Last week was the first week of the new school year that we had to deal with school and our after school activities. Things went well, but this week my husband threw us a curve ball and is going out of town for work. That means I need to have my act together every night to make sure we have dinners on the table. Our schedule gets crazier as the boys get older, I know that I am not alone…right?! I keep in mind these few simple things that will keep me and hopefully you too organized, on track and sane throughout the week.
PLANNING IS KEY – Plan at least 3-4 simple family friendly meals throughout the week. Leave room for a leftover night so you don’t have to cook
SHOP FOR STAPLES – Go through your fridge, freezer and pantry first before menu planning and work around the ingredients you already have on hand so you only need to shop for the staples. It saves you time and money each week.
DOUBLE A RECIPE – Choose at least 1 recipe that week that you can double. Eat one that week and freeze the other for another time. You will be thanking yourself late on when you need a quick meal and all you need to do is defrost and re-heat.
BE FLEXIBLE – It’s rare that my menu plans go as planned throughout the week. There are weeks that I might make every recipe but the days are off or there could be weeks that I don’t make all the meals which mean I can use those ingredients the next week. Don’t stress if something goes wrong and your menu plan doesn’t work out as planned. It’s OK! Just have a back up plan, maybe it’s that freezer meal you made a few weeks ago.
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK – Give yourself a night of from cooking. It could a leftover night or YOYO (You’re on Your Own) when everyone makes a leftover meal or even a PBJ sandwich. You could even order take out or go out to dinner.
Real Food Menu Plan for Busy Families
Monday: Breakfast for Dinner! It’s one of the boys favorite types of dinners and it gives me a chance to stock up on breakfast foods for the week. This week we will have waffles and breakfast sausage with fruit.
Tuesday: This is by far our busiest night. Both boys have after school activities and we will not get home until at least 7pm every night. This week since my husband is out of town will make things extra challenging so I’ve dedicated this night YOYO.
Wednesday: Homemade mac & cheese with chicken tenders…it’s a kid favorite with a few healthy additions to make it mom approved too.
Thursday: Taco Night! I noticed a few pounds of venison in the freezer so I plan on using that for the tacos.
Friday: Jackson has rehearsal in the city and my husband will just be getting home from his business trip so we will be heading out to dinner.
Saturday: We normally would not make dining out a 2 night thing but we have tickets to A Celebration of Art which will be a ton of fun and a learning experience as well.
So that’s my menu plan for this week…hope it’s inspired you to think outside the box when feeding your family. Just remember when you are feeling a bit overwhelmed with “life” a little organization goes a long way. If you are still looking for inspiration head over to my Menu Plans. On Pinterest? Head over and check out my Family Meals Board for more real food inspiration and become inspired over at Org.Junkie.