Weekly Meal Plan for Family of 6
So I got thinking, I’m meal planning every single week for our family, so why not share it here with you all? If you’re anything like me, the days and the hours and can just totally get away from you. And when you don’t plan out dinner, it can either be begging your husband to go out to eat (again), scrambling to make something that barely constitutes as dinner (all while being hangry and desperately trying to not be a grouch to your kids - no? just me? wink.) OR, you throw your hands in the air and tell the kids to get themselves a bowl of cereal because, WHATEVER. YOU. DON’T. EVEN. CARE.
So, yeah, I get alllll of that. I also get how much easier it makes my life when I know what we’re having for dinner in a week. It takes the pressure off, saves us a TON of money and I know what my kids are eating and can at least have some control over it (here’s looking at you, salads).
Let me tell you a bit about our family so that you can figure out how this can best work out for YOU and your family.
We’re a family of 5. We’ve got my husband, Jason, myself, our three kids - Landon (9), Charlotte (8) and Aiden (6). We also have a 22-year-old young man living with us who also eats dinner with us (thus the ‘family of 6’ in this blog title).
We love meat and comfort food. Cheese and bacon but also a healthy dose of veggies. We like (or should I say, I like) mostly homemade food, but we’re also all about a good short cut. We’re not very picky, but I do like meals to come together fairly easy because our kids get home from school around 5pm and they get to bed around 7:30pm, so we have a small window for dinner, usually between 5-6pm. All that to say, we usually have a meal that is centered around meat but makes it stretch pretty far, some type of carb/grain/etc. and then a huge salad or roasted or steamed veggies on the side.
We always serve water at our meals, it keeps us all hydrated and saves us a ton of money (not to mention sugar and calories!). The meals you’ll see me post are usually found on Pinterest, but sometimes are family recipes that are tried and true. You’ll also notice that we use a decent amount of dairy, but that eating what we do in a gluten free way isn’t all that hard (i.e. use GF all purpose flour when I use regular. sub gluten free pasta if I ever use regular, or use a GF carb or grain like rice, potatoes, quinoa, etc. another option is to just forgo the carb/grain altogether. a lot of families just like to do the main dish or meat with a vegetable). The point of these posts is to give you ideas a STARTING place that you can tweak and make work for your family, your preferences, your week.
You’ll see that I tend to plan on 5 home cooked meals a week, because we usually have leftovers at least once a week and then either go to someone’s house or out to eat on another night of any given week.
Another HUGE tip for you on meal planning before we get into our weekly meal plan: I give myself flexibility to move the meals around.
For example, I might have Crockpot Lasagna on the schedule for a Monday, but if the day gets away from me and I don’t get it in the Crockpot in time (and frankly don’t have the energy to try to figure out the conversion to the Instant Pot), I’ll just move on to another meal I had planned for later in the week. I usually then focus on whatever meal can be put together on the stovetop or maybe just bust out leftovers that night.
The point of a meal plan is to free you up with the planning, not box you in and make your life harder. I hope that helps!
When you guys make these recipes and if these meal plans help you, do an Instagram Story or post and tag me on Instagram, @lifeasaloewen. I would LOVE seeing you guys having meal planning made easier and love to know what you think of the recipes we’re using!
———> Okay, onto our weekly meal plan for the week of September 16th, 2019
MONDAY - CROCK-POT DILLY BEEF SANDWICHES (recipe here)
Laura’s notes: these are SO good and have been a family favorite for years! Makes a ton and is also perfect for having company over! We like to add a simple garlic mayo to our dilly beef sandwiches. Literally just put however much mayo you think your family/crowd will use on the sandwiches, sprinkle some garlic powder over it, mix it up and serve! Just a little extra touch that makes these babies even YUMMIER!
We usually serve these with a side salad or steamed broccoli, just because those are our go-to veggies, but obviously do whatever you’d like with these! If you want to forgo the veggies you could always do super easy chips or sweet potato fries on the side as well.
TUESDAY - slow cooker mongolian chicken with BROCCOLI (Recipe here)
wednesday - slow cooker SWEDISH meatballs (sensing a back-to-school slow cooker theme here? wink. recipe here)
Laura’s notes: we’ll serve these over gluten free pasta this week, but you can also serve these over rice or mashed potatoes, whatever floats your boat! Same as before, we’ll likely serve these with a big salad, maybe roasted broccoli and get all fancy. Roasted carrots would be amazing as well!
thursday - Slow cooker creamy italian chicken (recipe here)
Laura’s notes: we’ll serve this chicken (doesn’t it look SO good?!) over rice like in the photo and, you guessed it!…some veggies. If you feel like your family could use it, this would also be a nice meal to serve homemade (or store-bought) rolls or biscuits with. I’ll share with you guys my favorite homemade rolls recipe here soon!
friday - leftovers!!
saturday - out to eat/at someone’s house
sunday - 15 minute garlic shrimp zucchini pasta (recipe here)
Laura’s notes: this is my other favorite type of meal - 15 minute ones! Sunday’s are especially crazy around here with Jason being a pastor and it being one of the busiest ‘work days’ of our week. Sunday I love easy-peasy meals (okay, nearly everyday I do, who am I kidding?). We have extra frozen shrimp in our freezer that I can use up instead of buying more meat. As far as zucchini noodles go, I usually made my own with a SUPER easy to use spiralizer I got on Amazon HERE for under $20.
You can also buy pre-made, spiralized zucchini in the frozen vegetable section or the fresh produce section. These will cost you a decent amount more, but if you don’t want to spiralize the zucchini yourself, you can go this way. I get the frozen ones when we’re out of the ones I do by hand. Just remember to drain the water out of the frozen ones especially so it doesn’t make your meal soggy! There are instructions on all of the packages on how to cook them, as well.
Alright, folks! That’s all she wrote! Was this helpful? Would you like to see more of our meal plans?
Can’t wait to see your Insta Stories as you tag me with ideas you’ve gotten, you grocery shopping, prepping your food and what you think!