Vegan meal planning for the week doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Streamline dinner time with the super simple Home-Cooked Roots method. With just a few simple tasks and routines, you can enjoy a consistently clean kitchen and delicious vegan meals cooked from scratch.
Read on to learn just how easy dinner can be. Spoiler: You only have to cook 4 times a week!
In addition to sharing the method I use for my vegan meal planning for the week, I’m also sharing with you my daily tasks and weekly tasks I strive to achieve every day to make the week run as smoothly as possible.
When I’m on top of these things, we save a lot of money on takeout, are more productive, and have more time to dedicate to things that really matter!
Shop my favorite kitchen essentials to make sure you have what you need for freezing and cooking efficiently AND make sure you are signed up for the cash-back app Ibotta.
This app helps me earn TONS of money back on regular grocery shopping and I cash out for gift cards to the same places I shop every week.
The Weekly Meal Plan Method
The best thing about the Home-Cooked Roots Method is you have structure to help you do your vegan meal planning for the week, but lots of room to customize and make it work for you.
If you’d rather do your “Make Two” day on Sundays, go for it. Plug and play in your own schedule to suit your week and lifestyle. Just make sure the leftover days are scheduled later in the week so you actually have, well…leftovers!
Slow Cook Sunday
I love the convenience of the slow cooker so much, I recommend using it twice a week. Or if you have a busy Sunday morning, make something quick in the pressure cooker in the evening! Instant Pot Ramen is one of my favorites to make last minute.
Make Two Monday
Tonight’s the night to make a freezer friendly recipe! And instead of making 1, make 2 (at least!). You’ll eat one for dinner that night and stick the extra one(s) in the freezer for later. Overtime you’ll build up a stash of premade freezer meals you can easily defrost when you’re sick, don’t have time to cook, or simply need a night off from doing all the things. Trust me, you’ll appreciate it!
20 Minute Prep
Keep it simple on Tuesday and make super simple recipes that take 20 minutes (or less!) of hands-on prep. My Vegan Tofu Bolognese Sauce is a go-to recipe for us on Tuesdays.
Start dinner in the morning and let it cook for you hands free. One of my favorite ways to make weeknights easier. Try these Vegan Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos if you haven’t already.
Don’t ignore your leftovers! Letting good food go to waste is a super common way people waste HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of dollars every year. Plan on eating leftovers and random odds and ends at least once a week for dinner. As my Papa called it growing up, “If it’s in the fridge it’s for dinner!”
TIP!: If there are any leftovers you know you won’t get to, freeze the excess in individual portion sizes.
Freezer Friday! (or Eat Out)
Remember those meals you doubled and froze on Mondays? Yep. This is the time to use them up! Treat yourself to a night off cooking with what we like to call Freezer Friday! Or, treat yourself for staying on budget this week and go out to eat for the night. The freezer meals will still be good next week ;).
On Saturdays I typically recommend leftovers, a freezer meal, or takeout. Feel free to switch it up each week depending on your weekend plans. You can even cook a new recipe if you’d prefer. It’s your choice.
The Daily Tasks
- Dishes – go to bed with an empty kitchen sink so you can start fresh tomorrow.
- Load dishwasher – run the dishwasher every night, or as needed.
- Clear the clutter – keep as much off of the kitchen counters as possible.
- Unload the dishwasher – do this as early in your day as possible. This prevents dishes from piling up in the sink throughout the day.
- Defrost (as needed) – If you’re having a freezer meal or need to defrost beans for a recipe, plan to do so at least 24 hours in advance. Check your meal plan in the morning and see if there’s anything you need to defrost.
I know, I know. These tasks are not exciting, nor are they revolutionary. But cooking in a messy, cluttered kitchen is stressful and not enjoyable.
Getting in the habit of completing these tasks every day will make a huge difference and help you have the most success with vegan meal planning with the Home-Cooked Roots Method.
Once you’re in the swing of things, it should really only take you about 45 minutes to complete the daily tasks and maintain a clean and functional space.
The Weekly Tasks
In addition to keeping your kitchen tidy, there a couple of things to do each week to help your vegan meal planning for the week run smoothly.
You can choose which days you do these tasks to fit your schedule, but my recommendation is to do them in order, one each day for three consecutive days.
- Clean out the fridge – Quickly scan the fridge for anything that needs to get thrown out, used up, or frozen so it doesn’t spoil. This is a great time to write down what’s going bad so you can make sure to get those ingredients used up in next week’s meal plan. I do this on Thursdays!
- Meal plan – Make a plan and grocery list for next weeks dinners using the meal plan method (details below). I do this on Thursdays!
- Grocery Shop – Buy what you need. Use grocery pickup, delivery, or shop in stores. I typically do this on Fridays.