As a working mom, I always enjoy seeing “how other moms do it” and seem to have it all together. Especially when it comes to having it all together in the kitchen. I rarely, if ever feel like I have anything together in the kitchen so now that we’re starting to get back on the meal planning train it feels like a huge win. Most nights are pretty chaotic around here, especially after a long day of school and work, we’re all pretty exhausted come 5 or 6 pm when we’re trying to figure out something for dinner. But, I made a splurge purchase at World Market last weekend and it might have been my best purchase for the kitchen yet! I think it’s going to help us regain control of our weekly eats, and help us reign in the budget a bit too. (And fast food cravings, let’s be real!)
So that magical purchase? A simple chalkboard easel for the counter! We’re going on week two of using it, and so far so good! We’ve also decided it’s much easier to stick to a “theme” for each day on the menu, then all go grocery shopping together as a family. The “themes” we’ve picked out are 1) Sarah/Adam pick, 2) Healthy, 3) Fast/Budget Friendly 4) Easy/Adeline, 5) Pizza night. When you section it out like that it makes it easy to come up with ideas and then actually stick to them.
Here’s our thinking. Mondays are hard enough, so we decided we wanted Monday’s dinner to be something we could look forward to and really enjoy. It’s the night where one of us picks out a favorite meal. Tuesdays we’ve deemed as our healthy nights. Wednesdays are our fast/budget friendly nights, i.e. something super cheap. We have small group Wednesday nights so we like to eat something that will be fast and cheap. This often means leftovers. Thursdays are Adam’s long days, so I’m usually in charge of me and Adeline’s dinner which therefore means Thursdays are our easy/Adeline’s-favorite-meal nights. And Friday, of course, is pizza night/TBD because we’ll typically go out either Friday night or Saturday night. Saturday and Sundays we typically either eat leftovers, scrounge for whatever’s in the pantry, or eat out.
Our meal plan this week is:
- Monday – One Dish Italian Chicken (Chicken, Green Beans, Red Potatoes, Italian Seasoning Packet)
- Tuesday – Nachos (Not our healthiest, obvi! Need to switch Tues/Weds)
- Wednesday -Salmon, Steamed Broccoli, Baked Potatoes
- Thursday – Mini Bagel Pizzas, Niblet Corn (Adeline loves corn, it’s an easy side when you just need a veggie!)
- Friday – Dinner Out (We have company coming so pizza night moved back to Thursday night)
And our meal plan last week was:
- Monday – Turkey Meatballs w/ Salad
- Tuesday – Pork Loin, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli
- Wednesday – Meatball Sandwiches
- Thursday – Kroger Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
- Friday – Pizza Night
A possible meal plan for next week is:
- Monday – Chicken Enchiladas w/ Rice and Beans
- Tuesday – Bison Tacos w/ Fresh Guacamole
- Wednesday – Leftover Enchiladas
- Thursday – Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
- Friday – Pizza Night
None of these meal plans are complicated, intimidating, or contain too many ingredients. But it’s a good variety, it’s easy, and it’s all things Adeline will eat too!
What’s your meal plan strategy? What’s one thing on your meal plan?