If you've ever struggled with menu planning (and actually making the meals you've planned), I have seriously the easiest system to make getting dinner on the table a breeze. You can save a bundle when you choose to eat at home, but sometimes actually knowing how to meal plan can feel overwhelming as you begin each week.
A few years ago we created these simple meal plan recipe cards which truly take the guesswork out of menu planning. Just open up a box (or you can get just the PDF files), choose the week you'd like to use, and use the grocery list included for each week to make the meals.
It cannot possibly get any easier than that.
I honestly now don't even stress about making dinner. I do a few simple steps every weekend to prep ahead, pull out a bin each night, and dinner is good to go.
In case you're curious, here's EXACTLY how to meal plan to make it go easily each week:
2. On Saturday or Sunday, I order groceries from my weekly menu plan using Kroger Clicklist or Instacart. Kroger clicklist is easy – you pick it up at the store, and lots of other grocery chains offer this service pretty inexpensively! Kroger Clicklist for example is FREE for orders of $35 or more and saves me a bundle in unnecessary purchases!)
3. I organize my meals for the week by putting the non perishable ingredients in small plastic bins in my pantry. (I use these bins from Target.) To organize them, I include each meal's recipe card from our low cal meals along with any pantry items in each bin. All refrigerated goods go in the bottom drawers of my fridge or freezer so I can easily find them.
4. After cooking each night, I pull out the bin, double check to make sure I have everything, and thaw any meat ahead of time if necessary.
5. The next morning if I need to start a recipe (especially for our slow cooker recipes), I go ahead and pull out my crockpot. Otherwise, I just make dinner (oh-so-easily!) at night!
Taking 30 minutes to get my groceries pulled together and ready to go saves me hours each week (AND SO MUCH MONEY). It's been so worth it for me!
So why is it even important to know how to meal plan?
- Planning meals will save you money because you're not tempted to eat out (cooking at home just about always will save you money unless you're eating steak each night)!
- Planning meals will save you time during your busy schedule each week.
- Planning meals takes away the guesswork and overwhelm of what to feed your family each week
- And best of all? Planning delicious meals for your family makes eating at home around your own kitchen table a happier place to be.
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So what's on the menu plan this month? Here we go!
Menu Plan This Month
- Week of Jan 3 – Low Cal Meals Week 1 done!
- Week of Jan 10 – Low Cal Meals Week 2
- Week of Jan 17 – Low Cal Meals Week 3
- Week of Jan 24 – Low Cal Meals Week 4
You can also print your January menu calendar right over here!
And here's exactly what I'll be making along with sides this week:
- Monday – turkey and zucchini skillet with pesto, corn on the cob, salad
- Tuesday – hearty chicken soup, breadsticks
- Wednesday – lightened up cobb salad, crackers or homemade bread
- Thursday – chicken pierre, glazed carrots, salad
- Friday – seared salmon with lemon butter, roasted asparagus NOTE: On Friday, January 14th we'll do a *special* FREEZER FRIDAY prepping week 1 of the Freezer meals. Watch for me on Facebook Live around 8:30 AM Eastern Time. I can't wait and know this will make January a little easier this year… and we may swap the salmon out for chicken tender sat our house. We'll see!
Would you love to learn more about how to meal plan easily? Snag a PPP Menu Planning Box Bundle, like the Low Cal Meals, Freezer & Slow Cooker Boxes to get all kinds of recipes to make cooking and menu planning easy this month.
I promise these have been a game changer in our home, and I'm pretty sure you'll love them too. 🙂
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