Meal planning is one of the biggest and easiest ways to save time and money.
This is why you’ll find a new meal plan and shopping list posted here on the blog each week, to help make meal planning even easier to do.
If you’ve ever found yourself standing in the aisles at the grocery store trying to plan dinner, that is a wake-up call to start meal planning asap.
You’ll literally be amazed at how fast and simple it can be to plan out your meals for the week with just a few minutes of time.
Why not kick off the new year with a new plan on how you’re going to feed the family while keeping more money in your wallet as well?
If you’re new to the concept of meal planning, welcome.
Or maybe you’re here to get a few awesome tips about planning your meals, too.
Regardless, this weekly meal plan journey is here to help you plan, get amazing recipes, and have less on your plate (stress-wise, not food-wise) each and every week.
How hard is it to meal plan?
Seriously not hard at all. In fact, I find it HARDER to NOT meal plan than to just go ahead and make my menu for the week.
After seeing how simple it can be, I think you’ll be right along there with me.
Meal planning for breakfast
I’m the type of person that likes consistency in my eating routine so we actually don’t meal plan for breakfast.
I just make sure to keep breakfast staples like oatmeal, cold cereal, fruit and fruit smoothies, toast, and eggs in the house so that everyone can wake up and fill their bellies with whatever they want.
(and coffee – let’s not forget the coffee!)
Meal planning for lunch
To be honest, lunch in my house is the same as well.
Completely casual and every day consisting of leftovers of the meal planned menu from the night before, peanut butter or tuna sandwiches, and soups.
Dinner Meal Plan for the Week
Since I keep it simple in meal planning dinners, it puts so much less stress on me this way.
Kids actually love making their own choices for breakfast and lunch, and I love that it gives a bit of consistency for everyone to know that dinner will be something entirely different.
Below is a simple weekly plan of meals that proves meal planning doesn’t have to be hard or complicated to do. Keep it simple – trust me!
These recipes are just a quick peek but I go into more detail about them below, with pictures of the finished product!
Monday: Walking Tacos Recipe
Tuesday: Easy Air Fryer Ravioli Recipe
Wednesday: Easy Oven Baked Salmon
Thursday: Instant Pot Pork Carnitas
Sunday: Bonus Night (make sure to scroll down to the bottom to find out what a Bonus night is!)
Below is a free and simple grocery list that you can print out and use to keep track of all the ingredients that you’re going to need for the week.
This is my go-to for keeping a list of items that I need from the store so I don’t overspend and buy something impulsively.
Ways to Reuse Leftovers
- Cook chicken in the crockpot – Great and simple tip! There are so many ways to use chicken in recipes so if you can cook a batch, you can then disperse it and use it in so many dishes throughout the week!
- Change up the side dish – If you have enough leftovers to serve again the next day, switch up the side dish option so that it’s new flavors added in with the repeat.
- Make one of your meal planning nights a “leftover night” – This is a smart way to let everyone know that “whatever night” every week is the night to eat all the leftovers. This is a great way to cut down on the waste.
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.
Seems like the perfect Monday recipe, right? Just grab corn chips or Doritos and the rest of the recipe is a breeze.
The kids will love eating out of the bag – and this means no dishes for you, too!
(This is also super great for sleepovers and camping trips as well!)
When you can let the air fryer take over and make these crispies beauties, why not? This is a fast and fun dinner recipe that will have everyone gathered around the table.
Pair this up with a steamed vegetable or a nice side salad to add some balance.
The flakiness of this salmon is perfection. Fish is a great weeknight meal to introduce into your weekly diet.
I love eating salmon with steamed broccoli or even a nice side of cooked rice.
This can be used for tacos or just to eat as is. I also find that pork makes me crave dessert so making a nice cake or even homemade ice cream would be a great ending to this meal!
We love having this on a Friday night! It’s the perfect recipe to end the long week and get ready for the weekend!
We typically don’t even have sides but we have lots of dips like marinara and ranch!
Saturday and Sunday are intentionally left open to add in some flexibility. One day can be a leftover day and the other can be a bonus day, or whatever else works for your family.
Usually, we have a very late lunch on Sunday after church and just end up finding something small for dinner. Either way, I don’t plan because I like to be flexible for anything that pops up.
What is a Bonus Day?
This is going to be the kid’s favorite day of the week. This is when they get to choose the meal! (and this could be a fun way to get them to help make the meal, too!)
A bonus day could also be going out to eat or ordering pizza delivery also. It’s a fun option that everyone will love!
Or you can use this night to try any of the recipes from our Recipe Index that you want.
If you make any of these recipes, I would love to hear how you liked them.
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!