I am always on the hunt for large family meal planning ideas. We have eight people at home (six boys ranging from 17 down to 2) and then myself and my husband. At any given time we have more people around our table. We live just miles from my inlaws and miles from my husband’s grown daughter and her two children. Add all of that up and we can have 12 plus people eating dinner around our table. We eat a lot!!
There are a few things that are my saving grace; meal planning and freezer meals. Both of these help me stick to the tight budget I have set aside for our groceries each month.
I spend $150 to $200 per week on groceries. I do grocery shop weekly opposed to doing monthly grocery shopping. I utilize online grocery shopping to save money, prevent impulse shopping and to save my sanity. Grab your shopping list, pull up the website, shop, check out, pull up, they load my groceries and we are back home before I know it.
This is a life saver for a mom with little kids!
Now, this budget does not include cleaning supplies. I do buy all of my cleaning supplies online with a monthly subscription.
However, because we homeschool, this does includes three meals a day at our house; breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Oh, and snacks!
Here is my review of my first experience with Walmart online grocery shopping from two years ago.
Large Family Meal Planning
Here is what we are having this week for dinner. We might eat out once night a week, but since we’ve moved, I work really hard to cook at home every single night.
Chicken Tortilla Soup– my recipe uses canned black beans, shredded chicken, Rotel tomatoes, corn and tomato sauce. I also add a packet of taco seasoning and some extra cumin. The recipe I linked to is pretty close to my version, but it really is a recipe you can just eyeball. I also like to top with sour cream and avocado slices for those who like it. We all love cheese and tortillas chips and a flour tortilla on the side. It’s such a filling meal!
Hot Wings and French Fries– I baked this in the oven. It was a simple meal using up some wings I had in the freezer that we did not make while watching the Cowboys game a few weeks ago. Easy dinner. I had leftover soup and the baby had a peanut butter and jelly. If you watched this Facebook Live from our Get Dinner on the Table group, you know how much Jack Jack is loving “peabutter jelly” sandwiches these days. lol
Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole– this is a recipe from our October freezer meal plan. It is always so awesome to have a dinner on the freezer you can just thaw and heat. It makes life so much easier for hectic days! This is a twist on the traditional chicken and rice casserole. It smells like Thanksgiving! I really enjoyed assembling it.
Quick Spaghetti for a Crowd– Sunday night we had Grandma and Grandpa Lopez over for spaghetti dinner. It was so good. I have a trusted simple recipe that I use. I also did a FB live a few weeks ago showing you how I assemble it and one of my secret tricks to making homemade spaghetti so good!
Grandma’s Spaghetti– Grandma Lopez called and said she is bringing over a pot of her spaghetti. Yum! This is a meal we could eat every night of the week. Clearly we are fine with spaghetti more than once! lol She puts meatballs, pork chops and sausage links in there sauce. It’s pretty epic!
Leftover Soup– so… I have been saving leftover meats and leftover sauces. Each night after dinner I take the leftover meat and add it to a bucket in the freezer. I also add any tomato based or starchy based sauces, broths, etc., that I have leftover from our dinners. The bucket filled up pretty quickly. I am going to thaw it and add water and cook it on the stove or in the slow cooker all day and make a soup. I might add some veggies, but I did not freeze in veggies in it. I might serve it over noodles or just serve it by itself.
Leftover Buffet– this is where I clean out the fridge. There will be soup leftover, chicken rice casserole, etc. There is no shortage of leftovers, let me tell ya. Add a side salad and fruits and veggies as sides, some rolls and we’re all set. Use those leftovers up!
Freezer Meal Assembly
If you’ve never given freezer meal cooking a try, you really should. It is a game changer for dinner time. No more rushing around worrying about dinner. Shop, assemble, freeze, cook. Perfect for busy moms!
Here is what a freezer meal assembly looks like if you’re interested.
Products That Will Make Meal Planning Easier
These are some of our favorite. I keep all of these on hand!