Meal planning is one of my favorite ways to stress less about getting food on the table.
I love that planning out the meals saves me time and money. I also love that I don’t waste time staring into the pantry any longer trying to figure out what I want to make for dinner.
Meal planning really is a saving grace.
The best part about meal planning is that once you do it one time, you’re going to be hooked and ready to do it for the next week.
This is literally where weekly meal plans are the best way to jumpstart the year and keep it going all throughout the days and months!
Meal planning is something that you can start at any point in time or fine-tune as your tastes and needs change.
I also love that meal planning lets you change up the food weekly as the price of meats and food items go up and down, too.
The whole point of this weekly meal plan is to get you organized and spend less time prepping and thinking of meals every week.
Just think how much more time you can have back to do what you want rather than try to whip together something for the family randomly!
How far in advance can you meal plan?
Some people like to try and meal plan for the month, but let’s be real. Meal planning weekly is really all you need to do.
The reasons for weekly meal planning are simple. Here are my top reasons that I meal plan weekly and keep it simple:
It allows you to shop for sales
Grocery stores have sales every week on fruits, vegetables, and meat.
Planning weekly will actually save you money so you can buy and shop the sales.
It keeps the food fresh
You’re not going to find hardly any food ingredients that will stay fresh for a month – unless they’re frozen, which works here and there.
Going to the store weekly lets you buy fresh food and know that it will stay good and not be wasted.
How To Create A Simple Meal Plan for the Week
As you know, I only really meal plan for dinner.
The other times of the day where we do have meals are breakfast and lunch but those are more casual and kind of a grab-and-go type of event.
We’ll do cereals, toast, and oatmeal for breakfast and lunch is typically a sandwich, soups, or leftovers from the night before.
Below you’ll find how simple it can be to plan out the meals for the week!
This is just a quick peek of the recipes so make sure to scroll down to see a picture of the recipe to really get your mouth watering.
Monday: Instant Pot Minestone Soup
Tuesday: Instant Pot Chicken Curry
Thursday: Instant Pot Tuna Noodle Casserole Recipe
Friday: Air Fryer Shrimp Tacos
Sunday: Bonus Night (make sure to scroll down to the bottom to find out what a Bonus night is!)
Don’t forget to make a grocery list before you head to the store. The free printable grocery list below is a great way to help out with planning meals.
This is my top choice for keeping track of the ingredients that I want to buy at the store.
It also keeps me in line so I don’t overspend and buy items we don’t need.
Fun Leftover Ideas
- Make meat in the crockpot or Instant Pot – Cook up a batch of meat and then use it throughout all your recipes for the week.
- Add in some fresh veggies – You can add in fresh veggies to add some crunch and flavor to leftovers.
- Have leftovers one night as your meal – Make one of your nights leftover night to clean out the fridge!
Meal Planning Weekly Schedule
Grab your free printable shopping list and take it with you to the store to easily grab everything you’ll need to make the following meals this week.
This soup is perfect for a vegetarian diet and a fast and easy way to make a hearty soup.
You’ll love the curry flavor of this simple chicken recipe! Excellent to pair with rice as well.
You can never have too much cheese with this recipe! I also think finishing this off with a cold and refreshing dessert sounds divine.
I love this recipe because it’s a great way to get the kids to eat something besides Mac & Cheese from the box. Pair with a nice side salad.
These tacos are amazing! Don’t forget the fresh cilantro!
You’ll see that the weekends are left open and that’s just to give you some flexibility. This gives you some more wiggle room to make something fun, eat leftovers, or spoil the kids and order in some dinner.
We also have a late lunch on Sundays because of church so we’ll find ourselves snacking Sunday night rather than sitting around and having a big meal.
What is a Bonus Day?
A bonus day is just that! It’s a day of the week that someone else gets to choose and treat the family to a yummy meal.
For our bonus days, we order pizza or get takeout from our favorite restaurant quite a bit. It’s really up to you and your crew on what you want to do.
You can also check out our Recipe Index to get some great homemade fun recipes, too.
If you make any of these recipes, let me know what you think!
Feel free to join us in the private Cooking Club FB Group here and share a photo of any of your meals with everyone else. This is a great place to get or give encouragement to others on the same mission to Saving Dinner!