Meal Plans

How to Meal Plan with a Large Family

Eating healthy foods isn’t an option in our house. It is what I decided was going to happen after seeing so many family members with lifestyle diseases due to poor food choices. It is easy to feed a family of seven healthy foods and stay within budget? Not always, but I have found a system that I think works…or at least for now! One thing that I have learned as a mother is that just when you think something is the way to do it, something changes 🙂

So how do I do it, you ask? Well, the concept of the planning out my meals started almost 11 years ago now after the twins were born. I was struggling to know what to make or should I say my husband was. I was exhausted being up with 2 newborns all night! When they finally came home from the hospital at 20 days old, they still were not great at nursing. So that meant I was pumping, washing bottles, and attempting to nurse. They finally figured it our at about 3 months old…and that is when we discovered all three of us had thrush! I will say I don’t wish that on anyone! We did get it cleared up and continued to nurse them until they were 13 months old!

So back to my planning, lol! I tend to go shopping every 2 weeks…that is when payday falls. I have tried to shop every week, but I tend to overspend on things we don’t need the first week leaving us with less food in the house for the second week. Not only has planning out my 2 weeks helped make sure we have enough food, but it helps us to stay on budget! Who doesn’t want that, right??

I start with my Weekly Menu sheet and Grocery list! You can get your copy HERE in my complete 2017 Fitness Planner! I start with the meal that is the easiest to fill and that is my afternoon snack! Every day without fail I have my Shakeology. Dinners are a struggle for me…or at least I should say they are on the nights my husband is home. He is a very picky eater and has some food allergies that I have to work around. So I will mark on my sheet the days he is home so I know to make a meal that he will enjoy, plus that helps me to know which days he will be at work so I can plan his meals to take with him. Yes, contrary to what some think…as a firefighter he has to bring his own food to work. It makes it hard for him to eat meals as a shift due to his allergies.

When I plan my dinners, I try to make enough to have leftovers for lunch the next day. Or at least have enough of the protein to toss on a salad. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather only cook once and eat 2-3 times! Lunches usually consist of some sort of leftovers or a salad with grilled chicken. That leaves breakfast…I am pretty predictable there as well. Usually Overnight Steel-Cut Oats or Eggs with veggies somehow!

I do most of my shopping at Costco. They have a good assortment of gluten-free items as well as organic! For the things I don’t buy in bulk, I use our local grocery store. The best thing about them, is that now I can order my groceries online, pull up to the store and the bring them out to me! I have been using this service for about 2 months now and absolutely LOVE it! It has cut almost 3 hours off my grocery shopping day!

It does take some planning to get your meal all laid out and plan a shopping list accordingly, but once you have done it…just recycle those meal plans every month or 6 weeks! It is about planning smarter, not harder!

This method not only ensures we have the food we need for the following two weeks whiles staying on budget….BUT it prevents us from grabbing junk and derailing our healthy efforts to be the role models our kids need!

If you want to have more one-on-one help with meal planning, and recipes to help you reach your fitness goals that your family will eat JOIN my next Challenge group!!! APPLY HERE!