I can’t believe the kids are already headed back to school! I’m pretty sure I say this every summer, but wow, that went fast.
So I’m getting all our back to school stuff ready — clothes shopping, and school supply shopping, and grocery shopping for lunches and dinners and snacks.
I’ve noticed that meal planning really helps me to stay organized around here. I spend less money when I plan ahead. And I know what we’re having each night, so it saves time as well. Here are a few tips I’ve found for meal planning that help us keep things simple and cheap.
Tips for Meal Planning:
- have one or two meatless nights a week. They often cook faster, and are usually cheaper
- have one simple theme night a week. Every Friday night, we have breakfast for dinner. It narrows down what I need to think about cooking, and the kids see it as a fun way to kick off the weekend (I know a lot of people do a Pizza Night instead. Or you can come up with your own ideas!)
- keep your schedule in mind. Plan crockpot or simple meals for nights when kids have sports or other after-school activities. Save the more involved meals (if you like making those) for free evenings or weekends when you have plenty of time.
And to make things easier — I created a meal planning calendar you can use. I hope it helps! You can even print out four weeks at a time and fill the whole thing up if you want to work that far into the future (I tend to be a week-by-week person myself…)
For some simple dinner ideas to get you started, try one of these:
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