Meal planning is new to me. When I worked outside the home we often ate out or had fast food which was convenient but not healthy for us and expensive. Now that I work at home, I feel like I have more time to focus on our meals. We seem to look forward to meals now that we are eating at home almost exclusively. On top of that, we just don’t have the extra money to spend on eating out. I made a simple meal plan that could easily be modified to have several variations.
First, I made a list of our favorite meals. There are three children in my home, so these are very kid friendly. Eggs, cereal, soup, sandwiches, tacos, pasta, roast, pizza and spaghetti are among the favorites. They are also meals that are easy to add variation to. Boil, poached or bake the eggs. Cereal from a box, homemade granola or cooked oatmeal are other options. Think of all the different soups and sandwiches you like. Tacos, pasta, roast, need I say more?
Breakfast are very simple. Eggs or cereal for breakfast. Scrambled eggs are most popular in our house, but sometimes we have hard-boiled too. Boxed cereal is the favorite, most expensive and least nutritious. I balance it out by offering hot cereal and homemade granola too. I like to have a few options for those mornings when we need to run out the door. Granola bars, muffins and breakfast burritos made ahead, packaged and or frozen for use when needed.
Soup or sandwich for lunch. So many different options here. I keep canned chicken noodle and tomato soup on hand, but I’d like to experiment more with making my own soups too. I make a mean potato soup but I find most recipes make so much soup we just don’t eat it all. I enjoy a good peanut butter sandwich, egg salad, tuna salad, turkey sandwich. Easy to make and paired with a salad, lunch is ready. These can also be easily packed for lunch on the go.
Dinner is a little more varied but is basically the same each week. On Monday, we have breakfast for dinner. Sausage & pancakes or bacon and waffles fit the bill. Tuesdays are for tacos. Ground beef is the family favorite, but I’ve also made chicken, fish and shredded beef. Wednesday is for pasta. Because its in the middle of the week I try to go for something lighter. Although, macaroni and cheese is the all time favorite, we enjoy bacon pasta, Asian-style peanut butter noodles butter noodles with hamburger gravy too. Thursday is for roast beast, chicken, pork or beef. Whatever is on sale. Friday is pizza. Sometimes we have a frozen one, but the best is home-made. Our cheese burger pizza is just as good as the hamburger and onion. We like to grill on Saturday. Hamburgers, hot dogs, steak, or chicken. We always have spaghetti with marinara sauce on Sunday. A family tradition.
This is my first meal plan. I’m sure it will go thru some changes, but I’d like to keep it generally the same. The kids and I both like to know what is for dinner, and now they generally do. Everyone loves taco Tuesday. Spaghetti Sunday is a favorite too. I plan on making a detailed grocery list and a meal prep day where I can save time by prepping as much food as possible. When we don’t have a plan we gravitate towards eating out. I want to keep us at home. Its better for all of us.