What’s for Dinner? Meal Plan for 6/12

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So.. how’d the Pinterest meal plan go?!? Or did I lose you to Pinterest? We made it through the meal planning process and cooking without getting lost to the abyss! We had some pretty amazing meals and I’m now wanting to go back for a second round of meal planning from Pinterest.

There is no real “theme” to this week’s meal plan. I guess you could say it’s tried and true recipes that we all love with one new one added in for something different. Some of these recipes are requested from the family on a regular basis and some of them I haven’t made in a REALLY long time. There’s at least 2 on this meal plan that are ones I haven’t made in years.

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What’s for dinner? Meal Plan for 5/29

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Happy Memorial Day! I hope you’re having a great 3-day weekend. I would like to thank all members of the armed forces for their service, not just today, but every day. They put their lives on the line for the better of their country – no matter what country they are fighting for – and some have paid the ultimate price for that service. I have many friends, that were or still are active members of the armed forces; my  husband included, and it is an honor to know them. So thank you to everyone who has, or is serving.

Besides being Memorial Day, today starts our first official week of summer break! I feel as though the past few months have just flown by and I’m not really sure what to do with myself now that everything has either ended or slowed down. This week the menu is going to reflect the slower pace of life around here. Easy recipes that either myself, Hubs or the kids can make in little to no time. I just want to sit back and relax (and read) this week and I don’t really want to be in the kitchen for too long, but I also don’t want to eat out every night either.

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What’s for Dinner? Meal Plan for 5/22

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So last week I tried to cook every meal on a sheet-pan, we have not tried every recipe I had on the meal plan as life got in the way, but the ones we did make, were AMAZING! The kids and hubs gave rave reviews on the dinners we did make and honestly they were THAT good.

This week’s meal plan isn’t nearly as exciting as all sheet-pan meals, but there are 2 new ones and lots of old favorites. With this being our last week of school, my kids are done with this school year on Wednesday, I wanted to make recipes that I know are pretty easy to make or ones that I haven’t made in a REALLY long time. There’ are several that I don’t think we’ve had in at least a year!

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What’s for Dinner? Meal Plan for 5/15

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Sheet-pan meals where have they been all of my cooking life?!? I have recently tried a few of these one pan wonders and the family is just loving them. They are SO easy to prep and just pop into the oven. So this week I thought I would go through my recipe board on Pinterest and make a whole week’s meal plan from them. I have been pinning these recipes like crazy. I’m all about quick and easy these days, so why not try a few of these recipes while we’re still busy with school, sports and band and see how practical they really are? Well, that’s what I’m doing this week!

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What’s for Dinner? Meal Plan for 5/8

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Since the past few weeks have been crazy and then we have another couple of crazy weeks, this week seems as though it wants to take it easy on us *fingers crossed that’s how it pans out*. It’s only Monday now, so things could change drastically between now and Sunday. This week’s meal plan is reflective of us not having 1,001 things to do in the evenings. I’m going to be cooking at least 3 nights this week from scratch instead of having dinner pre-prepped or quick fix meals. There are 2 slow-cooker uses this week – one to bake potatoes and one to cook dinner but guess what? those are the night’s we’re out late because of band or baseball.

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What’s for Dinner? Meal Plan for 5/1

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So I slacked on the blogging last week – I swear time just got away from me – but thank goodness I had a meal plan or we might have been eating sandwiches all week! Below is a look at my planner, that I posted on Instagram, from last week so you’ll see what I’m talking about!

I wish I could say it was a one off week, but the craziness is just going to continue until school lets out for summer break in 4 weeks (What?!? we’re almost done with school this year?).

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What’s for Dinner? Meal Plan for 4/17

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This week is almost a typical week for us. We are SUPER busy and I want to avoid the question “What’s for dinner?” and not have an answer. This week’s meal plan has “quick fix”, pre-prepped and slower-cooker meals just to make life easier and work with our schedule.

While sitting down and planning our meals for the upcoming week I had to take into consideration that we have 5 days that involve baseball (yes, it’s that kind of crazy week for us), Baritone lesson and 9th Grade Orientation for the Girl, a sleep-over with our Nephew and then we’re going to spend at Day at Universal Orlando. *Whew* It’s a week! That’s not including work for the Hubs, grocery shopping and Planner & Paper stuff for me and whatever else may come our way. I may need a vacation next week just to recover; which I can’t take a break next week as this craziness repeats itself then too! We are almost running full tilt like this until school gets out at the end of May. Then I’m going to spend all summer reading and not doing anything!

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Meal Planning 101

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Most of my married life I have made a meal plan. We don’t always stick to it; sometimes we switch it around to work around our schedule, should it change after I’ve planned our meals, or we grab take-out or choose to go out for a meal. I write my grocery list using my meal plan and I typically only purchase things we need to make the meals on the list and maybe a few impulse buys – if there’s a good sale at the grocery store on something we may need/want.

That sounds all well and good, right? But what if you’ve never meal planned before, how do you even get started? It’s a daunting task. Especially when you have a system that seems to work for you. We, Hubs & I, have tried to go grocery shopping without a plan and holy cow, that was a bad idea! We spent WAY more than we typically do and it seemed as though we walked away with nothing that was actually usable. We have since learnt that lesson! I’m not saying I plan every week religiously. I SHOULD, but it doesn’t always happen and guess what, we’re spending more money, or picking up take-out, eating out more and just not eating as healthily as we should. But when I do plan, sometimes I plan for weeks in advance if I know we’re going to be busy, we spend less, have food in the house *gasp* and no longer look at each other – kids included – like we’ve been asked the final Jeopardy question  when it comes to “what would you like for dinner?” *insert Jeopardy music here*.  I’ll take “How quick can you drive to Sonic? for $800, please Alex”. Seriously! It’s terrible.

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How are you so organized?

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This is a question I’ve been asked numerous times. To be honest, I’m not always as well organized as I seem, but I will say, using my calendar – whether it be Outlook/iCal or a planner, I HAVE to know what’s going on in my life. I have 2 kids, who keep us on on our toes 90% of the time and most of our comings and goings revolve around them.

Since they the kids were both little I have used some kind of calendar system. Before planners were really popular, I used Outlook to sync my calendar to my Blackberry. I know.. old school! I still carried a small pocket calendar to keep doctor appointments, school dates etc. in my purse, but most of our important dates were kept in Outlook. I was so cool, I even color coded EVERYTHING. I’m a visual person, I can’t help it, I need color codes for everything. I’m pretty sure my husband LOVES it (insert sarcasm here)! I really wish I had a picture or screen shot of this, because my Outlook calendar was amazing epic. I have since moved on to iCal as I’m now an iPhone user, which is AMAZING. My husband and our daughter both have iPhone’s and I absolutely LOVE the functionality of the calendar app. We all use the “Family Calendar” on our phones and like magic we are all notified that a new appointment, event etc. has been added to the calendar.

While I always have a digital copy of our calendar on my phone I have since come around, it took me a while, and I purchased a planner. I did all sorts of research (this means I spent numerous hours on Pinterest and Instagram) and looked at numerous ways people utilize a planner to figure out what worked best for me. I chose to use the Arc System from Staples, which I love. It’s flexibility to move things in and out of my planner was a perk. I would only carry 6 months of calendar with me at a time. I liked being able to move the pages in and out to write on them. I liked the half letter size, it fit perfectly in my purse and I would take it with me everywhere with ease. Then I was given an Erin Condren gift certificate for my birthday last year and I took the leap into all things Erin Condren.

Now, I can’t even say that my planner is as stunning as ANY of those I’ve seen on Pinterest or Instagram, but it’s definitely functional! I have tried to add stickers here and there, but I’m still very much a  newbie when it comes to where/when to use a sticker in my planner. “But you’re designing planner stickers?” I hear you thinking it! I use colored dots in my monthly spread for things that are a constant, repeating appointment. I babysit my Nephew during the week and so I know those days and times are consistent, but I like an overview look when I look at my monthly for when I’m planning/adding events to our calendar. It’s that visual thing again. I don’t need to write it all out, as I know what the dot means. I do however write it out when I transfer everything to the weekly spread.

I have designed stickers that I will use. I need stickers to keep track of practices, both for baseball and for band; I created dots for the monthly spread and then the other cute, functional (the to-do, boxes, page flags etc.) stickers to fit the weekly spread.

I have found that the horizontal format is what works best for me. I have used a vertical layout before, in an older planner (Do It All Mom Planner) back when I was in college, which worked; but we just have too much going on these days to fit it all into a small vertical box. Maybe I’m wrong, or my writing is just huge, but horizontal is what works for me. I then use the blank box on the right as the space where I write our meal plan for each day. This way it’s all in one place.

So, the point of telling you all of this? I am only as organized as my planner/calendar. I really do not function well without a plan. I don’t schedule myself down to the very last second of my day, but I like to make sure we know what’s going on and when. With there being times that my husband goes in one direction while I go in the opposite, I have to stay on top of who has what going on and when. This is also how I plan our meals. Not so much breakfast and lunch, but dinners, for sure. If we have a baseball game on a weeknight, that is not the night I plan to cook a roast dinner or tackle a new recipe. I will be starting a blog series on meal planning and how I tackle that task.

So, let me know, how do you keep yourself organized? What planner/planning system – you could still be using a Blackberry and Outlook – have you found that works for you?

If you’re interested in purchasing an Erin Condren Planner yourself, you can use my referral link and receive $10 off of your first purchase!

I’d love to see how you use your planner, your stickers or lack there of and what type of planner you use. Link me below!