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Like to Cook?

I’m not a very good cook. Actually, that’s not necessarily true. I don’t like to cook. I have a hard time with making a mess in the kitchen while I cook. And when you cook, who doesn’t make a mess?!? I spend the whole time cleaning while I’m cooking so it takes me twice as long to make something. And when I’m done, there’s still a mess to clean up!


No Plan for Meals

Kyle & I both worked full-time at amazing, but stressful jobs! I always had a hard time stopping at the end of the day – just 1 more thing to do … and all the sudden, it’s ~ 6 / 6:30 pm and I still haven’t left the office! Then you can imagine what happens next. I’m tired, hungry and don’t have a plan for dinner, so let’s just go out. We were fortunate that we lived very close to several fast-food restaurants like Qdoba, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Blaze Pizza, Subway, and Noodles & Company. It was good, but not for our budget – or our waistline.

House Rules

For Christmas one year, Kyle’s parents bought us a subscription to Blue Apron, and it was the best gift!  Kyle really embraced the role of cooking for our family.  So we made a rule: the cook doesn’t have to clean up!  This worked out nicely since I loved to clean and Kyle doesn’t enjoy it.  It does mean that he will use just about every dish and/or utensil to make our dinners … buuuut I didn’t have to so I’ll take it!


Let’s talk about food, baby!

When we quit our corporate jobs, we had to establish a new schedule, and how we worked together as well as separately. I felt like we were always talking about food. We just finished eating breakfast, and Kyle was asking what we should have for lunch, and then dinner. I guess we didn’t have anything else to talk about … anyway, it was driving me crazy. We needed a #simplesolution pronto!

iphone with google sheet

Meal Planning Made Simple

I created a weekly meal planning and grocery shopping list Google Sheet called ‘Zeke Life: On the Menu Planner’. It’s available in our shared family folder on Google Drive so we can both pull it up on our phones or wherever we are when Kyle asks, What’s for dinner?

What’s the plan, Phil?

One of our favorite shows and lines from the show. We say this one quite a lot!

Kyle & I spend time on Sundays reviewing what food we already have and decide what meals we will make that week. We try to plan for leftovers or events that have been scheduled for the week but things come up and may change. It’s super easy to pull up the sheet and make changes as the week progresses.

What do we need to buy?

It’s also a great place to add to the list of ingredients that we need to make the meals for the week or jot down items that we need to buy grocery shopping. This way we can go shopping together or one of us can go alone, but still get all the items needed for the week.


While I’m shopping, I like to cross off things on a list.  Since the ‘strikethrough’ text setting is a bit hidden – at least on my phone, I can still ‘check things off’ the list by highlighting the boxes a different color.  This way I know what’s in the cart and what I still need to find.

highlighting cells
highlighting cells

NOTE:  I’m sharing a read-only document, so you’ll want to make a copy, rename it and save it to your own Google drive to share and edit as needed for your family.

Are you a monthly meal planner?

We do not do this, but if you are a super-planner and you plan or grocery shop for more than 1 week, you could copy the individual sheet called “Week1” and create multiple sheets for each week you want to plan.  I find that there are so many changes throughout the week that it’s pointless for us to plan more than 1 week at a time.

Tell Us what you think

As your schedule may pick up or change in this back-to-school season, I hope you find our ‘Zeke Life: On the Menu Planner’ helpful. If you tried this solution, please share your feedback in the comments. Or let us know what you do to feed your family in the comments below. How do you plan meals? We’d love to hear from you!

– Kara from Zeke Life

Live like Zeke
You’re such a good boy!

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