Help Your Budget: Meal Planning

How To Help Your Budget: Meal Planning

Meal planning plays a vital role in our family. This helps us to stay on budget. Plus I really enjoy it (most weeks). There are times I get in a rut and don’t know what I want for the week. That’s when I will go back through the past weeks and find meals that we really liked or were really budget-friendly.

What it looks like

Every Thursday I start meal planning for the next week. We cook dinner Sunday-Thursday at home. We usually eat out on Friday nights. We grab lunch out on Saturday and it’s 50/50 whether we eat out on Saturday night or cook something. In the summertime, we will usually grill on Saturday. When we eat out it’s not always at a sit-down restaurant. Sometimes we will just run through a drive-thru. We both work outside the home, so we take leftovers for lunch Monday-Friday. This is a great way to save money. I’ll post more on that later on when I talk about how we budget. Here is what our meal plan looked like this week.

Meal Planning
Isn’t it fancy?

Sunday: Grilled pork loin with grilled squash, zucchini, and tomatoes

Monday: Hamburgers with lettuce, tomato, bacon, and blue cheese. I had leftover potatoes from the week before so I cut them up and popped them in the air fryer for a healthier version of fries

Tuesday: Grilled Chicken over a bed of lettuce with tomatoes, blue cheese, parmesan cheese (we already had), and croutons. There was a can of beets in the cabinet so I added that to my salad. We had a side of grilled red potatoes with this.

grilled chicken salad and potaotes
Grilled Chicken Salad
Doesn’t this look amazing. We were eating on our finest china. Paper plates from Easter.

Wednesday: Buffalo chicken stuffed peppers with a side of green beans.

Thursday: Grilled steak tacos with onions and jalapeños on corn tortillas (we already had)

And that’s it. We keep it simple most nights. We are not a meat and 3 veggie type of family. As you can see I try to use ingredients more than one night. This keeps things from going bad and getting lost in the back of the refrigerator until you no longer can tell what it was. Although it doesn’t always happen that way. I just pulled out what I think were strawberries earlier this week. YUCK!

Sometimes it can be difficult meal planning for a family of 5. Especially when everyone’s tastes are not the same. Our oldest son eats whatever we cook. The twins are a different story. Michael is getting better and starting to try new foods. But Paul is picker than picky. His new thing is not eating the top bun on a burger because it gets soggy when ketchup touches it. He asked me if I could put ketchup on the burger and it not touch the bun. No buddy I can’t do that. So that was his way of fixing it. As long as he eats I don’t care. When I was little I wouldn’t eat pork chops, because I had a cat named Pork Chop. That’s just one of the many weird food things that I outgrew. Maybe I will do a post about those one day. They also don’t like eating meat by itself. So they eat a lot of tacos. When we had the pork loin they just put it in a tortilla and ate it. Michael will add cheese and salsa, Paul will dip his in ketchup. Same for the chicken on Tuesday night.

Sometimes I will fix them a different dinner if I know there is no way they will eat it. But a lot of time they have a choice to eat what we have or fix something their selves. There are nights that they will eat PB&J sandwiches for dinner. Sometimes they will just have a snack. Is this the healthiest option, no. But they don’t go to bed hungry. And it’s not every night. We learned with Morrison (and myself) that kids do grow out of it eventually. He was a lot like Paul when he was little. He put ketchup on EVERYTHING! Check out the picture of his 16th birthday present from one of his friends. Now he can’t wait to see what his daddy cooks. And he doesn’t put ketchup on everything anymore.

Morrison and his ketchup

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention. I don’t cook. My husband does 90% of the cooking. I have a few things that I make really well. But he enjoys doing it and is very good at it. So I have no problem with him cooking. The boys will even ask “did daddy make this or you” Sometimes I tell a story and say he did when I did the cooking so I know they will eat it.

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The next post will be about how I feed our family of 5 for less than $130 a week (most weeks). And it will include my grocery list.

Everything You Need to Know to Feed a Family of 5 on a Budget

Keepin’ it real,


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