What’s worse after a tough day at work than to come home to a hungry family?! They want to know, “what’s for dinner”? Well instead of telling them to fend for themselves, let’s give them a healthy planned out dinner. Let’s do it every day of the week. And while we’re at it, let’s make it easy on ourselves so it’s not a chore. Save time, save money planning weekly meals.
Prepping on Sundays is the day that works best for me. What could be better than using a little bit of time from a day off to give you lots of extra time during your busy workweek? I love planning meals, it saves time, money and me pulling my hair out.
The times I haven’t planned ahead are the worst because then I have to go to the store after work to look for something. I usually don’t know what I want to buy so I wander up and down the aisles. It’s a waste of time and if you make this trip multiple times a week, it’s a waste of money also. You’ll ultimately end up spending more this way.
Planning also saves because you’ll eat out less, knowing dinner is prepped at home. No extra trips because you’ll know exactly what and how much of what you’re going to eat for the week. There’s less waste of food this way. Shopping with a list saves you from buying random snacks and treats. Oh and never go shopping hungry. I have done this a few times. I buy stuff I wouldn’t normally purchase, just because it looks tasty at that moment.
If your kids are old enough to start the dinner before you get home, then you can even have them start what you prepped on Sunday. Then it will be ready when you get home and you can all sit down for family dinner sooner.
The best part about prepping on a Sunday is you can have your children help you. Spending time with them and teaching them to cook is a wonderful feeling. My oldest daughter (she’s 20) always loved this time. Now that she lives on her own, she is prepared for cooking for herself. I’ve tried teaching my youngest the same (she’s 17) but she’s not as excited to learn. I’ve been trying for like 7 years to get her interested. I’m not giving up. She’s coming around the older she gets. Someday she’ll thank me.
While I’m planning meals for the week I like to make some type of bread or muffins to eat during the week for breakfasts. These are great because everyone can grab one or two pieces on their way out the door. We like banana bread. Sometimes I also make egg cups or grab a yogurt to give us morning protein. In the morning the idea is to be quick but to make sure everyone gets breakfast.
Lunch for each of us is different. Usually my daughter eats a school lunch or takes a sandwich from home. I do sandwiches or leftovers and my husband eats out.
Here’s a sample week of dinners for us:
Spaghetti, salad and bread
Chicken fajitas with beans and rice
Marinated chicken and a vegetable
Crock pot chicken
Beef Stir fry
Beef and broccoli
As you can see by these meals another good way to plan ahead is using you cook once but can put in two meals. If we’re planning spaghetti and tacos in the same week, I cook and season the ground turkey, then split it in two. You can also marinate chicken for two meals but use them for two completely different ideas. It’s a great way to save time and money. But the idea is also to have variety. No one likes leftovers all the time.
Just a little prep time can go a long way. Happy saving and prepping!