Thursday, May 23, 2013

Meal Plan Thursday

Getting back on track with....
....errr Thursday ;)

Two days in a row! Better than my previous streak of one day... in over a year lol. Anyway, I've been really good at menu planning over the last 12-14 months. In April of 2012, Trent and I began working Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover plan in order to pay off all of our debt. There will definitely be a series of posts relating to that topic alone, but the point for today is that meal planning is crucial to sticking to our budget.

Without planning our meals for the week, it is so easy to end up at the store 4+ times a week, which causes excess spending. Meal planning also prevents the "what's for dinner panic" that was previously common in our household. Before we started the TMMO, I had done intermittent meal planning (I was about as consistent with doing that I was with blogging, ahem). There are many blogs that have link-ups every week, typically on Monday, for readers to share their menus. It's a great way to get new ideas for meals, as well as have some sort of accountability to sticking to your plan. Pinterest is also a great place to search for meals and organize your weekly menu (assuming you don't get sucked into the vortex and end up looking at how to build furniture out of popsicle sticks instead of coming up with dinner ideas!).

I do most of our weekly grocery shopping on Friday or Saturday. This gives me most of the week to look through ads for deals and come up with a plan. If there is one thing I hate, it's meal planning and shopping all in one day. I try to have my meal plan done on or by Thursday, then do the shopping on Friday for the following week (Saturday-Friday). I always look at the calendar to see what events we have to work around, as well as how many days I'm working the following week. This allows me to plan "dad-proof" meals that even my non-cooking husband can make. :)  They are usually things I can make ahead (in the crock pot, or have ready to bake such as meatloaf, lasagna) or that he can prepare (grilled burgers, pasta, make your own pizza, etc). I usually plan 6 lunch and 6 dinner meals, assuming that one day we will have leftovers, or breakfast or be eating over with family or friends. So, with all that being said, here is the menu plan for the week of 5/25/13!

I'm linking up over at, you can check out other people's menu plans and share yours there as well!

Chicken Nuggets with fruit and carrot sticks
Pasta salad
Turkey Cranberry Havarti paninis with salad
Strawberry spinach quinoa salad
Fish sticks with veggies
PB+J with yogurt and fruit
English muffin pizzas with fruit salad

Mastaciolli with salad
Grilled burgers with corn and rice pilaf
Schnitzle with German potato salad
Capellini with spicy garden marinara and shrimp
Lentil tacos with refried beans and Spanish rice
Apple Kielbasa with smashed sweet potatoes

What is your family loving for dinner lately? I'm always looking for new ideas!

Note: I've learned that planning meals for specific days doesn't work for our family, unless there is activity planned for that day. It's definitely best to plan the meals and then choose what to make day by day. :)

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