5 Minute Weekly Meal Planning

Aug 30, 2021

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With the kids back to school in person I find that my evenings need more structure now than ever. I never considered myself someone who plans meals because the thought of meal planning for an entire week is daunting. Over time I’ve come up with my own system that I use every week when I order groceries. Today I’m sharing my tips for easy 5 minute weekly meal planning with you.

Easy 5 Minute Weekly Meal Planning

  1. Plan meals digitally.
    First thing is first, I’ve used everything under the sun to try to keep track of my meals, including excel and good old scraps of paper with a pen. The easiest way I have found is to plan it out in a digital calendar like iCal/Gmail. It allows me to shift meals, schedule recurring meals, and at a glance from my phone or computer I can answer the age old question of, “What’s for dinner?”.
  2. Everyone picks a breakfast for the week.
    In an effort to get kids out of the door quickly and easily in the morning, I have them each pick their favorite easy breakfast. It’s not always the healthiest but is usually something they can prepare on their own. Examples include: cereal, oatmeal, toast, pastries, hard-boiled eggs, pre-cooked egg baskets or quiche.
  3. Shop at 1 or 2 stores, max.
    It’s easier to learn where items are, how availability is, or to manage delivery if you limit how many stores you shop at. We love Good Eggs (use the link for $25 off your first order) and Whole Foods. I try to take advantage of sales but also pay attention to how items are packaged since we try to limit our waste if we can.
  4. Choose a grain.
    With three growing boys in the house, making sure they get their share of healthy grains is a priority. Often I will make a larger batch of rice so that we have leftovers for another night or lunches. When I make Spanish rice & beans they can use the leftovers for lunches.
  5. Choose your proteins.
    We vary our source of proteins and always try to buy as locally and sustainably as possible. We find that about a pound of protein is appropriate to share for our family of 4. Sometimes I buy meat in bulk and separate it into glass jars to marinate and use later.
  6. Pick your veggies.
    I try to choose veggies that are in season and easy to cook. Favorites include: asparagus, zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes, and sliced tomatoes. Often times I buy a large container of arugula and make side salads instead of having to cook one more item for the meal.
  7. Add the extras.
    Fruits, snacks, coffee creamer, all go here. I always buy bananas and apples, as well as some other fruits depending on the season. I try to stay away from snacks, but pretzels and trail mix are a favorite in our house. Bread falls into this area too. I like sliced sourdough because it makes a great sandwich or toasted as an add-on to another meal.
  8. Be a meal repeater.
    Have a meal that works well for your family and everyone loves? Don’t be afraid to repeat it. I try not to repeat more than once a week so that we don’t get bored, but currently we have pizza Friday and meatball Sunday. It also makes it easier to

Favorite Easy Weeknight Meals

    • Spaghetti & Meatballs
    • Grilled chicken, rice pilaf, and asparagus.
    • Carnitas, Rice & Beans, etc.
    • Steak, potatoes, and side salad.
    • Pizza night – we love to barbecue ours.
    • Pulled pork, roasted root veggies, and side salad.

What are some ways you meal plan? What is your favorite easy meal?

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