Get it Together with a Meal Plan

*** This Get it Together post is sponsored by Plan to Eat, because eating at home should be easier.***

One of the most important tasks I do as a wife, mother, and homemaker is to feed my family well.  It’s vital to our physical well-being and budget health that I take this job seriously.  Another benefit of menu planning once a week is that it forces me to look ahead on the calendar at afternoon and evening events, noting when chaos could easily ensue if I’m not prepared ahead of time.

Living where we do, takeout is not an option.  It’s all on me!  Thankfully, menu planning is a task I enjoy and have a fair amount of success with.  In a Get it Together season, though, it’s important that menu planning not be rocket science!  If you’re in the middle of a busy season, or a time when menu planning needs to be more streamlined, perhaps the following suggestions will help.

Keep it Simple

Master of the obvious here, but my family truly prefers simple meals.  Present them with a sandwich and some raw veggies for dunking in ranch and we’re good to go.  No need to stress over variety or trying new recipes and ingredients at this time.  Funny thing is, many of our simple meals are our healthiest.  Go figure!

Repeat what Works

Are there certain meals that the whole family loves and could eat every night?  Well, maybe not every night, but variety certainly isn’t the spice of life if it’s causing more stress than it’s worth.  During busy seasons (or any other time, for that matter) feel free to serve the same favorite, or some form of it, once a week.  That’s the fun of family pizza night, right?

Favorites at the Ready

Some weeks it would be nice to sit down and have a full menu plan ready to go in 5 minutes.  I’ll admit it; that doesn’t often happen for me.  It would, though, if I grabbed meal ideas straight from our family favorites master list.  Sit your family down and ask them what their favorite meals are.  You might be surprised!  Write those meals down, or enter them into your Plan to Eat recipe box, so when you’re stumped about what to fix, you have a ready list of “go-to’s.”

Plan B in Five Minutes

It happens to the best (and most scatterbrained) of us; things don’t always go as planned.  A melted bowl in your oven 30 minutes before serving supper doesn’t have to equal takeout!  Right now, think of five different meals you could pull together at a moment’s notice with what you have in the house.  Can’t think of anything?  Write the ingredients for a couple of emergency dinners on your next shopping list.  Keep it simple!  Having a Plan B will keep you on track when the supper-train tries to derail.

Let’s get it together with this week’s meal plan.

Sunday, October 2

Weekday Breakfast Options

  • eggs (fried or scrambled) with banana bread or lemon zucchini bread
  • lazy granola
  • oatmeal with raisins, or Malt-o-Meal (a fun blast from the past for me… don’t tell me if it’s not good for us) 😉
  • blueberry pancakes with homemade syrup, scrambled eggs, fruit (football breakfast)

Weekday Lunch Options

  • hard boiled eggs, cheese, fruit
  • leftovers
  • lettuce salad
  • apples with peanut butter

Weekday Suppers

What are your family-favorite, no fail meals?  What about your Plan B ideas?  Won’t you kindly share? 

Need more meal ideas?  Join hundreds of others over at OrgJunkie.

Need a meal planning fairy?  Plan to Eat allows you to store your favorite recipes, plus search and import recipes from around the web, You can use keywords such as recipe names, ingredients, cuisines etc, create menu plans and even print grocery lists based on those same recipes.  It may be just the tool you need to Get it Together!  Sign up for a free 30-day trial. 

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Comments

  1. Thank you for the link to orgjunkie. I will check it out, as soon as I read another post or two from you.

    I also live where there is no convenient “fast” food (other than pizza delivery.)
    I see that as a blessing.

  2. Spaghetti is always a quick, easy back-up plan and I always keep those ingredients on hand. Breakast for dinner is also a good option since I always have flour, sugar, milk and eggs and you can make a bazillion things with those ingredients. Chicken pot pie is another favorite around here. Having a plan is an essential sanity-saver for me, but I try to stay flexible because there are just those days where nothing goes according to plan.

  3. I think you need a Got Emergencies? link up there with the apples and pumpkins. I could use a few suggestions of meals to make in minutes when the day has just fallen apart. I would love to live out in the countryside with a mountain view and a private lake and acres and acres of aloneness….but I am glad that since we aren’t living that dream reality means we have a multitude of take out options. Today has been a terrible, rotten, awful, bad, no good day and I need some fat and sodium to make me feel better, washed down with full octane pepsi and followed by a dessert with more calories than my meal! But for future days that emergency meal link may come in handy. 🙂

    • Ha! That’s actually a great idea. And your meal after a rotten day… PLEASE don’t think I’m above that. 😉 Been there, ate that!

  4. I’ve never been a meal planner, but I want to give it a try! thanks for the tips! So far my Plan B is always frozen pizza or mac & cheese. I need ideas! 🙂

    • My 5yo would love it if my plan B was mac and cheese. 😉

    • How about egg sandwiches? With a side of raw fruits and/or veggies.

      Tacos? (tortillas and ground beef in the freezer, homemade seasoning in the cabinet)

      Beans & weenies & cornbread? (canned pork & beans with hot dogs and barbecue sauce or ketchup/brown sugar/mustard, quick cornbread from scratch or a mix)

      Mini make-your-own pizzas? (tortillas, English muffins or canned biscuits as a crust, topped with spaghetti/pizza sauce and toppings of your choice)

  5. I love your Plan B emergency meal tip. That would definitely come in handy to have on the ready! 🙂

  6. My plan B, I always have a bean stew and/or spinach stew in the freezer. When I run out of option, those go with the staple carbs we eat like rice, plantains and yams. (I’m Nigerian so our diet is different)

    Checking in from org junkie

  7. Our no-fail favorites are meat ‘n potatoes, chili, shepherd’s pie and lasanga. I’ve never menu-planned, in fact I’d never heard of doing that before until I started reading blogs.

    • That all sounds delicious! Do tell, though, how do you not meal plan and not stress out? Are you one of those super-organized people who has all ingredients at hand and can whip something up daily? 😉 (I’m jealous.)

      • Ha ;)! We are only a family of 3 so it’s very easy to be adaptable. We also had a garden so I have plenty of potatoes and other vegetables on hand. We bought hamburger from a farmer which gave us a bunch of meat to last a long time. I go grocery shopping about once a week and stock up on sales. I usually have staples like pasta, pizza sauce, cheese and spices on hand. I’m also a fan of uncomplicated meals and have a husband who is really easy to please ;).

  8. Love the tips for organization I feel the same way and love having ingredients for some quick go to meals like taco soup, goulash and spaghetti! Thanks for linking up the sticky chicken too!

  9. I’ve always been a meal planner and hit the grocery with a detailed list (often organized according to how the store is set up). I have no idea where I got this. I believe I did it as a newly wed, even though I don’t remember my mom making a meal plan or a list. We joke now that she goes shopping and then comes home and makes a list of what she forgot. 🙂 I do like trying new recipes though but they are usually simple ones.

  10. My time and sanity saver is emealz.com. I signed up for it this last spring when right before my 4th child was due and it has been wonderful! I like to cook nightly and try new things and this plan helps me do both and most of the meals are really easy! Each menu has 7 meals which usually lasts our family of 6 about 9-10 days (cause I always have the plan B: grilled cheese or quesadillas on hand and we do leftover nights). Thanks for this series. I just signed up for your emails. I am always looking for ways to “get it together”.

  11. Tacos/nachos are always my “fast never fail meal”. And I always have the goodies on hand.

  12. Kathy Linklater says:

    I would like to try the Bee Silk lotion.

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