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This Week’s Menu Plan (+ fitting in real meals around a full schedule)

This Week's Menu Plan

We are sticking with a really simple meal plan this week — and 4 of the meals are coming from Blue Apron because I did a live unboxing video review for them on Facebook and they sent me some extra boxes to prep for that.

This week is our first week where we have school + swimming for Kathrynne 4 days per week, baseball for Silas on 2 days, and skating for Kaitlynn 4 days per week. We’ve been slowing easing into the routine of school + being in downtown Nashville for skating four afternoons per week, so adding on baseball and swimming in downtown Nashville four evenings per week should go okay.

Kathrynne is still undecided whether she wants to continue on with swim team during the school year since it’s a lot of extra hours in addition to her school load. Swim team practices are downtown Nashville and don’t get done until 7:30 p.m. and then there’s a 30-45 minute drive back home, depending upon traffic.

She loves swimming but we don’t want her to be too tired to really apply herself in school and we also want her to have some breathing room in her daily schedule, too. So we’re letting her make the ultimate call, but we’re testing the waters this week to see how it feels and if it’s too much or not.

Jesse and I both love how much character and confidence having a sport that you really apply yourself to breeds, but we also want to be wise and not overwhelm our kids or keep their schedules too full. So we’ll see how it all shakes out after we try it this week.

We’re planning to prep all our dinners ahead — with Jesse taking care of the 4 Blue Apron meals and I’ll be in charge of the other 3 dinners — so that there is good food ready to eat on busy nights.


Breakfasts are a big deal at our house. Not necessarily because of what we eat, but because this is the one meal we’ve committed to eat together around the table pretty much every single day.

Dinners are often somewhat grab and go or brown bagged — especially on the 3 nights a week the girls have swimming and skating. But breakfast, it’s a given. We eat, we talk, we read together, we pray together, and we linger around the table. It’s been a beautiful addition to our schedule + a great way to start the day!

Choose from:

Lunches & Snacks

We’re trying something for lunches during the school year. Our extra refrigerator is 100% devoted to lunch items.

We’re making up a big batch of freezer-friendly PB&J on the weekends and, in addition, I’ll have 4 different bins of items that the kids can choose one from — cheese sticks, snack packs, veggies, fruit, applesauce, chips, cookies, etc.

Each bin has something different so that when they choose one item from each, they’ll have a well-rounded lunch.

Kathrynne helped me set this up and she took the initiative to write a board with details on how to put together the lunches. So far, I have literally done NOTHING for lunch prep other than help set the system up and make sure we had the items on hand for Kathrynne to get everything into baggies in the extra refrigerator.

And then the kids have been entirely in charge of each making their own lunch every night. I haven’t had to remind anyone and no one has yet to forget their lunch. I know we’re only two weeks in, but I’m pretty excited at how well this has worked so far — especially because the kids seem to be loving it!

Jesse and I are in charge of our own lunches and I’m going to have items on hand to choose from: fried eggs, toast, chips & salsa, yogurt, refried beans & cheese, salads, fruits, veggies, and/or leftovers.

Snacks: Blueberry Coconut CrispChocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars

unnamed (46)Dinners

We’re planning to prep all our dinners ahead — with Jesse taking care of the 4 Blue Apron meals and I’ll be in charge of the other 3 dinners — so that there is good food ready to eat on busy nights.

Freezer Cooking

I’m doing a Freezer Cooking session on Thursday where I’m combining dinner prep with freezer cooking. This means that I’ll really only have to bake/cook one day this week. I’ll be making Blueberry Coconut Crisp, Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars, and Pumpkin French Toast. Look for more details on how that goes later this week!

Because of the Blue Apron meals and because we’ve been buying items ahead of time when they are on sale, we only spent about $52 on groceries this week from ALDI. Look for my post tomorrow with full details on what all we bought and how much we paid for everything!

What’s on YOUR menu plan this week? Share the link to it in the comments or tell us what you’re most excited about cooking!

Related Menu-Planning Posts:

3 Recipes I Made Recently Using What We Had on Hand
Last Week’s Menu Plan
Last Week’s Freezer Cooking Session
Why I’m Back to Menu-Planning, Grocery Shopping, and Freezer Cooking
Why We Stopped Making Family Dinners a Priority
YEARS of Past Menu Plans We’ve Shared Here
6 Ways We’re Keeping Our Grocery Budget Low
Why We More Than Doubled Our Grocery Bill

Weekend Giveaway: Well-Kept Life Planner (10 Winners)


Hoping to have more order and organization in your life in 2016?

Designed by a busy mom of four, The Time Keeper one-of-a-kind, self-published item, which means it won’t be found with the big retailers across the nation. It’s a beautiful way to organize and manage your busy days all in one place. Using this dated, weekly planner with its practical and uncomplicated layout, you’ll find it easy to keep your act together.


This very affordable planning system is a simple way to calm the chaos that so easily happens if there’s no good plan and organization in place. The Time Keeper includes all the basics you need—calendar, organizer, shopping lists—without the extras that might overwhelm and discourage you, or even make you feel guilty. Instead, you’ll find joy in a well-kept life!


If you’re looking for a very simple way to stay organized, I highly recommend checking out The Time Keeper. It’s beautiful and you’ll feel more peaceful just looking at how straightforward and uncluttered it is!

This planning system offers:

  • Space for daily entries
  • Menu planning
  • Weekly “To Do” lists
  • Perforated Grocery Lists
  • Monthly pages with project lists
  • Planning ahead for 2017
  • A page to jot down gift ideas for family and friends
  • Several pages for your own ideas and notes
  • 2 Organizer pockets
  • Spiral bound
  • Closed size is 8.5″ x 5.75″ Dimensions do not include the spiral

Starla who creates The Time Keeper is generously giving away 10 of The Time Keeper planners to readers here this week. To enter to win, just click on the graphic below and type in your name and email address. 10 winners will be chosen and posted early next week. This giveaway ends Sunday, December 6, at 11:59 pm, CST.

Enter the Giveaway

Giveaways Galore

The winners of the Handwoven Linens from Education and More are:

Becky (pink_butterfl36@)
Monika (mdaugher@)
Elizabeth (Elizabethrudy@)

The winners of the $50 Perfectly Posh certificates are:

Melinda (mjharbaugh1@)
Lawina (lawina.good@)
Angela (anorthcutt@)
Mirta (mirtar.nsc@)
Tisha (TishaCottman@)

All winners should have received an email with instructions to claim your prize.

link-upAre you giving something away on your blog this week? If so, post your link below and let all the readers here know so they can get in on the action! Your giveaway must be family-friendly and no-strings-attached. In addition, to make it easy to navigate, your link must go directly to your giveaway post. Links going to the homepage of your blog or any other part of your blog besides the direct link to your giveaway post will be deleted. Links left solely for the purpose of promoting an affiliate link will also be deleted.