Grocery Price Tracker

How to Use the Favorite Meals Tool

If you’re just starting your routine, start with the Favorite Meals List. This doesn’t mean you need to pour through cookbooks or spend hours researching & printing recipes (been there, done that).

Instead, focus on the recipes you know by heart. Is there one recipe you can make without any instructions?

Under each meal, add a handful of simple recipes that you can prepare quickly and that your family loves.

Tip: Stop holding all of your favorite recipes in your mind! Keep them on this list so you can stop wondering, “What should I make?”

Minimalist meal plan ideas

Breakfast

  • Baked oatmeal
  • Egg casserole
  • Overnight oats
  • Chia seed pudding

Lunch

  • Burrito bowls (brown rice, ground beef with taco seasoning, roasted zucchini, shredded cheese)
  • Greek Chicken Bowls (brown rice, roasted chicken, lemony herb sauce, roasted broccoli, feta and olives)
  • Pot roast (beef roast in a sauce with potatoes, carrots, and onions)

Dinner

  • Veggie-Packed Marinara Bowls
  • Tacos
  • Korean Beef Bowls
  • Quesadillas
  • One-pot pasta dishes
  • Air fryer chicken wings
  • Enchilada bowls

See my top 5 last minute dinners we make on those nights we’re so close to ordering pizza!

digital meal planner

Can you use this as a zero waste meal planner?

Absolutely! I’m passionate about minimizing my food waste and setting up a zero waste kitchen. Food waste is a huge environmental problem and the average American household throws about $1,500 worth of food each year.

I wanted to be intentional about using up my leftover food before planning the rest of my meals. If I don’t, they’ll wither and decay for another week and will surely go bad!

Everyone would benefit from reducing their food waste! By building in this simple routine, it becomes second nature.

Learn more about setting up a zero waste pantry here.

How to Set Up a Minimalist Pantry

As an avid home cook who teaches others how to starting cooking from scratch, it is so important to keep a well-stocked pantry! This allows you to have the basic ingredients you need to cook or bake almost anything.

Over the past few years, I’ve refined my pantry staples list to help make it as streamlined and universal as possible.

Now, I’ve updated it so it matches the minimalist meal planner completely! In this one set of minimalist printables you get:

  • One-page meal planner
  • Favorite meals list
  • Pantry staples list
  • Grocery Price Tracker
  • Access to the Canva template to customize your downloads
How to use the minimalist meal plan

Use the minimalist meal plan as your weekly touchstone. You’ll come back to this page again and again throughout the week. Stick it on the fridge or on a clipboard.

How to use the favorite meals list

Fill this out once and come back to it again and again. Store it close to your weekly meal planner for easy reference, perhaps behind it on a clipboard or stuck to a fridge.

printable meal planner
How to use the pantry staples list

There are several ways to incorporate this list into your life:

  1. Weekly grocery list: Check off the items you use up during the week to add to your grocery list.
  2. Initial pantry set-up: Tour your pantry. Check any items you do not own. Purchase them to set up your pantry for the first time.
  3. Monthly or seasonal maintenance: Double check your pantry stores as needed. Great to do as the seasons change!
How to use the grocery price trackeR

List out your most commonly used ingredients. Then, visit 1-3 local stores and write down the prices.

At the end, compare the stores to see which one typically has the best prices for the products you use. Make that your go-to shop!

Set up a simple minimalist meal planning routine!

This customizable bundle helps you:

  • Minimize food waste
  • Turn meal planning into a plug-and-play experience
  • Keep your pantry stocked with ease
  • Make sure you’re getting the best prices
minimalist meal plan ideas
minimalist meal planner
Is this minimalist meal planning routine helpful?

Which part of this still feels confusing? Leave a comment so I can help!

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