It’s dinner time, I’m getting hungry! I have another weekly meal plan to share with you along with some practical tips on basic meal planning. Look, I have 2 kiddos and a husband with a very unusual schedule so I really do have to meal plan or we would never eat! Whether you are single, married or have kids – meal planning is the way to go. You will save yourself so much time by doing the bulk of your grocery shopping in one visit, you will save money by not eating out as much, and you will have a more balanced diet just by taking a few minutes to plan your meals and see what you will be eating for a week. Writing down your menu is the very first and most important step. You have to see what you will be eating, otherwise it’s too easy to have burgers and pizza 4 nights a week and not even realize it. Pinterest and numerous blogs have a ton of free printable weekly meal planners if you like to have everything organized and pretty, but I keep it basic by writing my menu on scrap paper. I save from the thousands of notes that get sent home from school with the kiddos to use for my scrap paper. Most Saturday mornings you will find me on the couch with my iced tea and writing out the menu.
Here are some easy tips that don’t require anything other than a little bit of time to think about balanced and delicious meals for the week.
5 meals a week is realistic in my opinion. Life happens and that might mean meeting friends out for dinner and drinks, a date night, or working late. If you set yourself up with 5 solid meals, you are winning and you won’t beat yourself up for buying food for 7 meals that you might not have time to make during the week. The tips I provided are all ones I use and adjusted over the years. I like to have one “gourmet” or time-consuming meal planned for the week when I have plenty of time to cook. It gives me a chance to try new recipes or make something I am craving that I would normally order at a restaurant. Also, I believe in making one meal a week that can be doubled and saved in the freezer because it takes up very little time. I know a lot of people take an entire day and stock their freezer with meals for a month. Hold up – I do not have the patience for that, I don’t have the room in my freezer for that, and I don’t want to get crushed by the amount of groceries in my cart from one shopping trip. While that approach works for a lot of people (probably those really organized people), I like to break down my planning into smaller pieces. I can handle one day a week of making a little extra to save time down the road. Over the course of the month, you can have 4 meals cooked and ready to be thawed with very little effort. That I can do!
The power hour prep is awesome. Sometimes I don’t even need a full hour. I spend a little time to make some delicious side dishes for lunch or pack extra snacks for the kids. Again, I spend a little extra time to prep for the week, not an entire day! I hope these tips help you! Here is this the meal plan for this week:
Depending on how much pulled chicken we eat for dinner and lunch the next day, the chicken may be the meal I freeze for next month. If I don’t have enough then I will double up on the marina and meatballs later in the week. See? Flexible and easy!
As for the weekend…. Super D had her horseback riding lesson and she continues to amaze me! She truly is a natural.
Rooster and Super D practicing the jumping position. She can’t wait to jump! It was pretty cold this morning so she is wearing a ton of layers, plus toe warmers in her boots. She is pretty tough when it comes to riding horses!
Just because I thought this picture was awesome and I am a little horse crazy:
Enjoy the rest of the weekend!
Do you already meal plan? What’s your favorite tip?
Anything awesome happening over the weekend?