Just like the kids have their back to school growing pains, I’m having mine with weeknight meals that don’t take too long!
Since we don’t eat out much, it’s important that I plan my meals for the week (either on Sat or Sun) and make sure I have all the ingredients & supplies I may need. If not, it needs to go on the shopping list! At the same time, I also take inventory of what I need for lunch packing, breakfasts and lunch stuff for Jer and I.
I usually do my grocery shopping on Monday or Tuesday because that means I don’t have to take the kids!
Meal planning doesn’t have to take a long time!
I was sitting outside yesterday planning it out while the kids were riding bikes, 10-20 minutes tops!
This is my favorite grocery shopping list and it has been for years!
You can download it for FREE here from Hello Cuteness.
To save money, I like to plan some of my meals with groceries I already have on hand and maybe didn’t use the week prior like you intended to! You might of changed things up on the fly and you still have all the ingredients for that particular recipe you skipped!?!
Also take inventory of what you have in the freezer. Sometimes you forget what you have in there…I know I do.
When you get stumped on what to make, reference your cookbooks or now days Pinterest!!!
Here’s a “Weeknight meals” board I have with pins I think my family would enjoy!
My other advice would be to keep it simple…
After the kids have been in school all day the last thing they want is a meal you know they may not like and weeknights is not a good night to spring a “new” recipe on them!!! Keep it to foods you know they will like like Mexican, Italian etc.
My kid’s favorites are always anything to do with pasta, Mexican food or chicken & red potatoes!
So I try and keep that in mind when planning and if I want to try a new recipe I will do that on a weekend.
Some fun things you can do is plan your meals by your days!
1. Slow Cooker Mondays.
2. Taco Tuesdays.
3. Meat-n-Potato Wednesday.
4. Pasta Thursday.
5. Quesadilla Friday.
You can tailor it to how you like but you get what I’m saying, then you have direction, now come up with different recipes or creative ways to make a quesadilla, taco or pasta dish?!?!
Back to school is when I usually start using my slow cooker again too and will use it all the way through the spring!
My slow cooker Pinterest board.
Here are my tips for weeknight meals:
1. Plan, Plan, Plan! Make sure you have food & ingredients to pull together dinners for nights Monday-Friday!
2. Keep it simple, you don’t need three-thousand sides (that might of been a little much)!
3. Just change or tweak recipes you know your kids will like! Example, if you want to do tacos on Tuesdays, then the next week do a different version…
4. Take inventory of what you have when making your grocery list or meal planning.
5. Don’t stress about cooking, no matter what your skill level is…a frozen lasagna, a fresh loaf of bread with a side salad or not is just fine…you have a nice hot meal on the table!
While you are sitting at the table with your kids these are a few questions I ask to see how their day has gone.
1. What was the best part of your day?
2. What was the worst part of your day?
3. How was lunch?
4. What did you do on the play ground?
5. Did the teacher have to talk to you at all today…?
Bryce and I have been doing this for years and now Madison & Naomi join in.
Get your kids talking & eating at the table with you, it will be memories they’ll cherish when they’re older!
This is my grocery haul for the week! I pretty much do all my grocery shopping at the Walmart grocery story, I think they call it “The friendly Neighborhood market”! lol
It costs me just about $200 a week to feed a family of 5, breakfast-lunch-dinner!
My dinners for the week consists of:
Cherry tomato spaghetti
The rest of the groceries are for breakfasts, lunches, school lunch packing and snacks!
Have a great day!