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 to us!
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.
I purposefully set my meal plans up this way because I know that I typically have the most energy at the start of my week and very little energy left by Thursday and Friday.
If you don’t work a traditional work week or would rather do your “Make Two” day on Sundays, go for it. Plug and play in your own schedule to suit your week and lifestyle. I’ve moved things around plenty of times to adjust to the week, but I always meal plan with this method to know I have enough food to eat for a week.
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. I do this using my souper cubes.
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 I 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 because I like to use my weekends to rest and recharge as much as possible. 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
- Make your bed
- Start a load of laundry
- Unload the dishwasher
- Prep dinner
- Stay of screens until the above tasks are complete
- Start dishwasher
- Wipe down kitchen counters
- Fold laundry from AM
- Pack breakfast/lunch
- No screens 1 hour before bed
I know, I know. These tasks are not exciting, nor are they revolutionary. But getting in the habit of completing these tasks every day will make a huge difference in your self confidence, productivity, and reduce the overwhelm of daily life. This will help you have the most success with weekly meal planning and getting dinner on the table every night.
Once you’re in the swing of things, it should really only take you about 45 minutes to complete each set of tasks and maintain a clean and calm home.
The Weekly Tasks
In addition to the daily tasks, there a couple of things to do each week to help your 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 Wednesdays (conveniently lines up with garbage night, too.)!
- 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.