As I put together my meal plan for the week in my beautiful new Traveler’s Notebook, I went searching on Pinterest for not just nice photos, but recipes with rave reviews. With no AC and hot summer days up here, baking in the oven is simply not an option. And with my plan of homeschooling through the summer, making dinner in the afternoon always seems to be a side thought. We are often out berry picking until 5pm and I am trying to find something frozen to pop in (heaven help us) the oven. To help with my chaos, I was looking for crock pot recipes that I could put on in the morning, not think about all day, and not heat my house up 5 degrees. While I was salivating over the meals, and shopping and preparing, I thought: why not share this? Half of the work of making dinner is the prep. And for me, the most daunting is just thinking of something that I actually want to eat. So I decided to do a “meal plan with me” series. You will get a glimpse at our meal plan, my grocery list (that you can print if you want to repeat my meal plan), and I will come back and update it with my families thoughts and reviews. I’m getting excited just thinking about it!
My Week at a Glance and How I Plan
I quite enjoy my planning sessions. I pull out a fresh hot cup of coffee, my computer with a clean Pinterest browser open, and my Traveler’s Notebook meal planning insert. This insert is small, it has space for each day of the week: breakfast/lunch/dinner. It also has room for a snack and then a corresponding grocery list. So as I am shopping, I just bring along my Traveler’s Notebook, open to my grocery list and check things off as I go. At the end as I stand in line, I go through my actual meals to make sure I am not forgetting something.
I printed off 3 copies and put them together (removing the extra front and back pages). It has an idea list at the beginning that I put my favorite meals on to rotate through. Then I have 20 full weeks in this little inserts that I can plan my meals and snacks in and make my grocery lists. I am pretty much in love!
This particular meal plan cost me about $400 for the week, which is more than I would prefer to spend for a week. But remember that I bought breakfast, lunch, and dinner for that price, and we are a family of 7. My kids eat more than I do, for every single meal! So I need to buy enough food for 7 adults essentially, with leftovers for hubbies lunch. Also, note that I live on a very remote island where a 1 gallon jug of milk is $8. While not everything is crazy prices, I really am not the poster child for shopping on a budget and I am sure you could do this same meal plan on significantly less if you have options to shop for sales, price compare at multiple stores, and have kids that eat like normal children 😉
Monday’s Slow Cooker Meal Plan: Meatloaf and Rice
On Monday we are going to be having this delectable Meatloaf slow cooker recipe. I love that it is truly a one-pot meal, it has veggies and a starch included with it! I have rice as an additive, but I may change my mind and just do the actual recipe. I bought 2 packages of ground beef, 2 bags of new potatoes and 1 bag of mini carrots for this recipe. I will post our review once we have made it and I can tell you what both my husband and my kids thought of it.
Tuesday’s Slow Cooker Meal Plan: Chicken Chili
On Tuesday we are going to be trying out a new chili recipe that looked delicious! It uses chicken, which is a nice break from our traditional beef chili, though honestly more expensive so I am not sure where my thought process was on that. I think I definitely meal planned for taste rather than budget this week! I bought 2 chicken breasts for this, I already had all the canned goods, and I forgot the jalapeño (whoops!). But I am pretty set to go. If it is as tasty as it looks, we should have good reviews of this one.
Wednesday’s Slow Cooker Meal Plan: Grilled Chicken and Slow Cooker Carrots
I decided grilling shouldn’t use too much heat in our house if we can do it outside and I am craving grilled chicken. We will supplement it with carrots and possibly rice. I’ll be a little spontaneous on that side (probably dependant on if we had rice the night before, ha!). I bought 5 chicken breasts and a bag of potatoes for this dish. I will post our review soon!
Thursday’s Slow Cooker Meal Plan: Butter Chicken & Rice
I feel like I need to take a minute to explain that we have been on a beef binge lately and I am plain sick of beef! I think that is pretty clear with the strong emphasis on chicken this week! Ha! Needless to say, we have another chicken dish with this amazing looking Indian Butter Chicken and Rice recipe! Yum! I am especially excited about this one! I kind of want to go away and come back to this special treat. It will feel like we are eating out! 😉 Reviews to come so make sure you check back!
Friday’s Slow Cooker Meal Plan: Lasagna
On Friday we are eating slow cooker lasagna. I have never made it in my slow cooker before, so I’m a little bit giddy about this! That being said, in that $400 budget, I did buy enough for 3 lasagna’s as I figure I’ll put a few in the freezer for a busy week. That definitely pushed up my bill as 3 packages of beef and ricotta, cottage cheese, mozzarella and parmesan, not to mention 4 packages of noodles (I like to be on the safe side), that was probably close to $100 right there. See, that is where some of that money went to! Lasagna isn’t cheap, but it’s been a while since it’s been on the menu so this is kind of a special treat. I’m looking forward to seeing how this recipe turns out!
Saturday’s Slow Cooker Meal Plan: Broccoli Cheese Soup
Over the weekend, we are having this decadent soup. I LOVE broccoli soup, it is literally one of my favorite things of all time! I bought 4 heads of broccoli for this one, cream, and even more cheese! I am REALLY looking forward to the weekend!
Sunday’s Slow Cooker Meal Plan: Fajitas
We finish off the week with my favorite one (not really sure why I left it to the last) Fajitas! We have a lot of slow cooker tacos in our house, but these look even better (not to mention less work!). I am all set to go with peppers, cilantro, chicken and my wraps. It’s going to be a gooooood week!