Need weekly meal plan ideas? Here are the meals and easy recipes that our family has been enjoying!
I don’t know about you, but there are a couple of food related things that I do to save my sanity when life gets hectic. One is to keep meals simple by either doubling recipes so that we can eat it for more than one meal (cook once, eat twice!). The other sanity saving thing that I do is to keep meals super simple. My preference is to make most of our food from scratch because not only is homemade usually better tasting and healthier, it’s also most times cheaper. But I’ve learned that sometimes I’m better off “cheating” and using pre-made store bought foods simply because it frees me up a bit and allows me to be less stressed which of course then means that I’m a better mom and wife too!
You’ll notice that I did both of these sanity saving things in these 2 menus. We had a lot going on and it just made things so much easier! I’m so grateful that I have a family that is fine with leftovers , isn’t super picky and has no food allergies. I know that not everyone has that and it’s not something that I take for granted!
If you looking for cheap weekly meal plan ideas but are new to my menu plan posts, it’s probably helpful to know a couple of things first:
- Our family of six consists of two adults with fairly big appetites, an 8 ½ year-old boy, a 5 year-old girl, a 3 year-old girl and a 10 mo. partially breastfed baby boy.
- I buy lots of fruits and veggies in bulk from local farmers/orchards in the summer and then freeze or can them. This is not only much cheaper it is also healthier too. But that is why if you look at my Weekly Spending Summaries you won’t always see lots of produce.
- I have a stockpile. My cupboards are full from previous shopping and here’s why. When I can get pasta for free with coupons, I buy as much as I have coupons for. If I’m able to get flour for $0.50/bag like I did last fall, I’ll buy half a dozen and put them in the freezer to use as needed. I do this as much as my budget allows, on as many items as I can and as a result save lots of money. Then when I go to plan menus, I simply plan our meals around what I already have in my cupboards and freezer, as much as possible. Obviously I still might have to buy a few things at regular price here and there, but by stocking up when the price is at rock bottom I save a lot.
- I cook almost totally from scratch. That means when I make a cake, I rarely use a cake mix. I make my own bread totally from scratch. I rarely use pre-packaged sauces. I make my own cream soups and pie crusts. Making your own food is typically less expensive and healthier too.
- We rarely snack. By eating “heavy” food like granola at breakfast we don’t get hungry until lunch time. And the same goes for the afternoon. Our lunches are big enough that we usually are fine until dinner time. When we do need a snack, I try to keep it mostly healthy by offering fruit, nuts or maybe No Bake Energy Bites. We don’t always do it perfectly though, and sometimes end up having chips or cookies instead.
- Our breakfasts consist of Homemade Granola or Baked Oatmeal, the occasional bought cereal that I was able to get for $0.50/box and sometimes some fruit too. I know that might seem awfully boring to some of you, but we actually all really enjoy it and prefer it over other breakfast food. I also have a homemade iced coffee, homemade frappe or some other fun beverage every morning. It’s just one of the little things that I do to add a bit sunshine to my days!
Below you will find our lunches and dinners. (If we ate something other than our usual breakfast, I’ll note that too.) My husband is working at renovating our house currently and we home school, so right now the whole family is here for every meal.
Weekly Meal Plan Ideas
- Ham Loaf (comes pre-made- I just make a glaze for it); Baked Potatoes/Sweet Potatoes; Cooked Carrots; Homemade Applesauce; Best Ever Chocolate Cake with Homemade Chocolate Frosting
- Homemade Tuna Salad on 100% Whole Wheat Bread; Easy Fruit Smoothie
- Various Leftovers; Easy Homemade Yogurt; Apples; Canned Peaches (I preserved)
- Rice & Bean Burritos (rice/beans/diced tomatoes/seasonings with sour cream and salsa served in tortillas); Green Beans; Homemade Applesauce; Flourless Double Chocolate Muffins
- Meat & Cheese Sandwiches made with 100% Whole Wheat Bread; Easy Homemade Yogurt; Canned Peaches (I preserved); Frozen Blueberries
- Creamy White Chicken Chili; Lettuce Salad with Mexican Dressing; Homemade Shoofly Cake (my recipe is similar to this one) with Crushed Strawberries on top
- Eggs; Toast; Easy Homemade Yogurt; Canned Peaches (I preserved); Grapes
- Easy Chicken Pot Pie; Cheese; Homemade Applesauce; Leftover Best Ever Chocolate Cake
- Various Leftovers; Easy Homemade Yogurt; Canned Peaches (I preserved); Bananas
- Leftover Creamy White Chicken Chili; Lettuce Salad; Leftover Shoofly Cake
- Leftover Easy Chicken Pot Pie; Easy Homemade Yogurt; Clementines; Bananas
- Homemade Pulled Pork Sandwiches; Green Beans; Homemade Applesauce; Leftover Shoofly Cake
- Various Leftoves; Easy Homemade Yogurt; Canned Peaches (I preserved); Bananas
- Kidfresh Chicken Nuggets; Red Robin Fries; Lettuce Salad with Mexican Dressing; Molasses Crinkles (my mom-in-law made and shared them with us!)
- Breakfast Burritos (eggs, bacon and toppings); Lettuce Salad; Vanilla Magic Custard Cake
- Homemade Tuna Salad on 100% Whole Wheat Bread; Easy Fruit Smoothie
- Meat & Cheese Sandwiches made with 100% Whole Wheat Bread; Easy Homemade Yogurt; Clementines; Frozen Blueberries
- Chicken, Brown Rice and Veggie Casserole; Homemade Applesauce; Best Ever Chocolate Cake with Quick Caramel Icing
- Eggs in a Nest made with 100% Whole Wheat Bread (basically an egg fried in bread); Cheese; Easy Homemade Yogurt; Canned Peaches (I preserved); Frozen Blueberries
- Leftover Pulled Pork Sandwiches; Peas; Homemade Applesauce; Leftover Best Ever Chocolate Cake
- Leftover Chicken, Brown Rice and Veggie Casserole; Easy Homemade Yogurt; Canned Peaches (I preserved); Frozen Blueberries
- Homemade Cream of Tomato Soup; White Pizza Grilled Cheese Sandwiches; Leftover Best Ever Chocolate Cake with Turkey Hill All Natural Ice Cream
- Meat & Cheese Sandwiches made with 100% Whole Wheat Bread; Easy Homemade Yogurt; Canned Peaches (I preserved); Grapes
- Homemade Chicken Alfredo Pizza (used homemade Alfredo sauce and homemade pizza crust and topped with chicken and caramelized onions); Green Beans; Homemade Applesauce; Leftover Best Ever Chocolate Cake
– This homemade pizza crust recipe is awesome! Not only does it need no time to rise, you can have it ready to go in the oven in 30 minutes! And it’s really tasty too. The only thing I do differently is pre-bake the crust a bit before putting on the toppings.
- Various Leftovers; Easy Homemade Yogurt; Canned Peaches (I preserved); Grapes
- Salsa Chicken Soup; Peas (I was out of lettuce for salad!); Leftover Best Ever Chocolate Cake
- Eggs; Toast; Easy Homemade Yogurt; Clementines; Bananas
- The Best Chili on Earth; Lettuce Salad with Mexican Dressing; Blonde Brownies (had in freezer)