Meal Planning The Beginning Week 1

It’s dinner time, and all you hear is ” What’s for Dinner?” Well in my house they don’t ask they just look at the calendar and they know.
I know this sounds impossible, crazy, too hard, I’m here to tell you that YOU CAN DO IT TOO!
I started slowly one week at a time and worked my way up a month at a time. So that’s where I’ll help you start one week at a time. I’ve posted about prepping multiple meals on an earlier post find it HERE.

But this time, I’m going to walk you through it step by step.

Step 1:

Gather up the family for meal ideas. Ask every member to give you their favorite 3-5 meals. Depending on the size of your family you could have your first week or month worth of meals. Make a list by main ingredients, for example, Beef, Chicken, Pork or ground beef. Be as specific or vague as you wish.

Step 2:

Look up your store’s sales ad. You could go to multiple stores to get the best deals if you want, I don’t I have one store I go to I shop on Saturday morning once a week and that is it. My time is worth more than the little bit I would save. Don’t get me wrong sometimes there is a sale worth going to and I do but rarely.

This week at my store ground beef is on sale for $1.98 a lb ( I remember when it was .99 a lb) pork ribs are $1.99 a lb, smoked sausage is BOGO ( buy one full price get one free), chicken thighs are $1.79 a lb, and because I am a “member” they sent me an email to tell me chicken breasts, family packs, will be $1.49 on Friday and Saturday only. Now granted there was other meat on sale but I only look at what is under $2.00 a lb.

Step 3:

Look at the meals your family gave you what can you make out of what is on sale? I’d be looking at chicken meals first $1.49 a lb is a great deal, and you can do so much with chicken. My family of 4 adults can get 2 meals out of one family pack. When I do my menu I rotate meats trying to never have the same meat 2 times in a row.

Meal-planning Week 1  here is a free calendar with the meals I would make to match up to the meat on sale. I’ve added some links to my favorite recipes I found on Pinterest.

Ok, I didn’t list side dishes you can do this on your own. Every family will have different preferences, some love veggies, us not so much. Before you yell at me in the comments we do eat them just not every meal. We usually have a potato side or a noodle side ( Yes we are carbaholics and yes I made up this word 🙂 )

Step 4:

Inventory what you have to make the meals you have picked. List what you need. If you clip coupons ( good for you if you do, I did for a while but not so much since they quit doubling coupons ) get those ready. I personally just go to the store website and upload the coupons to my card.
I tried to make the cheapest meal a double batch so I have at least one meal extra to put in the freezer. If you can do two that’s even better but don’t go over budget just to put meals in the freezer. For this week’s shopping trip it would be something with chicken even if it’s just cutting up some of the chicken breasts into strips to use the next time I make chicken with Italian dressing meal.

Step 5:

Go to the store!

Step 6:

Come home and prep anything you can. Fry up the Ground beef and make your taco meat for Tuesday. Make the meatballs for Wednesday and the hamburger patties for Friday. I personally would probably just use the same recipe and make some of the meat into balls and some into burgers. Just to save time. Put the B-B-Q sauce in a large gallon bag and throw the ribs in the bag to marinade over night. I store the rest of the meat in my fridge till I need it that week. I well say that I make my list for Saturday to Friday meals since I shop on Saturday. That way I’m prepping for Saturday’s dinner also.

That’s it you are done! I hope this helped!

Any questions?

Ask away I’d love to help!

Disclaimer: I am not a chef and do not claim to be nor am I claiming to be anything other than a Mom that has been feeding her family for years 🙂

Work it, Dream it, Discuss it here.