This post may contain referral or affiliate links.
Meal planning for two weeks at a time has proven to be really effective for us. I’ve found it really beneficial to be prepared and ingredients on hand for double the number the meals. It allows me more flexibility which has been vital in the past few weeks where I’ve gotten sick (strep is the worst!!), kids have gotten sick, and Keith’s spring sports/work schedule can be changed at the drop of a hat.
It took me a little while to get in a groove of the two week meal plan. Now that I have, I feel that our grocery budget has been reduced. We’ve have some anamolies, such as spring break in March, that keeps me from declaring with certainty that this method is saving us money on groceries. But at this point, it seems quite possible.
Our breakfasts and lunches have become very routine so planning for them has become quite simple. We’ve found some new dinner recipes that are a hit with everyone and hope to share some recipes here on the blog real soon. Brooke has plans over both weekends & Keith will be gone the second so I left the weekends open because Leah & I are pretty easy to please and I’m sure there will be leftovers to throw into the mix.
Meal Plan for April 24 – May 7, 2017
Eggs & Toast
Yogurt & Granola
Salmon & Veggies
Homemade “Lunchables” (Brooke’s lunches)
Garlic Parmesan Pork Chops
Baked Penne with Sausage & Peppers
Creamy Italian Chicken
Slow Cooker Southwest Chicken Stacks
Easy Taco Salad
Weeknight Creamy Sausage Pasta
Below is a screenshot of my Plan To Eat planner to give you an overview of how I have meals planned each day. As always, nothing is set in stone.
Have you tried meal planning for longer than a one-week period? What did you like or not like?
Chili Dip has been a family favorite for over 30 years. The recipe originated from the instruction manual for an electric skillet my parents received as a wedding gift. I remember it being the main event at many birthday parties and family events.
As I started my own family, I made sure it was a regular feature of our special occasions. And at our house, two of the most special occasions are Christmas & the Super Bowl. So you can be sure Chili Dip will be on our menu every Christmas Eve as gather to watch our traditional movie, Elf. And you can also be sure we’ll be snacking away at it this weekend for the Super Bowl.
One of my favorite aspects of this dip is that it is entirely made in a skillet so, other than rinsing cans to be recycled, there is little mess left behind. This is something I definitely take into consideration when I’m hosting!
You definitely don’t need to have an electric skillet to make this dip. I use this skillet that was a gift from my sister that I use almost daily!! I think you could probably make this transfer it to a slow cooker before you put the cheese on to keep in warm. I haven’t tried it but might next time I make it!
- 1 lb ground turkey or beef
- 1 medium onion
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1/2 Tbsp cumin
- 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
- 32 oz. refried beans
- 15 oz black beans, drained & rinsed
- 15 oz diced tomatoes & green chiles
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- Sliced black olives, optional
- Sliced green onions, optional
- Brown ground meat. Add onion and cook until translucent.
- Add chili powder, cumin & garlic and stir until combined.
- Add refried beans, black beans, tomatoes & green chiles and tomato sauce to meat mixture. Stir until combined.
- Lower heat and simmer 10-15 minutes.
- Add cheese and leave on low heat until cheese has melted. If desired, add olives and/or green onions.
- Serve warm with chips. I suggest wavy potato chips, tortilla chips or corn chips, preferably Fritos Scoops!
We had a short week due to the Labor Day holiday so there were only 4 school lunches to show you this week!
I will be honest and say there was nothing too special about Brooke’s lunches this week. And I will continue being honest and say that is part of the reason I film the lunches I pack for Brooke and share them. Packing school lunch doesn’t have to a big deal. You don’t need to spend a ton of money on fancy containers & cutters and spend hours in the kitchen every morning making flowers out of vegetables. With a few versatile items and couple minutes in the morning, you can kick your kids’ school lunches up a notch.
Items used in this week’s lunches:
Easy Lunchboxes – http://amzn.to/1QhMJhH
Easy Lunchboxes Mini Dippers – http://amzn.to/2bgLuTz
Silicon Cupcake Liners – http://amzn.to/1JUvQIE