Meal Planning 102

Recently I posted about meal planning 101!  I received great feedback on it, but with that feedback was the consistent question "Yeah, but how do you do it?"

Now, as I have said before, I am not an expert on anything, but I will, of course, share what I do, and what works for me. 

For time saving sake, you can read all the "getting started" stuff here, which talks about my breakfast and lunch arrangements, and we will move straight into putting it on paper. 

Planning Prep:

When I sit down to write out my weekly menu, I already know what I have in my pantry and freezer, and am striving to use what I have one hand.  So the next step is a basic game plan.

When thinking of a meal plan, I try to think like this...
Eating out (Because I we eat out at least once a week)

So first up, a protein:
My weekly menu on paper will look a little something a little like this.

Sunday:  Slow Cooker Roast
Monday:  White Beans
Tuesday:  Chicken
Wednesday:  Turkey & bacon
Thursday:  Smoked Sausage
Friday:  Dinner out
Saturday:  Steak

Now, a vegetable:

Sunday: Slow Cooker Roast, carrots, and potatoes
Monday:  White beans, spinach,
Tuesday:  Chicken stir-fry with bell peppers, onions, broccoli, & water chestnuts
Wednesday:  Turkey, bacon, romaine lettuce, and tomatoes
Thursday: Smoked Sausage, green pepper, onions, and diced tomatoes
Friday: Dinner out.
Saturday:  Steak, sautéed green beans,

And, at last, a starch:

Sunday:  Slow cooker roast, carrots, onions, and potatoes, dinner rolls.
Monday:  White Beans, spinach, onions, and couscous.
Tuesday:  Chicken Stir-fry with bell peppers, onions, broccoli, & water chestnuts over rice.
Wednesday:  Turkey & Bacon w/ romaine lettuce and tomato in a wrap with ranch dressing.
Thursday:  Smoked sausage with peppers, onions, and diced tomatoes over penne pasta
Friday:  Dinner out
Saturday:  Grilled Steak, sautéed Green beans, and a baked potato. 

**I know you are probably saying, "Okay, but what about the fruit?"
I add fruit to our diet by adding it to cereal, with yogurt in the mornings, or as snacks throughout the day.**

As you can see these are totally balanced meals, that, because of the ways I will prepare them, are flavorful, and the best part, inexpensive.  Most of the items come from my pantry!

I hope that seeing it laid out this way will help you plan a little easier, and realize that making a weekly menu is not a daunting as it may seem!

As always,

Happy Reading, Happy Eating, and Happy Living,

~The Kitchen Wife~

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