Meal planning is such an integral part of keeping my family and my household organized. With a meal plan, we never have to ask, what’s for dinner? Or, wonder if we have something for dinner at home or if we need to make a trip to the store. I prefer to do my shopping once a week based on my meal plan. It doesn’t get any easier than that. Here’s how to meal plan for the week in 5 minutes.
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First I go down the list and pick my dinners for the week. I’ll usually reference my list of our favorite dinners, do a quick scroll through Pinterest, or go around and ask each member of the family to pick one meal for the week. I usually leave a day or two for leftovers or grabbing something out.
Here are the dinners we’re eating this week-
- Crock Pot Beef Stew (Crockpot for an easy Monday)
- Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken with red potatoes and a veggie (I typically make either broccoli in the steamable bags, asparagus, or roasted carrots)
- Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Asparagus (my kids don’t eat asparagus, so I’ll make them broccoli or sometimes some carrots or green beans from the can because they love them) I also might make some red potatoes to go with this.
- Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with corn on the cob
- Teriyaki Meatballs with rice and broccoli
- Ranch Pork Chops with sweet potatoes and broccoli (no recipe link for this, they’re my own creation, but maybe I’ll do a post on them soon because they are my favorite pork chops… but no, ranch is not “clean” hahaha)
You can grab these meal planning printables over in my shop!
Now, for the breakfast section, these are for my kids. I am meal prepping these low carb sausage egg bites for myself, but it makes a lot. I’ll probably do another batch as well before the end of the week, so I have put those in for my kids on two days. Then, I buy little mini frozen pancakes that my kids love, and I also prep some Kodiak Muffins (recipe from the Buttermilk Kodiak Pancake mix). Everyone in the house likes the Kodiak muffins, but there will be enough to have those on two days, and then I just plug in cereal for an extra day. My kids love cereal and would eat it every day if I let them, but I do try to get a variety in there, and they do have a piece of fruit every morning, too.
For the lunch section, my kids typically eat the same things each day- my older son loves turkey and cheese sandwiches for his lunch box, and my youngest loves peanut butter and jelly. So, they have a typical packed school lunch each day. This section is really for me, and what I’m planning to have for the week. I’m going to meal prep some chicken taco meat in the crockpot and fix some bowls with black beans and corn. I also use lettuce and shredded cheese but I leave those out of the bowl just so that everything is fresh. My husband is in charge of his lunch- sometimes he takes leftovers and sometimes he buys, but I let him figure that out and I don’t worry too much about it.
Finally, for snacks, my kids have your usual snacks- they love Nutri-Grain bars, goldfish, pretzels, etc… and that stuff is just fine for them. These are snack ideas that I’m planning for myself for the week. I added frozen fruit to my list for smoothies.
That is it, a basic breakdown of what we’re eating for the week. Additionally, my husband isn’t much of a snacker, and he usually has eggs and a piece of fruit for breakfast, so that is easy peasy.
Also, while I’m meal planning for the week, I go ahead and take out a grocery list printable and add items from the recipes as I go to save time. If there’s an ingredient I know I have I leave it off, but if I’m not sure I’ll add it. I double-check my kitchen for any items I’m not sure about just so I’m not buying double of things I already have.
After I make my list, I pull up the Walmart Grocery app on my phone (or head to Aldi) and get my groceries ordered or bought for the week. Just depending on my time and how many children are home with me I may go to Aldi and get most of the items, or I’ll just schedule a Walmart grocery pickup order. This weekend, that’s what I’m doing because my husband is working and I have both kids, so going into Aldi is the last thing I want to do. I try when I order from Walmart to order all of the items in the store brand that I can, and I find that my savings will come close to what they would be at Aldi anyway.
There you have it, I planned my meals in about 5 minutes, made my grocery list, and ordered my groceries all in no time. Do you have any questions about weekly meal planning? Be sure to leave them in the comments below.
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