Meal Planning

Meal planning seems like such a simple task. You come up with a simple plan to follow and then follow it. For the past 2 years or so, I’ve really struggled in the area of meal planning. Each week I dreaded coming up with a meal plan and some weeks I simply avoided the task which always results in the ‘what’s for dinner’ question being asked and meal time stress!

A few months ago, I realized that we tend to eat the same foods fairly regularly. Most of the things I prepare are super simple and we enjoy eating the foods. It finally dawned on me that it would make sense to come up with 2 weeks worth of meals and simply repeat the same meal plan over and over. Yes, it seems boring but the reality is I can’t remember what I wore yesterday much less what I ate 2 weeks ago!

Last week, I came up with a 2 week meal plan and this week was the first week following it.

One week in and I’m sold! We’ve simply been following the plan. And, I’ve been happy to have the detailed meal plan this week since we all had colds at the beginning of the week with John David and I ending up quite sick (he had a sinus infection and I had a double ear infection plus sinus infection.) Even with those challenges, we followed the plan. John David simply looked at the posted meal plan and knew exactly what to lay out, what to prepare and knew that we had the ingredients for the meals!

Here’s one week of our meal plan:

Breakfast- Omelets
Lunch – Leftovers/Quesadillas
Dinner – Chicken Tacos with Refried Beans
Breakfast – Yogurt and Granola
Lunch – Leftover Tacos
Dinner – Chicken and Veggie Soup
Breakfast – Chicken Biscuits
Lunch – Leftover Soup
Dinner – Roast with Carrots, Potatoes and Onions
Breakfast – Bacon, Eggs, Yogurt & Granola
Lunch – Leftover Roast
Dinner – Bean and Cheese Quesadillas {a light dinner since John David works late on Thursdays}
Breakfast – Pork Chops with Hashbrown Casserole
Lunch – Clean out the fridge/ Snack Lunch
Dinner – Buffalo Chicken Dip
Breakfast – Pork Chops with Hashbrown Casserole
Lunch – Leftovers
Dinner – Hamburgers and Chips
Breakfast – Omelets
Lunch – Leftovers
Dinner – Pizza

And of course we have lots of snack options like fresh fruits and veggies, nuts and dried fruits!

If you’re struggling with meal planning, I suggest writing out a list of your family’s favorite meals as well as some super simple meals to prepare and come up with a week or two worth of meal plans!

Week 9 Project: Streamlining Breakfast and Lunch

Getting a decent breakfast on the table each morning has been a struggle of mine. As you can tell by looking at my meal plan, I’m actually beginning to plan what we’re eating for breakfast! I’ll be sharing how I’m streamlining that as well as sharing my tips to make lunch easier.

Visit Mary Jo at Covenant Homemaking to read about simplifying her meal planning! She has a list of 23 main dishes she loves to prepare for her family and links to many recipes!

responses to “Meal Planning” 5

  1. I just finished doing something similar for our family! I made four weeks worth of plans, since my husband likes a bit of variety. I put the meals in a spreadsheet with a section for what each of us are eating for lunch (we have not been blessed with children yet, and so we are both working), and what prep needs to be done each evening to be prepared for the next day.

    Less than a year ago we found out that I have celiac disease as well as some other dietary restrictions – so this plan should be VERY helpful in making sure that there is food for BOTH of us to eat at each meal. We've done the four week cycle once so far and it's amazing how much more relaxed and less stressful meal times were!

    Best of luck with your new rotating menu plans!

  2. I love the idea of a week or two of meals to repeat! Like you, we tend to eat a lot of the same things week after week! I never even thought of doing something like this. It makes meal planning seem like it might work for our family that rarely eats together!

  3. I love the idea of meal planning, but I just don't think that far out. I would argue that it's not necessarily a bad thing to not meal plan, though, because we almost always go through all our leftovers. I feel like it helps me be more creative with what we have in the house. I usually plan three "meals" a week. For the other two nights, we either have leftovers or I recreate something new with a piece of the leftovers. Or we have eggs. We eat a lot of eggs. Tonight's dinner? Beans on toast, the English classic poor-meal. I had slow-simmered some pintos yesterday and was excited to try them out. After a full day at the zoo, I couldn't be bothered to cook more than two pieces of toast. I cut up some cantaloupe, and wha-la– a protein rich, balanced, off-the-cuff delicious meal. I guess I'm saying that I would love to be that organized, but I don't feel like my family is missing out on healthy, fresh food due to lack of planning.

    1. I agree with your points! For me, having the meal plan in place is helping me stay organized (and saving money versus picking something up!) Of course we don't follow it to a tee, we had a lot of leftovers from our dinner Tuesday night so they were Thursday's dinner and so on. Preventing food waste is a huge priority here!

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