We all know that creating a meal plan often saves inches, money and time in the long run.  We also know it is ‘smart’ to do, but many like me, hate doing it!  I know I can’t be the only one who dislikes making a meal “plan” for the week.  Its like, who has time for this?!  And when I read blog posts where people have binders and calculators and then come up with these elaborate meals that, honestly, are going to take forever to make after a work day.  It just seems impractical.  No thanks.  But… doing this really does save money, time and inches.  It also ensures my little snacker eats a healthy dinner and that we have leftovers for lunches.  So really, as much as I moan and groan, it is worth the little extra time and effort.

My process doesn’t involve a beautiful binder like this: (I wish I made it look this good!)

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Oh no, mine tends to look more like this:

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I suck it up and spend about an hour (ok maybe 2 since my process involves Pinterest) on Saturday mornings devising the plan for the upcoming week.  Essentially I go on and pin about 5-6 “dinner recipes” for the week onto my “Weeknight Family Dinner” board.  Criteria is that it has to be able to be deconstructed since I begrudgingly admit to a picky eater in my house, also time is a factor for weeknights.  Also taking into account cost and what’s in season.  Once I pin a few recipes, then I go over each recipe and write down any ingredients I may need.  Its not fancy but its a “plan” nonetheless.  Sometimes if I am feeling ambitious I will pre-prep some of the food ahead of time so its able to be assembled fairly easily the night of.

This is what I came up with this week.  (if your interested in the recipes just click on the picture- should take you right to the link)

Monday:

Chicken Noodle Soup

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Tuesday:

Burrito Bowls

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Wednesday:

GF/DF Lemon broccoli pasta

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Thursday:

Gwyneth Paltrow’s lettuce wraps

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Friday:

Singapore Noodles

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Saturday:

OPEN – pizza, grill cheese, something kid friendly – usually let the kid choose.

Sunday:

As was tradition in my family,we usually do a roast or something a bit more labour intensive like a whole chicken.  We bring out the good china and sometimes light a candle.  Either way I like to make Sunday’s dinner a bit special.  And we always have dessert.

Pork Tenderloin

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Alison