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A Rose Recipe: Healthy Weekly Meal Plan for the Busy Chef

Updated on August 3, 2013

Planning ahead means my busy week does not rule my diet plan

Make a Meal Plan

Staying busy doesn't mean I have to sacrifice my diet or my budget!

Make a meal plan for your entire week. Look at what you have going on in your schedule as well as your own tastes and dietary needs. Obviously you wont want to make something elaborate and large the night of your child's soccer game when you only have 30 minutes to both make a meal and eat it. Also look at your lunch menu for work or at home and see where, when, and how you will use the leftovers.

Shopping Plan

Go through your cupboards and freezer and make a shopping list of what you will need for the whole week of fresh veggies, fruits and dairy. There is no need to make multiple trips to the store each week which will cut into that precious family time that could be spent at home when you can plan ahead wisely. Our family goes to the store as part of our routine on Sundays and anything that we run out of in the middle of the week is done without until the following Sunday. This accomplishes two things: a) less time spent making little trips & b) less inclination to buy things outside of our limited budget just because we saw something on sale and decided to splurge.

Planning Ahead

Spend one day a week prepping anything that can be prepped in advance:

  • Ground beef/turkey can be cooked and drained and stored in 3/4 pounds per container for the week in the fridge
  • Onions can be diced and stored in a little water for the week
  • Lettuce can be shredded and stored for the week
  • Tomatoes can be diced and stored for the week
  • Celery can be diced and stored in a little water for the week

Because you made your meal plan, you will know what to expect and can leave a reminder to yourself to pull out your meat from your freezer in the morning or night before you will need it. Store it in the fridge either in a ziploc bag or on a plate with saran wrap covering it so it has time to defrost before you make dinner. This will cut down on a large portion of your cook time! I store my reminder on my cell phone: this drastically cuts down on the morning rush and wondering if I forgot to pull something out for dinner.

Leftovers - a lunchtime favorite!

When you are done eating dinner, make the lunch for the next day out of the leftovers. For me this may mean using several small containers to hold toppings for my salad and a larger dish for the lettuce then putting it all in my lunch bag which gets put into the fridge. This way all you have to do in the morning is grab the lunch bag.

If any of the meat dish wont be eaten for the rest of the week, you can freeze it using 2 ziploc bags to help you out later in the month on the inevitable day when you forgot to pull out your meat in advance. Always make sure to mark your frozen leftovers with the name of what it is, the day you made it and the date (one month into the future) to throw it away if you never use it.

My Weekly Meal Plan

Day of the Week
Shopping List
Stir Fry
Chicken breast, frozen stir fry veggies, bean sprouts, green peppers, onions
fresh bean sprouts, green peppers, onions
Stir Fry Leftovers
Steak/Green Beans/Baked Potato
Round Steaks, Fresh Green beans, Idaho Potatoes
Idaho Potatos, Fresh green beans
Baked Potato/Green Beans
ground beef/turkey, onions, velveeta cheese, salsa, tomatoes, lettuce, olives
Onions, cheese
Tacos (use nacho Meat & Toppings)
ground beef/turkey, onions, canned tomatoes & sauce, noodles
Spaghetti sauce over bowtie noodles
Beef roast, baby carrots, yellow rice
baby carrots
Beef Stew from roast leftovers
Beef roast,baby carrots, celery, onion, potatoes
baby carrots, celery, onion, potatoes
I have given you a sample of my weekly meal plan and a blank one for your own meal plan.

Your Weekly Meal Plan

Day of the Week
Shopping List

Home cooked meals

Do you make home cooked meals five times a week or more?

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