January 28, 2016

WEEKNIGHT MEAL PLANNING MADE EASY

Weeknight meal planning is a HUGE time saver for all parents whether you are a stay at home parent or a working parent; planning out your meals for the week is crucial and you'll SAVE MONEY! (Don't we all want that?!?!) 

For me, as soon as I drop off the kids at school in the morning it's like the clock starts ticking and I'm running a race to get everything accomplished and done before school pickup! I'm not lying...it's true, it's like when they are at school time speeds up and as soon as you look up, it's time to start making dinner and pick them up! Yes I said start making dinner before I pick them up, HUGE time saver for me! As soon as I pick up the kiddos, there's homework, feeding calves, basketball practice, night time routines, night time chores and before you know it, it's time for them to go to bed!

In order for me to plan out my meals for the week, I first grab my "Meal Planning Printable"! I purchased a customized printable with our family name on it from I Heart Organizing's Etsy shop, here's a link. Then I start filling in the boxes either on Saturday or Sunday morning. (I usually do my shopping on Sunday), I may ask Jer if there is any meals he feels like having this week or the kids and also how busy the week is looking ahead! Then I also look at what ingredients I already have on hand and what type of dinners I can come up with so I can utilize what I have on hand, intern----> save money! 


A huge resource if I'm stumped and my brain cannot function anymore is Pinterest! Pinterest saves our lives doesn't it?!? Here's a board I created with weeknight dinner ideas, I love to use my Crock Pot when feasible or meals that take around 30 minutes or so...here's a board we can all contribute too! Leave me a comment below with your email address and I'll add you to it, or message me on instagram and we can all help each other out!!!  


Now after I fill out my boxes for the week, I start assembling my grocery list and looking at what ingredients I need vs. what I have on hand etc., it sounds time consuming and a lot of steps but, I promise we are talking minutes. I also take inventory of what I'm going to need for lunch packing during the week for the kids and of course breakfast food! Lucky for me, my kids love eating leftovers for breakfast or waffles or yogurt, few...dodged a bullet there-few!
My favorite Grocery List printable is from Hello Cuteness it's FREE and I have been using this printable for years, I love how she has it broken up into categories! 

One of the recipes off my Pinterest board I made last night is this easy Chicken Tortilla Soup!!! 
This is not my recipe, but they are my pictures and it turned out ah-mazing and deliciously easy. You should definitely try it out and the huge time saver is rotisserie chicken! Oh how I love rotisserie chicken from Sam's Club and how it makes my life easier during the week... :)  


One pot wonders are the best for weeknights...or any night!


My husband and kids loved it, so that in my opinion is a winner and a recurring meal this winter!


Madison was only wanted cheese as a topping but, Bryce and I loaded up on the condiments, oh-yeah and it was delish!!!

I would love to hear how you plan your meals or if you have any Pinterest favorites for weeknights. 

Also if you don't like the printables that I use to help me there are loads out there for free, just search free meal planning printable Printerst, Etsy or Google and loads will come up!

These two sheets of paper help me tremendously stay on top of weeknight cooking and making sure my kiddos have a nice home cooked meal!

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