Meal Planning at My House – Justine

Meal planning can look different in every home. In my home, meal planning is flexible. I like to keep it flexible because, with a family of five, things can change very quickly. Today I will share the process I use to plan supper meals at my home.

The first thing I do is choose our main dishes for one week. I usually choose four or five main dishes because I like to double recipes and serve leftovers two or three times per week. Next, I choose side dishes. I usually do not want to cook both main dishes and side dishes, so I keep it simple with sides. I buy a variety of canned, fresh, and frozen fruits and vegetables for sides. Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are especially important for our family because they store well and they are quick and easy to prepare.

I do not assign specific meals to days of the week. I just post the list of meals I have available on the refrigerator and then make the meal that will be best for my family on a particular day. For example, I tend to go grocery shopping on Friday or Saturday, so I will cook larger meals over the weekend that can be saved for leftovers on a busy night later in the week.

This past weekend, I cooked a pork roast in the slow cooker. So far, we have had two meals from the pork and I think we can get two more. Even though our main dishes will be similar for these meals, I can use the fruits and vegetables I have on hand to change things up a little. This flexible approach to meal planning works well for my family. Stay tuned next week for the approach that works best for Jody and her family.

Justine Hoover

Justine Hoover

Justine Hoover is a Registered Dietitian and mom who loves to cook for her family.

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2 thoughts on “Meal Planning at My House – Justine

  1. This is similar to my planning process. I start by looking at the calendar to see how many nights we will eat at home. I also travel quite a bit for work so I leave nights I’m out of town up to the crew at home. They have their own routine when they are mom-less.

    I start with one or two things that will yield leftovers – like the roast you mentioned. We aren’t great leftover eaters, unless it works for me for lunch. Re-imaging leftovers into something else has worked wonders! Leftover roast (beef or pork) or baked chicken might end up in a casserole, soup, tacos, spaghetti or a skillet stir fry.

    These also let me sneak in different veggies (in identifiable pieces, not pureed and hidden). My kiddos (and husband) struggle with eating a variety of vegetables. We eat a lot of broccoli and cauliflower because they are generally a home run. Corn by itself is rarely eaten by anyone other than me. If I put it in taco filling, chili or another soup, it is suddenly not an issue. Carrots face a similar success rate.

    Thanks for a great blog! I’ve followed for years.

  2. Hi Megan,
    Thank you so much for sharing your process for meal planning. It always amazes me how we can all have our own ways of doing things that work just right for our families! Thank you also for following us, we are glad to have you.
    Justine

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