Family Meal Planning Made Easy
Large family meal planning is the key that allows me to stay on budget with our grocery spending each week and each month.
I sit down, generally on Saturday or Sunday, and do our family meal planning for the week. I take note of what is in my pantry, fridge and freezer. I consider any freezer meals I’ve prepare previously that are still waiting to be used.
I start making a list of the dinner ideas for the week. Often times I will also ask for some input from our kiddos and my husband. After all, everyone has their favorite meals.
Ready to see what we are having this week?
Weekly Meal Plan
Meatloaf– one of my 13 year old twins LOVES meatloaf. I was going to make pesto meatloaf which is super easy and has become a favorite at our house, but he specifically requested a traditional loaf with ketchup on top. I can do that!! I made masked potatoes and steamed broccoli as sides. Here are my tips for making delicious frozen vegetables. Here is the Facebook Live I did over in Get Dinner on the Table of me making the meatloaf. I shared some variations and ideas for work arounds if you do not have specific ingredients on hand. This is a really simple dinner idea that fills everyone up!
Taco Casserole Bake– this was super yummy and I prepared it ahead of time by cooking the taco meat on Sunday afternoon and assembling the layers in a 9×13 glass baking dish. I popped it in the fridge after covering it in clear wrap and it was ready to go when we were ready to eat it. I made rice as a side. It was great a fed a crowd. We ended up eating it the evening my husband picked my in laws up from the airport after their trip to Florida. Perfect meal. Here is the meal prep and assembly video we did in a FB Live on Sunday.
Slow Cooker Chicken and Red Peppers– this is a super easy recipe and another one we did in the make ahead prep video from Sunday. This recipe is also in our 6 week freezer meal download which comes with assembly instructions, grocery lists and 30 recipes total. We served this with mashed potatoes and steamed veggies. I also made Rhodes rolls.
Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan– super easy. Serving this with pasta and dinner rolls.
Creamy Noodle Bake– another easy meal that we shared how to make ahead in our FB Live cooking video that I linked to above. Make sure you watch that. The recipe is also in the instant download with 6 weeks worth of freezer meals. This is a family recipe favorite! We serve it with a salad and dinner is done! No side dish needed!
Slow Cooker Philly Cheesesteaks– this smelled amazing all day cooking. Serve it with chips or french fries you heat up in the air fryer.
Leftover Buffet– use ’em up! Clean out that fridge. If there are no leftovers I will make breakfast for dinner.
Our Favorite Dinner Rolls
These Rhodes frozen dinner rolls are something I like to keep in the freezer. Between these and the Sam’s Club garlic knot rolls, they are loved by everyone at our house!
To make them you just have to plan ahead a few hours because they are frozen. I like to spray a muffin tin with non sticking cooking spray. Then a drop one frozen dough ball into each muffin tin. Let them defrost and rise for 3-5 hours. I typically set the muffin tin on the stove and cover it with a napkin or hand towel. Once they are risen and dinner is ready, bake them. So delicious!!
Menu Planning with Online Grocery Shopping
I cannot tell you enough how much weekly meal planning saves me so much time. If you will just take the time to sit down and map out your meal plan, life will be stress free all week long.
How to Meal Plan Each Week:
- Write out your meal plan
- Shop your pantry, fridge and freezer first
- Order groceries online for what you do not have on hand
- Freezer prep or make ahead prep where you can
Here is my guide to the five steps for any mom to meal plan.
I stay out of the inside of the grocery store as much as possible. As a mom with a houseful of kids at home, who homeschools and run multiple businesses from home, online grocery shopping is how I streamline my meal planning.
Here are the things I buy in bulk at Sams, which saves me money but also time. I buy things for as cheap at $0.33 per pound at Sams Club. This is perfect for large families. I use their website to order and then go and pick the order up.
Here is how I online grocery shop at Walmart. It helps me stay on budget but also keeps impulse shopping at bay.
Someone recently asked if I felt lazy online grocery shopping? Don’t buy into this way of thinking. Utilizing services like this is exactly how to create a home that is efficient and smooth-running. Stay at home, work at home and working outside of the home moms can all benefit from services like this. And, at Walmart and Sam’s Club, I pay nothing to use the service. It really is a win!
Need Dinner Ideas?
I have been meal planning for a very long time. I started playing with it when my twenty year old was a little boy. By the time he was six years old and I had twins, meal planning was a necessity.
Now, with five boys still at home ranging in age from 13 down to 3, there is no way I can function efficiently without a menu plan.
Here are some things that might help you with coming up with new dinner ideas.
Slow Cooker School Night Dinners – these are perfect for any busy weeknight.
Slow Cooker Recipes for Busy Moms – we are busy managing our home and family. Use your slow cooker to make life easier!
Instant Pot Chicken Breast Recipes – this is the perfect way to cook dinner fast!
Learn to Freezer Cooker – it really is a lifesaver!