Meal Planning - Conquered!

#1 This may not work for you...
#2 But it sure is working for me!

A Month's Meals

Why? - Because I was failing to get a decent supper on the table for my children.
There was too much fast food, too many grilled cheese sandwiches, and too many evenings when I thought, "Maybe they just won't notice if I don't serve supper, and we can skip right on to the bedtime snack."
Doubly sad because I actually love to cook.
Triply sad because I thought it would be easier with the hubby out of town...I mean, the kids don't care if we eat meat or not, and they don't mind having lasagna three nights in a row!  In reality, it was harder because I lacked motivation, and I REALLY lacked time to actually plan a meal.

The Solution - I kept trying to plan for a week, try some new recipes, make out detailed shopping lists, and on and on, but nothing worked, so I did it my ya go:

{BUT FIRST, a little explanation...this is meant to be very flexible, more like a starting point.  There's still room for creativity and changes of plan, but it at least guarantees you'll have the basics in your fridge and cabinet when it comes time to cook.  Fill it in with meals that your family eats. (Click the links on mine for some yummy recipes.)  I pull this list out before I hit the grocery store, make some notes on the side of staples we need, and buy for the next two weeks.  So far the only extra shopping I've had to do is for milk, bread, and eggs.  Notice that I've even scheduled the times we will eat out...I made it work for our schedule.} 

Here's the plan:

Week 1
Sunday - Long John Silver's (King's request...he'd eat it every week, I say once a month)
Monday - grilled chicken/veggies (Here's where you can be creative.  Make whatever variation of chicken and veggies you please!)
Tuesday - lasagna
Wednesday - pasta (Another chance for improv.)
Thursday - pizza (We always grab a "Hot and Ready" after gymnastics.)
Friday - leftovers/my pizza (Pizza again?? I know. Whole wheat crust makes me think it's healthy.)
Saturday - fish/veggies (Salmon's a fave, but fish sticks are an option. ;) )
Week 2
Sunday - roast
Monday - chicken casserole
Tuesday - Zaxby's
Wednesday - pasta
Thursday - pizza
Friday - leftovers/my pizza
Saturday - BBQ

Week 3
Sunday - breakfast (mmm...I love breakfast for Sunday lunch. :) )
Monday - grilled chicken/veggies
Tuesday - tacos
Wednesday - Chic-fil-a
Thursday - pizza
Friday - leftovers/my pizza
Saturday - fish/veggies

Week 4
Sunday - chili (The kids actually eat more cornbread than chili, but it's a good slowcooker meal.)
Monday - chicken stirfry
Tuesday - hotdogs
Wednesday - pasta
Thursday - pizza
Friday - leftovers/my pizza
Saturday - SOMETHING NEW (I'm making these this month)
I know this isn't a plan for everyone, but to a mama with a bunch of picky eaters this has been a life saver.  Maybe it will help you too!


  1. I am always very unmotivated to cook when Donald is gone. I find it helped to cook our big meal of the day at lunch time since we were all home anyway. I had more energy then and we would just grab a sandwich in the evening.

    1. That's a good idea...I may try that too.

  2. Katie,
    I have been using emeals. I got a deal on groupon and if you still struggle at times you might want to check it out. I had the same problem you did and with working and not getting home til 6 each day I was just at a loss for trying to plan something. Emeals sends you a weekly meal plan along with recipes and a shopping list. You can select from different store you prefer to shop at or certain diet plans. It has been a lifesaver for me.

    1. Hey Kelly. I have a friend here who also had success with something like that. I actually tried it (I don't think it was emeals but another...I cant remember the name) but it didn't list Ingles as a store option and I never stuck with the plan they made. I think that's because I always like to pull recipes from blogs and magazines and make my own plan...that's how I finally settled on this plan. I have flexibility to try new stuff but I'm prepared to make what I know will work if I'm in a pinch. BUT...I may have to try emeals too...just for sounds cool. Thanks!


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