Hey guys! I’m so excited to finally start meal planning with you. It’s about time we take this crucial step in our relationship, don’t you think?
I have been meal planning for years. When I first married my husband, we lived out in the middle of nowhere and it was almost an hour drive to the nearest Supercenter, so meal planning was really a necessity. We did have a small grocery store in town, but choices were limited and prices were high, so I wanted to avoid that if at all possible.
Well as it turns out, you can’t stock up on a week or two worth of groceries unless you have your meals planned out! There was no pizza delivery where we lived and only a couple of fast food options about 15 minutes from the house, so cooking dinner was a necessity.
Now we do live in a much larger city with plenty of stores close by, but I’ll never give up my meal planning. Not only does it help streamline my days, it also saves us money. I have found that when you wait until the last minute to plan dinner, then have to run to the store to get stuff (who wants to run to the store at 5 pm with a toddler? Not me), you are more likely to just order in or go out, which adds up, cost wise.
I am pretty vocal about the importance of meal planning and shopping WITH A LIST, and I have had SO many requests to share Meal Plans, so here it is! I’ll be sharing one every Saturday afternoon, so you have the weekend to plan and shop! My sincere hope is that I can help some of you who are stumped for new meal ideas, and help inspire some of you who struggle with getting dinner on the table every night.
A few things:
My husband and son are EXTREMELY picky. We eat simple, classic meals. Honestly, I should have been born in the 70’s with all the condensed soup and Shake and Bake that goes on around here. As much as I love some of the adventurous recipes that float around Pinterest, if I served Kale or Quinoa at dinner, it would not be eaten. So if you’re looking for exciting new flavors, what I choose to make for dinner might not be for you.
I do NOT believe in forcing my kids to eat foods they hate. I do ask that they try a couple bites, but if they don’t like it, we move on. I want my kids to be excited about food, and making them eat things that make them feel sick does not accomplish that. Honestly, I do not have the mental strength to deal with dinner time power struggles, either. I want dinner time to be about catching up and enjoying each other, not fighting over food. I understand that many of you feel differently and I respect that completely. But know that my meals are planned with my family and their preferences in mind.
I only plan FIVE meals a week. One day a week I will order pizza or pick up something, and another day is leftover day. I am flexible on my days — for instance, I may do leftovers on Wednesday if we have a ton of leftovers from the previous two meals. In that case, I will push Wednesday’s meal to Saturday. If I order pizza on Friday, Friday’s meal moves to Sunday.
I have a printable meal plan/grocery list for you! It’s a huge help and helps keep you accountable if you tape the meal plan to your fridge or pin it somewhere that the family can see. Print as many as you need!
Okay, so…here’s what looks good for dinner this week! Click through each link for the recipe.
Monday: Skillet Shepard’s Pie (Taste of Home)
I have made this in the past and it’s so good and easy! It also makes excellent leftovers.
Tuesday: Chicken Taco Salad (Pioneer Woman)
My son isn’t a huge fan of salad, but he LOVES this one. It’s another recipe that is incredibly easy — the only thing you cook is the chicken!
Wednesday: Crockpot French Dip Sandwiches (Our Best Bites)
I always try to include at least one crockpot meal every week, and this is a favorite. The best French Dips ever!
Thursday: 5 Ingredient Salsa Verde Beef Tacos (Picky Palate)
Once I started making this, my boys never wanted their taco meat any other way! You can prep it ahead (like during toddler naps or on your lunch break) and throw it in the crockpot for later. So good!
Friday: Skillet Chicken Parmesan (Mother Thyme)
Chicken Parmesan is my husband’s favorite, and I put off making it for a long time because I always assumed it would be difficult. It’s actually one of the easiest and quickest meals in my repertoire! I use store bought spaghetti sauce, so all I need to do is fry up the chicken, which takes about 15 minutes, and cook the noodles. Easy peasy.
What are your favorite easy, kid friendly meals? I’m always looking for new ideas!
Have a great week!