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This Week’s Menu Plan + My Freezer Cooking Plan for Thursday!

Crockpot Taco Soup

We got home from Branson last night and are getting back into the swing of things around here today. I’m still not completely unpacked or caught up on laundry, but hopefully that happens tonight! 🙂

Here’s what’s on our menu plan this week:


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 nights our kids have activities. 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:

My Favorite Post-Workout Smoothie

I made my favorite Post-Workout Smoothie live on Facebook this morning! Watch the video here for the recipe — and to see a real, early morning, non-showered version of yours truly! 🙂

Lunches & Snacks

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 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 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’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.

Snack: Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins


(I’m trying a new Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe this week. Get the link to it here.)


We’re planning to prep all our dinners ahead — with Jesse taking care of the grilling/smoking of the meat and me taking care of the other meals — so that there is good food ready to eat on busy nights.

  • Smoked Chicken, Broccoli, Rice
  • Build-Your-Own Haystacks, Fruit
  • Ground Pork/Onions/Potatoes Hash, Salad, Fruit
  • Dinner on the Grill (Hamburgers & Chicken Sausage), Veggies, Fruit, Chips
  • Crockpot Taco Soup, Muffins, Fruit
  • Ground Turkey/Bean/Cheese Burritos, Fruit, Tossed Salad
  • Dinner Out

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 Crockpot Taco Soup, Burritos, and Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins. Look for more details on how that goes later this week!

Look for my post tomorrow with full details on what all the groceries we bought for this week plus 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
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

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  • Our breakfast is the simplest of all meals. In our home, lunch is the big deal and dinner depends on how the day went.

    We grew up eating fresh Indian lunches and that’s one thing I don’t want to compromise in our family.

  • I think that’s great that you can find a meal every day to commit to eating together. When my kids were young it was a nightmare trying to eat together. We were just reminiscing the other day how stressful it was. My daughter seems to remember a lot of tension – yikes! Not quite the memories I was hoping to make 🙂

    Here’s our menu plan for the week.

    Thanks for the link-up.

  • Heidi says:

    Some good ideas for meals! Do you have a post on how you set up the lunches for the kids? Sounds like a great system!

  • Aimee says:

    Looks like you have a great plan in place! I love how taking the time to plan meals helps our family eat healthier (and save money!) Tomorrow I’m planning our menu for the next few weeks so I may steal some of your ideas.

  • Patrice says:

    I use a similar banana muffins recipe with only 2 bananas and about 1/3 cup sugar. I normally use half flour- half oatmeal, and a handful of chocolate chips. Its suppose to be for bread but I make muffins to speed the process.

  • angela says:

    Looks like the muffin links are the same?? did you link the one you usually use?

  • Jen says:

    How early do you all have to get up to linger over breakfast?? I’d love to do that since my 4 kids also have evening activities that also make eating dinner together difficult. But my husband leaves for work at 6am and even if everyone is up by then he’s in a rush to leave and I’m in a rush to get everyone ready for school. What time do your kids have to leave for school?
    Also you start soooo much later in the year than we do. Well, unless you mean you’ve only been doing the lunch system for 2 weeks and we’re doing something else for their lunches before that. We’re already 7 weeks in to the school year!

  • Crystal says:

    Your menu plan looks great! I love the idea to freeze PB&J sandwiches, I will be doing that soon, anything to help me save some time in the mornings. And, thank you for sharing my Chocolate Chip Banana Muffin recipe. I hope you enjoy it, I know we sure do!

  • lyss says:

    Your kids lunch plan sounds so simple, but in reality, do they not get tired of the same sandwiches? My kids object to having the same thing 2 times in a row. Am I trying too hard to please them? Or do you just tell them to not complain, you get peanut butter or go hungry? I want my kids to like me. I don’t want to raise complainers. Parenting is hard.
    That wasn’t the topic…back to the lunches…

    Maybe I need to think up 4 different freezer “main dish” items, that way they have something to pick from. I have a love/hate relationship with meal planning. I love it when things are planned and prepared, but I hate planning and shopping! lol.

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