Today is the start of another 3-week meal planning cycle, which means we will be planning, shopping and prepping for three weeks worth of dinners all at once. We will also be doing the shopping for one weeks worth of breakfasts, lunches and snacks.
To save on stress and better manage my time, I have been automating this whole process, by using Evernote to plan several weeks, and then reuse the plans over and over again. You can read about it HERE. I highly recommend this technique! When you feel the need to spice things up, you can add a few new plans into the rotation. Before long, you’ll have a whole library to choose from!
Here is one of my master lists, including shopping list.
3-WEEK DINNER PLAN
Sides are chosen based on fruit/veggies on sale at Aldi’s & Costco
(2) Chicken Fajitas
(2) Chicken Quesadillas with homemade salsa
(2) Pasta Fagioli Soup with homemade sausage
(2) Slow Cooker Italian Meatball Soup
(2) Spaghetti & Meatballs (throw 1 can pasta sauce with meatballs into slow cooker, serve over cooked spaghetti)
(2) Pizza Pasta Casserole
(2) Slow Cooker Carne Asada with homemade salsa
(2) Pancakes & Homemade Sausage Patties
(2) Breakfast Burritos with homemade chorizo and homemade salsa (scramble eggs with cooked chorizo and serve on tortilla with salsa)
(2) Hamburgers on the grill
(1) BBQ Chicken Legs on the grill (cover legs in BBQ sauce, and grill!)
1-WEEK LUNCH PLAN
(2) Turkey Sandwiches, carrots
(2) Fettuccini Alfredo with leftover chicken
(1) Salad, hard eggs
1 WEEK SNACK PLAN
Celery & peanut butter
Crackers & peanut butter
Misc veggies and fruit (whatever is on sale at Aldi’s)
Tortilla chips to go with any leftover homemade salsa
NOTE: This list assumes you have the following pantry staples on hand: oregano, basil, crushed red pepper flakes, dried parsley flakes, italian seasoning, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, sugar, olive oil, sage, thyme, sea salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, vegetable oil, ancho chili powder, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, apple cider vinegar, sweet paprika, smoked paprika.
COSTCO SHOPPING LIST
- Boneless, skinless chicken breast (4 lbs.)
- Flank steak (4 lbs.)
- Tortilla Land uncooked flour tortillas (64-100 tortillas for 8 meals)*
- Organic Diced Tomatoes (box of 8 cans)
- Organic Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base (to use in place of chicken broth in all recipes)
- Ground Beef (9-11 lbs.)
- Cage-Free Eggs (4-6 dozen to last a couple weeks!)
GROCERY STORE SHOPPING LIST
- Onions (7)
- Green Peppers for fajitas (2)
- Garlic (22 cloves)
- Jalapeno (3)
- Cilantro (3 handfuls)
- Lime (5)
- Baby Carrots (for snacks & lunches)
- Apples (4-6)
- Bag Salad or lettuce (1)
- Misc fruit & veggies for sides & snacks (whatever is on sale)
- Pepperoni (8 oz.)
- Ground Pork (8 lbs – I get mine at Whole Foods)
- Chicken Legs (2-3 lbs.)
- Deli Turkey (1 lb.)
- Parmesan Cheese (5-6 c.)
- Cheddar Cheese, shredded (6 c.)
- Mozzarella Cheese, shredded (2 c.)
- Milk (1 gallon)
- Butter (1 1/2 c.)
- Yogurt Cups (4-6)
- Heavy Cream (2 c.)
- Tomato Paste (6 oz. can)
- Spiral Pasta (4 12-oz boxes)
- Small Shell Pasta (2 12-oz boxes)
- Spaghetti (2 boxes)
- Pasta Sauce (4 jars)
- Bread Crumbs (3 c.)
- Hot Sauce
- Can Whole Tomatoes (3 28-oz. cans)
- White Beans (2 cans)
- Chipotle Chilis in Adobo (4 tsp)
- All Purpose Flour (6 c.)
- BBQ Sauce – your favorite brand (1 bottle)
- Quick Cooking Oats (3 1/2 c.)
- Old fashioned OATS (8 c.)
- Brown Sugar (1 c.)
- Honey (1 c.)
- Peanut Butter
- Tortilla chips (1 large bag)
- Hamburger Buns x 2 (only if you have room in your freezer, otherwise buy them as you need them)
- Bread (1 loaf)
3 WEEK DINNER PREP LIST
- Make homemade granola. Allow to cool, and store in ziploc bags.
- Boil 6-8 eggs to go with salad lunch.
- Make (2) batches of homemade meatballs for spaghetti & meatballs, and (2) batches of mini-meatballs for slow cooker soup. Allow to cool, and freeze in meal-size portions.
- Divide chicken breast into (4) meal-size portions and freeze flat.
- Mix up homemade sausage, divide into 8 meal-size portions and freeze flat (raw).
- Make 2 batches of homemade chorizo, divide into 2 meal-size portions and freeze flat (raw).
- Divide remaining ground beef into (4) meal size portions and freeze flat.
- Divide flank steak into (2) meal size portions and freeze flat.
- Make 4 batches of homemade pancake mix, and store in ziploc bag.
- Make a batch of homemade salsa and store in refrigerator.
- Transfer chicken legs to freezer safe bag, and freeze.
Printable/Digital Coupons to Use:
- $0.25/1 Ibotta deposit – gallon milk
- $0.25/1 Ibotta deposit – eggs
- $0.25/1 Checkout 51 offer – various fruits/veggies
- $0.25/1 Snap offer – spinach
- $0.25/3 Snap offer – mushrooms
- 20% off Savingstar offer – asparagus
- $0.50/1 Hormel Natural Choice Lunchmeat printable
- $0.75/1 Kraft Parmesan Cheese printable
- $1/1 Jennie-O Turkey Breast Lunchmeat printable
- $1/1 Dreamfield Pasta
- $1/1 Vlasic Bold & Spicy Pickles
- $0.50/1 Driscoll Berries – when you sign up
- $1/2 Fresh Express Salad – when you sign up
- $0.50/1 Frank’s Hot Sauce
- $1/6 Goya Blue Label Beans
- $1/4 S&W Beans
- $0.75/2 Domino or C&H Sugar
You can maximize your savings by reading my top grocery store savings tips, and by taking steps to eliminate food waste. I’d love to hear about how you save time and money on meal planning. Please share in the comments!