Whats on dinner menu for tonight

Someone, anyone please give me tips on how to meal plan. We absolutely kill our …

Someone, anyone please give me tips on how to meal plan. We absolutely kill our budget every month eating fast food. Family of 7. 3 adults, 4 kids (4months, 3yrs, 5yrs, and 8yrs). I work 6am to 6pm and my fiancé works 6pm-6am so anything that involves the smallest amount of prep possible would be great. I have an oven, crockpot, air fryer, and microwave.



thank for the original creator Amber Nicole Norton

47 thoughts on “Someone, anyone please give me tips on how to meal plan. We absolutely kill our …”

  1. Karen A. Detty

    I did and still do alot of cooking once and eating twice. Or even three times..a favorite was something like ..cook 3 lbs ground beef use taco seasoning ..first meal could be tacos …2nd one..add refried beans to some meat and make burritos..third meal..bake potatoes and top with meat, cheese tomatoes onion.
    After the initial cooking its simple heat and eat. Same with chicken and carrots in cream of soup in the crock pot..1st night eat the meal like ..meat, veges a side of stovetop stuffing ..next night cook some egg noodles add peas and mix all together…cook once ..then its heat and eat

  2. I do a week at a time starting w Sat and I shop walmart pickup Fridays. I do extra big meals w leftovers on my days off

  3. We keep a lot of easy frozen foods on hand for my 5 and 2 year old. Is it the healthiest? Nope. Is it better and cheaper than fast food? For sure. Microwaveable french bread pizza. Microwave Mac and cheese and rice a roni. Steam packs of broccoli and corn. Frozen mini corn dogs, chicken nuggets and French toast sticks. Turkey meatballs and noodles. Scrambled eggs can be made in 5 minutes and are a crowd pleaser here. 🙃

  4. If both of you are working 12 hour days, what is the 3rd adult doing? Are they able to take charge of meals? There are plenty crockpot ready meals, you just prep in a storage bag, then dump in the crockpot and let it cook. If you meal prep after going shopping, should be a piece of cake.

  5. Linda Christensen

    Sheet pan meals are quick and easy .. most are prepped in like 5 -10 minutes and only cook about 15-20 minutes … healthy delicious meals in 30 minutes or less

  6. Laura Killen-Wing

    I look at the sales each week & plan meals based on that first. I have a list of meal ideas written down so that I don’t feel like I repeat everything.

  7. I will check my cupboards, fridge and freezer before planning a weekly menu. We have spaghetti sauce and noodles? Spaghetti is going on the menu.. but I make a weekly menu with a couple extras in there. Weekly we have either frozen pizza or mini corn dogs and chicken nuggets. I throw in some grapes, snap peas or baby carrots to make myself feel better about it. I have a lot of ‘go to’ meals that are pretty low prep.. spaghetti, tacos, Alfredo, pizzas, any kind of noodle casserole, pork chops and rice, grilled chicken and anything, pancakes and sausage, scrambled eggs and toast with some berries. For me it’s really about having that menu and knowing I have the supplies on hand

  8. When my kids were growing up I planned meals on an calendar for two weeks and bought groceries accordingly. For example a pot roast can go in your crockpot, leftovers you can make beef and noodles. The website AllRecipes.com has a huge selection of recipes.

  9. Penny Turgeon-Kimble

    You need to plan and prep on Sundays. Make it a family event. Choose the plan, prep what you can and make good use of your appliances that you have.

  10. Carolyn Snider

    I use to, before retirement, on Sunday morning I sat down and fixed a menu for the week. So I was in control of what I cooked. I knew the night before what to take out of the freezer for the next day or if I needed to put something in the crock pot for the night. It was a lot of stress relief in the daily menu decisions

  11. So, what I did when there was more than my husband and I was on Sunday I would assemble meals for the crockpot and before I left each day I would throw in a meal. On Saturday and Sunday it would be good home cooking, but Monday- Friday it was crockpot.

  12. Look up crockpot freezer meals. They are things you can put in ziplocks, thaw the night before you want them, and dump in the crockpot in the morning. You can prep them really quickly because most things go in raw so it’s just a matter of plopping in meat, veg, and seasoning. My hubby and I worked opposite shifts when our kids were little and the crockpot was my very best friend.

  13. Lorri Stiebritz

    Meal planning is key. Do all major food prep on Sundays . Example:
    Make a meatloaf and double the recipe cook both eat one and freeze one. While that cooks prepare a roast ( google Mississippi Pot Roast) in the crock pot. Make mashed potatoes and have those with the pot roast. Prepare and cook chicken legs in the oven cool and just reheat for dinner . Cook a pound of bacon in the oven and some sausage . Reheat later in the week while you make pancakes and serve with fruit. On Thur do “ fridge clean out. Friday eat out or get pizza. Meal prepping is the best way to provide quality food and less stress for your family.

  14. It’s hard to budget nowadays BUT planning meals helps. We do themes:
    Monday-breakfast
    Tuesday-taco/Mexican
    Wednesday-Pasta/Italian
    Thursday-leftovers/easy
    Friday-pizza(variations)
    Saturday-Grilling
    Sunday-crockpot/meat and potatoes (usually try to do a “nicer” meal-maybe pull out an old family recipe and dessert)
    Doing this helps us stay on track and not eat out as much. I also try and plan breakfast and lunches too but that usually consists of cereal and sandwiches. Hope that helps!

  15. Lisa Klosek Anderson

    Frozen Meatball bag Add a large can of red enchilada sauce and a can of drained Rotel. Cook on low 4 to 5 hours then add shredded cheese. My kids loved this over rice.

  16. Denise L'Ecuyer Hartwig

    Grocery shop from your freezers and cabinets first. I plan my meals a month at a time, works best for us. Definitely shop Aldi.

  17. Karrie Hodges Pusateri

    I like emeals, then the menu imports directly to Walmart and you can drive up and pick it up for free, all the work done for you

  18. Brenda Schweiger

    There is nothing wrong with easy food. Shop the sales. Make and freeze taco meat, spaghetti sauce, meatballs, sloppy joes. Hot dogs rolled in Cresent rolls and mac n cheese, hamburger helper, Broasted chicken from the grocery store. Tuna or chicken salad, fish sticks, frozen pizza. use your crockpot. Big pork roast in crockpot , then shredded it and add BBQ sauce.
    Ham n beans in the crockpot, serve with Jiffy corn bread sheet pan dinners are great. Smoked sausage with potatoes or with rice and beans. Make a large pasta salad for a few days. And sometimes we just have to do fast food. You can do this.

  19. Trudy Richards

    So I go thru my fridge, freezer and cupboard and see what I have and what I can make from that. I then only write down the ingredients I need to make that meal. I add extra vegetables, rice or noodles to make all my meals stretch

  20. Can he prep before he leaves for you so when you get home you just throw it in the oven? Is there cross over time? You both leave at 6 or start at 6? Can he throw stuff in the crock pot before he sleeps then it is ready for his breakfast your dinner. Then you prep the foods for the next morning so he just has to throw it in the slow cooker?

  21. April Lambert Jones

    Mostly you just have to remember to toss stuff in the crackpot. A meat, a sauce even if its salsa serve with rice noodles, whatever

  22. Katelyn Margaret

    The Frugal Fit mom on YouTube has some absolutely fantastic crock pot meals, she does episodes with 3-4. My toddler is a picky eater, so when we find something she’ll eat I make extra and freeze toddler sized portions for her. When I’m meal planning for the week, I number the meals instead of assigning them days. That way I can switch there around without feeling like I’ve stayed from the plan.

  23. Jordan Sheldon

    Sit down and right our meals for 2 weeks out at a time. Right down all you need underneath it. Then go through your stuff seeing what you already have and then right down what you need.

  24. Emogene Clevenger

    When I worked on Sunday I fixed a pot of brown beans,. Cooked a big pot of potatoes with the skin on, boiled a dozen eggs, crumbed 2/3 lbs of hamburger meat,. Fix a cake or two and you ready for a week…beans one night what’s left over, make chili,,with your hamburger Tacos,. Meat for the chili,. Eggs salad, tuna salad. The eggs are all ready,. The potatoes can be graded for hash browns, fried,. Can add onion’s,. Add butter and some cream for cream potatoes. After a while you learn to add more stuff as you go a long. But really helped me
    .

  25. Wendy Utz Wright

    My suggestion is be a day ahead. Prep and cook for the next day. You can do big batches of roasted veggies that will spread out for 2 or 3 meals. Cook meats in crockpot like pork roast. You can make BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, pork carnitas, pork with veggies and pork gravy, pork and fried rice with stir fry veggies. Cook large batches of beef. Make meatloaf, meatballs for subs, hamburger steaks and gravy, or shepherds pie.

  26. My mother had 8 kids plus my father who had his own business, so we never knew how much money he would make in a week. She would do batch meals and freeze them, which taught me how to do this when I unexpectedly became a single mother. Cook all your meatballs in the oven on a cookie sheet in a little oil and drain, put them in freezer containers, and cover in the pasta sauce (store bought is fine.) I would make 4-5 lbs. of meatballs and freeze one pound per container in the sauce and take it out the night before to start defrosting, then microwave it when I got home while the spaghetti was cooking. I also would filet a family pack of chicken breasts and separate out 1.5 lbs. per Ziplock and freeze it, and make something like chicken piccata, which is fast.

  27. I divide my grocery list in sections: produce, meat, dairy, other. I fill in all of our weekly staples. Then I write our dinners for the week and fill in the ingredients on my list. Then I cross off what I already have.

    We eat spaghetti and meatballs once a week for years and it never gets old. Quesadillas once per week. So it helps to already have a couple days planned and then you really only have a few dinners with new recipes and ingredients to buy.

    Also on nights when we want fast food I make scrambled eggs which is even easier than fast food. I keep a dijourno in the freezer for nights I just want to order pizza.

    It took me a long time and I’m still not perfect but I’ve come a very long way. Good luck!

  28. Kristy Potochick Blake

    Have planned lunches/snacks for the kiddos as well. Both you and hubby should pack each other’s lunches since you work opposite shifts to save time. One day a week about 3 hours to prep and package

  29. Cook twice what you need every time you cook. Either freeze the second portion for another day/week, or keep in fridge for a couple days later.
    Try to buy meat in bulk. Separate into meal portions & freeze. Fry a few pounds of burger meat & freeze in portions for different meals: spaghetti, chili, tacos, etc. or make double or triple batches of spaghetti sauce & chile & freeze for a quick meal later.
    Keep pasta, rice, & potatoes on hand. Also cornmeal mix. All will stretch a meal. Dried beans are cheap & great for a couple of meals (can be cooked on a weekend & used later in the week with cornbread), and any leftovers can be a side for another meal.
    You can make biscuits ahead of time & bake eggs in muffin tins & refrigerate for quick breakfasts. A big batch of egg or tuna salad can live in the fridge for 4-5 days for sandwiches for lunches.

  30. Ashley Mitchell

    When having my third child we cooked 2 weeks worth of meals and froze them. If you cook your meats on Sunday and plan out the daily meals as in burger, spaghetti, casseroles etc this cuts a lot of time down.
    Also we have breakfast nights for dinner and because it’s hot and summer we make alot of deli sandwiches. I try and keep extra lunch meat in freezer that thaws quickly and maybe $2.00 buns.
    If I go all out with lettuce tomatoes etc I plan additional meals that can use up the left overs like a big salad after burger night we usually have spinach leftover. Good luck hunni this is a trial and error situation

  31. Regina Kuta Kuizin

    Look at your local grocery store sales paper! Circle what you can make for 3 dinners that week. PLUS 2 pantry items to start stockpiling. Only buy items on sale! Do that for a month. The following month – look at the grocery sales ad & make dinner from sale items for 4 days that week. If you go to fast food places – grab the menu & try to make a few items from the menu. Even snacks or appetizers… you can do it!

  32. Sue Marshall-Ramseier

    I have everyone pick a meal and shop for what I need. I make casserole, soup or lasagna the night before and have someone heat it up or put in the oven

  33. Not meal prep but easy recipe is lazy man’s enchiladas! They are actually delicious and your kids would probably love them.

  34. Tracey Hokenson Sorgea

    I have an Instant Pot, and love it. There is a definite learning curve, but once you get familiar with it, it can go a long way to helping prep meals quicker. Especially when I forget to thaw meat, it can go in there and cook so much quicker and helps discourage me from hitting fast food. We have 6 in our home. So, I know how expensive that gets. I use an ap called Supercook and an ap called Whisk. I highly recommend both. But in the end, I have a blank monthly calendar that I fill in with dinners only each month and plan my grocery shopping as needed either weekly or every other week depending on how many fresh ingredients I need. I agree with utilizing leftovers, theme nights and I also like to cook extra meat when possible to freeze for future use, such as ground beef for future spaghetti or shredded chicken for BBQ chicken sandwiches, etc…good luck, I know how hard it can be.

  35. I plan my meals every Sunday morning.
    Pick up groceries after church.
    I cook every Sat, Sun, Mon, Tues
    Hubby Cooks Wed and Thursday. Fridays and sometimes Saturdays are take out.
    I cook 1 crockpot , 1 oven roasted meal , one stove top meal and one grilled
    meal a week…just to switch things up.
    (For crockpot, I prepped before I leave for work at 6am. Cheap & Easy recipe that feeds everyone:
    Chicken Marsala in crockpot (Google recipe))

    My husband usually does easy meals like:
    Frank’s and beans
    Or
    Homemade pizza on Boboli
    Or
    Soups & Sammies

    Planning is key for me. I care for my 2 elderly parents, my hubby and my sister.
    Good luck 👍

  36. Find recipes on Facebook or online. I pick 3 or 4 meals a week a write down the meal with the side. List out the ingredients for the grocery order. I pick 2 or 3 crock pot meals each week and 1 or 2 regular meals. If we don’t end up cooking the meal, I cook it the next week. If it’s a great recipe I write it down on my recipe card for the future. I also keep cold cuts, cheese, and burritos on hand for roll ups. So easy to throw together on a busy night.

  37. breakfast for dinner is always affordable! bacon in the oven is way easier than frying on the stove and a giant batch of scrambled eggs and some toast. it’s a staple in our crazy house. i also decided like a year ago to stop putting pressure on myself to dish out a gourmet meal every time. it’s ok to do a stoufers lasagna or just pasta with ground meat and sauce some nights.

  38. Sandy Snodgrass

    My advice is to plan a menu. Then shop for the menu. Don’t over do it, just plan for a week. Then any produce won’t go bad. And some meal prep on days off makes thing so much easier. Good luck.

  39. Jacque Meyer Lambor

    I just started meal planning and moved to shopping 1x per month… I mean, we buy milk weekly and any perishable food that won’t last beyond a week or two for the upcoming week but only spend no more than $20 / week for these add- ons. Its a bit of work planning and making a month long list, but I’m honestly loving it. We are saving between $200-$300 per month by doing this. I find it’s just so easy to spend more money each week shopping and ‘loosing ‘ food in the fridge and pantry because i forgot i bought it when it was never in the plan to make use of it. Besides it’s so nice having the decision already made to know ‘ what’s for dinner’ and not have that added stress. Good luck!

  40. We’ve tried several recipes out of these books. We grocery pick up and meal prep on a free Sunday. Stick them all in the deep freeze until we’re ready to use. Its cut down on our eating out. It helped us so much last school semester for me. I work full time, full time student, and pregnant…I just didn’t have the energy to cook and eating out was easy. This saved us!

  41. First look at the weekly adds for the grocery stores around you. Look at what is on sale. Build your meals around sales.
    I cook and freeze proteins to make it easier. I get large package of ground beef I cook some in pot until done, drain, cool then package in freezer bags in sizes to feed your family. I make meatball out of part of them bake, drain cool and freeze, to left over meatball mixture add Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, onions and green peppers, make a couple meat loaves.
    Use one for dinner, freeze others. Eat one for dinner with, instant potatoes, frozen vegetables and brown gravy packet. Leftovers can be cut into spaghetti sauce and put over pasta.
    I also got living on a dime cookbooks. Tawra has good fast recipes. Also recipes to repurpose meals.

  42. Carlie Snipes Brewster

    It helps me to kind of have a “theme” for each day. So like Americana Monday, Taco Tuesday, Waffle Wednesday, Italian Thursday. Then I made a list of meals that work for each day. I pick out two at a time because I’m meal planning for two weeks. Then make my grocery list and do my best to stick to it. If you have an Aldi around, it’s a great way to save some money.

  43. Valerie Laughlin

    I meal plan anywhere from 1-3 weeks at a time. I do grocery pick up every Monday so I have what I need for the week.

  44. Deb DeGroat Mitchell

    An old friend had the same menu week after week it worked for them. Maybe choose a few things that are the same each week and mix up couple other days

  45. Heather Renee Adams

    Super helpful to have certain nights that are the same and simple every week. We do taco Tuesdays, leftover Thursdays, and pizza Fridays, Sunday breakfast is cinnamon rolls (I do my grocery shopping every Fridays). The kiddos like it too since they know what to expect those nights at least

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