Welcome to your Monday, my friends! It’s menu planning time around here and since last week’s “keep it simple” plan went so well, I am doing it again! We are finally getting a hand on the back-to-school routine a bit, thanks to a flexible meal plan, which also gave us a lot of variety.
So looking at the week, according to the month long, plan for the week , this is what I am making:
What I am ACTUALLY making based on my grocery shop and what I already have is:
- Leftovers (Pulled pork sandwiches)
- Pancakes, eggs, bacon
- Steak Tips on the grill
- Spaghetti Squash casserole, grilled chicken
- Soup & Salad night (soup and sandwiches for the kids)
The only grocery item that I still need to get, is the steak, and I didn’t like the way it looked at the store that I went to, so if I can’t find it at the next one that I go to for meat, than this little item will change too- I have been wanting seafood so that would be a great option.
Overall, the menu plan helps with the budget for groceries…but can we talk about how expensive school lunches are to pack for 4 kids?! The snacks, people! The snacks are too expensive , and I need to pack peanut-free only snacks for them all, as many schools require now, so many options are brand-dependent on the ingredient list NOT saying “made in a facility that also processes peanuts or other nuts.” I am not sure why so many brands of items even have peanuts near their stuff (?!) but they do, and a lot of things you wouldn’t think have a peanut issue, do- so I always read the label to make sure. Here’s what I usually include:
- Fruit: strawberries, apple, little oranges or other fruit
- Extra: carrot with hummus
- Crunchy & Salty: Pretzels or chips of some peanut-free kind (this is the toughest!)
- Sweet: cookies (Oreos, vanilla wafers, homemade, or Graham crackers)
- Yogurts (sticks, or cups)
- Cheese sticks/bricks with crackers
- Sandwich (kid dependent on type) or Thermos of warm food (pasta, french toast sticks, soup)
Some of this is homemade, and some is pre-packaged. I usually use a TON of little containers that are slowly taking over my dish-rack!
It takes a looooong time to pack 5 lunches (including myself) so I do most of it the night before. But I would love some lunch-time inspiration. I made a Pin-Board to get started, but honestly, the kid’s lunches are not as pretty as most of these!