I Stopped Cooking Dinner on Sundays + Free Menu Planner Printable

I stopped cooking on Sundays

A couple of weeks ago I read an article in The Week about how much mental work it is to cook dinner. As the person who cooks most of the meals for our family, the article resonated with me. It’s more than actually cooking the food.

I keep a mental list of grocery that needs to be cooked before they spoil (like greens). I need to either prep or cook ahead dinners on the days kids have afterschool activities. It goes on. I highly recommend you read the article.

All that work wears me down. I didn’t realize how much decision fatigue I had until I read the article.

Several months ago, I instituted a new rule: Mom doesn’t cook dinner on Sundays.

It was only fair. I cook 5-6 days a week. I could take a break from Sunday dinner. At first my family dove into it. Each person took a turn, alternating Sundays. Eventually we went back to our old habits because it was became too much work. For them. For me.

Why we make a weekly menu plan

The idea was sound, but execution failed because I didn’t talk to them about menu planning and grocery shopping for it. This time around, I tried something different. We menu planned together as a family.

Sample weekly menu

Above is a sample weekly menu for our family.  I always joke that I don’t cook on Sundays. My son wrote it down and it’s stuck ever since.

On Saturday or Sunday, we put together  our weekly menu. We go over dinner options out loud and my son writes them down. He feels more empowered because he’s part of the decision making process.

Like most families, we have our go-to meals. They’re easy to cook and everyone enjoys them. Almost every week we have tacos (or some form of it like nachos) and roasted chicken. I let the kids decide which days to slot them in. 

My kids have after school activities on Mondays and Tuesdays so I don’t have as much time to cook dinner. We choose meals that can be easily prepped ahead of time or cooked very quickly, like spaghetti and meatballs. Yes, I use jarred sauce. Fridays is usually leftovers.

Free weekly menu planner printable

Since it lives on our fridge for seven days, I decided to make a weekly menu planner printable. While we don’t plan out all our meals, but I know lots of you do.  The free printable includes columns for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There’s even a spot to add grocery items and a notes section.

Menu Planner WinterTheme

Since it finally feels like fall in DC, I made a fall themed weekly menu planner printable. There’s even a winter themed one. Also because I have the cutest winter graphics and wanted to use them. I’ll probably make a spring and summer one later.

October Bundle Hungry Jpeg

If you like making your own printables or stickers, I highly recommend The Hungry Jpeg (affiliate link) for graphics. The winter themed images above are from their Oughta Be Cold October bundle (affiliate link). I like that all graphics have a commercial license in case you ever want to sell your printables.

Download your free menu planner printable

This menu planner is US letter sized (11 x 8.5 inches). I recommend printing as “Fit to Page.” If you want to print actual size, make sure to choose the borderless option for your printer.

If you want to print as a half-letter (junior sized) for your planner, change the setting in Adobe Acrobat to print “multiple pages 2 by 2.”

Our weekly menu planner lives on our fridge, but you can easily punch the printable and stick it in your disc or ring planner.

This printable is for personal use only. Please do not sell. If you want to share, send your friends to this page!

Download your fall themed free menu planner printable here.

Download your winter themed free menu planner printable here.

Don’t forget to pin this post! 

Free Weekly Menu Planner Printable