bybmg: My 4 Week Meal Plan

My 4 Week Meal Plan

I pride myself in being pretty organized. Though I don't have it all in check, in the past two years we have really tried to meal plan better. I set the meals for the week, shop once, and we're done. Over the summer we got a little bit lax and were going to the grocery store more than I liked which usually meant spending more money than I liked.

Revving up for back to school, I wanted to get things in check. In the past I would sit down and plan out just a week and honestly it would stress me out. I mean, I know things we typically eat, but did we have it just last week? Was it a meal the boys would eat? Was it easy?

We eat early at our house. I walk in the door somewhere between 4 and 4:30 and the boys are begging for food. Instead of snacking (which eats up money), we try to hold them off and get dinner on the table around 5. This doesn't allow for elaborate meals. So, a few weeks ago, I decided to sit down and knock it out. I planned four weeks of meals that we could rotate so I wouldn't go crazy trying to brainstorm things every week.

Each week usually has one out to eat or carry out meal, and there are a couple variations of breakfast  and pizza throughout the weeks. Saturday and Sunday have two meals because we're home for lunch and dinner.

So, here's what I came up with:

Week 1

Friday: Go out to eat
Saturday: (lunch) Omelets (dinner) Take and Bake Pizza
Sunday: (lunch) Lunchables (dinner) hot dogs + brats + chips + grapes
Monday: Ham + cheese roll ups + fruit
Tuesday: Pancakes, eggs, and fruit
Wednesday: Spaghetti and meatballs + apples + breadsticks
Thursday: Tacos

Week 2

Friday: Order out Chinese
Saturday: (lunch) Corn dogs + mac and cheese (dinner) Smoked pork loin and green bean
Sunday: (lunch) Pizza quesadillas + fruit (dinner) Salmon or steak + cauliflower
Monday: Meatloaf and broccoli and strawberries
Tuesday: Crock Pot Chicken BBQ sandwiches + fries
Thursday: Waffles, Eggs, and Fruit

Week 3

Friday: Make your own pizza
Saturday: (lunch) Little smokies in a blanket and fruit (dinner) Hamburger Helper
Sunday: (lunch) Rotini and meatballs (dinner) Rotisserie chicken + rice + fruit
Monday: Chicken quesadillas (with rotisserie chicken) + fruit
Tuesday: Taco Salads + rice
Wednesday: Order Pizza
Thursday: Oven baked sliders + fruit

Week 4

Friday: Pizza Cupcakes + fruit
Saturday: (lunch) Grilled cheese + fruit + soup (dinner) Burgers + fries
Sunday: (lunch) Out for lunch (dinner) Smoked or crock pot pork shoulder + veggies + fruit
Monday: Chicken nuggets + veggies + fruit
Wednesday: Pork quesadillas (with leftover pork) + fruit
Thursday: Ravioli + veggie + bread sticks

Overall, nothing is really fancy and few of the meals actually require a real recipe. I do have a list going of substitute meals to mix in as the year goes on and we maybe get sick of something or realize the boys don't really like something that I have scheduled. A lot of the meals say "fruit" or "veggie" with them, and I just buy fruit that is in season or vary up the vegetable steam bag that I grab from the freezer.

Another thing that I did to really help out is make shopping lists for each week. We shop at Hy-Vee for groceries and they have an online grocery shopping system where you can order and either have your groceries delivered or you can pick them up at the store. In their website you can save lists, so I have a grocery list for each of the four weeks saved. All I have to do is click a couple times and it adds everything on the list to my shopping cart. I also have a general weekly list of things we get every week since Russ does eggs and bacon for breakfast every day, the boys have specific things they like for breakfast and snacks, and we eat mostly the same thing for lunch every day.

I purposely started the menus each week on Friday so I can order groceries Thursday night and have them delivered or I can pick them up Friday after work. This also allows so if we have weekend plans, I can delete the items from our shopping list or adjust if we need food to take to a gathering. I didn't share the actual shopping lists, but I think you can get the idea of what you might need from looking at the menus and adjusting it for your family.

So far we are into week three and it's been going really well. I feel like we're wasting less food and I'm just less stressed about this area in our life!

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