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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!

Make a Weekly Meal Plan

Posted by Jenna Smith -

Do you ever find yourself looking at the clock to find that it's 7:00 pm, you and the entire household are starving, and you have no idea what you're going to have for dinner? Your solution is to load up the car with the family and drive to the nearest fast food place for burgers and fries. Knowing that it probably wasn't the healthiest or cheapest choice, you start to feel a little guilty.

That can all be avoided with some simple planning! By planning a weekly menu you can save money and put together healthy and tasty meals. Pick a day of the week to sit down and plan the week's menus. Think about what you and the family has going on each day and plan accordingly. For example, if you know that your child has a baseball game at 6:00 on Tuesday evening and you don't get home until 5:30, you know you're not going to have much time to fix a meal. This is where you may want to make use of your slow cooker so that you can throw the meal together in the morning before you go to work,and it will be ready for the family to feast on as soon as you get home.

It's best to go to the grocery store no more than once per week. By writing down your weekly menus and creating a shopping list, you'll save trips to the grocery store, which generally means more money in your pocket. Try using the grocery store sales ads to think of meal ideas, and always look in your cabinets to see what you have on hand first before you make the trip to the store. Also, don't forget to involve the kids in the planning process. If their menu tends to always be chicken nuggets and fries, maybe give them ideas for theme meals, such as "Mexican Night" or "Outdoor Cooking". Be sure to include at least one fruit or vegetable at each meal.

Use our Weekly Meal Plan Guide to help you write your Weekly Meal Plan. And try this recipe below for an easy meal that's ready when you get home!

Texas Hash (Printable PDF)

(makes 6 servings)

1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

2 (16-oz.) can tomatoes

1 cup raw long-grain rice

1 1/2 tsp. chili powder

1 1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup water

Brown beef; drain off fat.

Put all ingredients in slow cooker; stir thoroughly.

Cover and cook on High 1 hour; then Low 5-7 hours (or keep on High another 3 hours.)

Nutrition Facts: (Amount Per Serving) 290 calories, 4.5g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 60mg cholesterol, 770mg sodium, 35g total carbohydrate, 2g dietary fiber.

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Great page...enjoy seeing the material being availablew to people. Putting it on FB was a excellent idea. Hope more have sought it out...
by Harry Wright on Thursday 9/15/2011

Great Idea.
by Morey Predmore on Thursday 9/15/2011

The second step to making your weekly meal plan, is to save money by using coupons during your weekly grocery run. You can plan out your meals, and use current coupons to pay less and eat better.
by Jill C. on Sunday 10/30/2011

During the holidays, some of the best coupons are Campbells coupons. Soup is an ingredient in many holiday meals, so why not save some money?
by Tina J. on Sunday 12/18/2011