Meal Planning: Short and Sweet

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Having a month-long meal plan is really helping me out this week. I’ve been so busy cleaning and stressing, stressing and cleaning, it was nice not to have to think. The meals that we missed over the last two weeks for various reasons got plugged into the spaces left by things we ate for lunches or quick dinners while I was cleaning and stressing.

Except for side dishes and some hot dog buns to make this week, my work is already done for me, thanks to freezer cooking. Yeah! And since I bought a ton of fresh produce last week, I don’t think I have to go shopping this week.

19. Queso Fundido, Beans, Rice, Green Salad
20. Pasta with Meat Sauce, Green Salad, Corn Bread
21. Meatloaf, Rice Pilaf, Broccoli, and Fruit
22. Grilled Chicken, Black Bean and Rice Salad, Veggies
23. Pizza Night
24. Chili Dogs, Veggies and Dip
25. Tacos

Having a monthly meal plan makes my weekly planning short and sweet.

What kind of planning (meal or otherwise) do you do for a week or a month?

Check out I’m an Organizing Junkie for more meal planning inspiration.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. Thanks to reading your blog, I have started doing the weekly menu again. I had stopped and been winging it, but this is better for me for several reasons. It forces me to look at what I have and plan around that, cleaning out my stockpile. It also is nice to have it on the fridge so my son doesn’t have to ask what we’re having ten times.

  2. Micha says

    I usually do a month long “master” meal plan and then split that between how ever many weeks are in the month. Thanks to you and Crystal I’ve been doing a ton of freezer cooking which makes life much easier.

  3. Cassie says

    Man, I sooooo want pizza now. That’s not the first time that picture has tortured me. 🙂

  4. The taco link isn’t working and I really wanna see it!!! hee:)

  5. The queso fundido sounds super yummy!

  6. heidi says

    I shop for only what is on sale or if I have a coupon. When the store ads and Sunday’s paper coupons arrive , I place them in my traveling office bag from Harrods of London. (a friend brought it back to me. It makes me feel like frugal shopper.) I find time while watching a movie with the kids on a hot afternoon, waiting at carpool duty, appts, etc to clip or circle the best buys. I’ve planned my shopping according to which area of town I will be at. Swimming lessons are near store xx, the library is near store zz. I’m able to get the best buys without going out of my way or spending extra gas.
    I have a pre-printed menu on a clip board so I can write in the meals for the week as I shop. Gets the creativity juices flowing and the kids love the game of “what will be for dinner.”

  7. So, I went to grab your recipe for the hot dog buns (looks great) and, as I don’t have a bread machine, what does the “dough” cycle consist of? Does it include a rise? I’d assume I can just use the dough hook in my mixer and then let it rise for an hour or so like most breads but I wanted to check first. Thanks!!!

  8. Yummmm… meatloaf sounds great. Congrats on getting so much freezer cooking done! Enjoy the week!

  9. As much as I like the idea of it, I cannot do monthly meal planning. It just doesn’t work for me for various reasons so I generally stick to 3-5 days at time. What I’ve been doing the past few years is to make a list of all the main dishes I have the ingredients for and stick it up on the fridge. Our family schedule stays consistent enough that I have a really good handle on what nights we need to have leftovers, when I need to cook something quick, or when I have time to make a more complicated meal. During the school year I use the crock pot a lot which is enormously helpful. I also try to make sure I have dinner mostly made or ready to go in the oven by early to mid afternoon.

    This spring and summer have been a little crazy due to my husband having four brain surgeries and being in the hospital at total of 32 days. (Two of the surgeries we knew were coming but then he developed a life threatening infection, had to have a chunk of skull removed, and then another reconstructive surgery two weeks ago.) What I did for those times (in addition to begging meals off friends and family which helped a lot) was to just freeze a bunch of meal components. Taco meat, sloppy joes, spaghetti sauce, marinated chicken breasts, and buy a few bags of frozen stir dry veggies. The past three weeks I haven’t given a thought to what we’re having for dinner until shortly before we eat. Normally living like that would stress me out but it’s been a life saver during this time. For side dishes I’ve started keeping cut up veggies and dip in the fridge and I’ll make a fruit salad a few times a week. Watermelon on the days I don’t have time. So easy. And thankfully no one minds eating the same meals all the time.

    Just this morning I realized I only have four to six meals in the freezer so starting next week I’ll have to start thinking again!

    And just an FYI, when you brine chicken breasts then freeze them in a soy sauce marinade, they tend to get a bit salty. 🙂

  10. You pic of pizza looks yummy– so that is on the 23rd? What time should I plan to be over. My pizza never turns out looking so good, no fair!

  11. Drats, the black beans & rice salad link isn’t working for me … can you double check as that sounds like a yummy summertime side … thanks!

  12. Do all your children eat green salad? We have tried to serve it to our 2 year old, who is a pretty good eater, but he refuses. I love having salads as a side dish, but when he doesn’t eat it (he’s our only child), I feel I need to make another vegetable for him. I’d love any input or advice!

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