Menu Plan {Back to School}

I get a lot of questions on a regular basis about meal planning and thought I’d share how I plan for the week. On an ongoing basis, I will also try to share what I made the week before!

  • While I do plan a menu every single week, and have for as long as we’ve been married, I don’t have a big prep day to get it all ready.
  • I usually plan for the week on Saturday mornings. I make a big cup of coffee and gather up my cookbooks and magazines (Southern Living and Better Homes and Gardens.)
  • I first look at our family calendar (we use our apple phones for this) and outline the week – if there are nights where both boys have late sports those are usually leftovers. If there are nights where we are going out, that is noted. If we are going out without the boys, I mark that OYO (on your own, both boys can cook). From there, I know how many times I need to cook in order to have food on the table every night.
  • I often 1.5x or 2x recipes in order to have leftovers. I am basically feeding three men and myself and the days of eating off of a pack of chicken for two nights are long gone.
  • Mother jokes that no scrap of food is ever left uneaten in our home and that is true. Everyone here eats leftovers and if a day comes when we have plenty of food in the fridge, I simply move whatever I had planned to the next night so that it doesn’t just build up in containers in the fridge.
  • I typically plan for a fun breakfast on the weekend, or during the week if my schedule will permit.
  • I plan for dessert once a week, usually on Sunday.
  • I consider a new recipe I’d like to try, family favorites and recipes we loved but haven’t had in a while.
  • I take stock of anything we have in the fridge that needs to be used up, and take inspiration from that to remake an old favorite or try something new.
  • Honey grills 6 chicken breasts and 6 burgers every Sunday for the boy’s snacks and lunches. I make a bunch of brown rice in the instant pot.
  • Honey and I both work at home full time and also eat leftovers for lunch, when it is not earmarked for a leftover night.

Here was our menu from last week. I didn’t make anything new this week, so here are links to old posts with the recipes.


Skillet Roasted Chicken & Potatoes
Honey Butter Rolls


Daddy-O’s All American Burgers
Best Chocolate Layer Cake


BTS BLTs (Back to School Bacon Lettuce and Tomato Sandwiches)




Summer Garden Pasta
Green salad


OYO / Leftovers


Chicken Salad on croissants / over salad greens (leftover from an event)

I hope this is helpful for somebody out there. I’d love to hear how you plan for a week of meals!

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5 thoughts on “Menu Plan {Back to School}

  1. I make menu meal cards on 3×5 index cards. I write out the meal (main course, vegetables, salad and/or bread) on one side of the card and the ingredients needed to prepare that meal on the back of the card. I pull out 7 meal cards, check the ingredients on the back to see what I have on hand and what I need to purchase. When I come across a new recipe we like, I make out a new menu meal card to add to my stash. I store these in a recipe box and divide them by the main course: chicken, beef, fish, pork and I also have a section for Mexican, Italian, breakfasts, crockpot meals and a “I don’t want to cook” section.

    1. I love this idea! I also love that your system is on paper. I have a huge, disorganized binder that I need to reorganize.

  2. Thank you for sharing! I plan similarly. I love that Honey cooks burgers and chicken breasts for the boys for the week ahead. It’s so handy to have stuff like that ready to go! xo

  3. I always enjoy your Sunday Supper posts as I also love the Barefoot Contessa and enjoy cooking. Thank you for the great inspiration for weekly meal planning! Do y’all frequent any quick food places like Subway, Chick-fil-et, or Chipotle? I feel like we end up grabbing food from these places during sports seasons, after school, etc.. as my teens are always hungry. Just curious how other families handle this.

    1. Hi, I try not to eat out too much. It adds up so fast. For quick meals out we do tend to do chick-fil-a or chipotle. We also love the avocado toast and kale salad at kale me crazy. We mostly eat leftovers on busy nights and save eating out for something “nicer” on the weekend or for date night.

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