Healthy Meal Plans: Week 1

Meal Planning.
Oh, meal planning. I attempt to plan our meals each week, but I'm not sure if I've ever had a week where it went exactly according to plan. Maybe when there was just one kid in the mix, and perhaps when there were no kids in the mix and it was just the two of us?
 I am in no way perfect at meal planning, but I do see a need for more free meal plan ideas. There are many great recipes online, yet figuring out which ones to choose for each week can be mentally exhausting. And when you do research meal plans online, you typically only get a few for free. So. I'm going to attempt to post each week or every other week with our meal plans from the previous weeks so there can be more ideas circulating around!

With that being said, I am a huge advocate for meal planning because  1) It has saved us so much money and so much time 2) It has kept us a lot healthier since we try not to eat out much (I'll write a post on that later.... so much to be said on that subject!) and 3) It has kept me sane.

The weeks that I don't meal plan are more frustrating, hectic, and tearful; we probably spend at least $40 more on groceries!

Full disclosure: I am one of those cooks that takes a recipe and loosely follows it. I can never make a repeat meal taste the same because I don't exactly measure out the spices... I just sprinkle and add here and add and sprinkle there. Thus, I will just be posting meal ideas, NOT formal recipes. Eventually, once I decide to actually start measuring, you might just get some real 1/2 teaspoon of this and 1 tablespoon of that recipes along with it. And I'll eventually post approximate prices of each meal, too. 

Meal Planning Tip #1: One of the best tips I ever received about meal planning was to pick a side for the week and incorporate that into every meal for the week. For example, buy a bunch of carrots and incorporate those into each meal... honey basil carrots, roasted carrots, carrot fries . . . you get the point. You'll notice on this particular meal plan, there is arugula galore; I bought a huge thing of arugula and incorporated it into each meal. 

Day 1:
Homemade Pizza w/ Olive Oil & Goat Cheese Base-- Tomatoes, Chicken, Kale, Spinach, Feta, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Onions, Bell peppers

Day 2:
Pan Seared Tuna Steaks with Lemon Butter Sauce, Roasted Sweet Potatoes,  Arugula & Kale Salad with Radishes

Day 3:
Kale and Spinach Salad w/ Wild Maine Blueberry Vinaigrette & Lemon Herb Chicken, Radishes, Tomatoes, Carrots, and Croutons

Day 4: 
Baked Sweet Potato topped w/ BBQ, Avocado, & BBQ sauce with Arugula & Carrot Salad
*I go to my favorite BBQ place and get 1/2-1 pound of BBQ. Super easy meal!*

Day 5: 
Pan Seared Greek Seasoned Chicken, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Peaches, and Arugula & Goat Cheese Salad

Meal Planning Tip #2: Only plan 5-6 meals per week. Use the remaining nights as a leftover night, date night, Whole Foods night (our WFM here in Ohio has awesome deals... kids eat free every Wednesday!), sandwich night, breakfast for dinner night, etc. 


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