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School Year Meal Planning

October 2, 2017

Congratulations! You survived Back-to-School! While this is certainly an accomplishment, it probably doesn’t look like things are going to slow down anytime soon. Sometimes we get into the habit of eating out a lot (or not eating at all) during this busy time of the year. But this doesn’t need to be a year-long habit! Today I want to share with you my biggest tips on how to make meal planning as stress-free as possible.

Leftovers Are a Teacher’s Best Friend

Happy Fall, y’all! This weather is perfect and so is Fall food for meal planning! This time is full of great comfort food recipes for soups, pastas, crockpot meals and casseroles (if you’re Southern like me!) and all of them are so easy to change batch sizes. My best tip for you? Pick a couple of your favorites, make a huge batch of each on Sunday afternoon, and prep them for dinners and lunches throughout that week. My absolute favorite Fall (or ANYtime) recipe is taco soup! There are a million variations online, but mine was truly a throw-all-the-cans-in-the-pot kind of recipe. So don’t be afraid to mix up your own!

Taco Soup Recipe

1lb ground beef or turkey

1 can of Rotel

2 cans of diced tomatoes (I love the salsa-ready tomatoes)

1 can of tomato sauce

2 cans of black beans

2 cans of corn

1 packet of taco seasoning

1 packet of Ranch seasoning

  1. Brown your ground beef or turkey in a large pot. Once it’s almost completely cooked, add the packets of taco and Ranch seasonings. Continue to brown the meat until fully cooked.
  2. Add ALL of your cans (I don’t drain any of them) to the pot of meat and BOOM. Taco Soup.

 Y’all. This is seriously the easiest recipe I’ve ever made and it is SUCH a crowd pleaser. Every time we have a family get-together or church function, this soup is requested! In addition to being ridiculously easy, this recipe makes a HUGE pot of soup. My husband and I could eat 2 bowls each on Sunday and still have enough left over for us to each have it a couple of times for lunch or dinner the following week. When it’s time to eat, all you have to do is put it back on the stove or in the microwave and add your favorite toppings! (Mine are sour cream and shredded cheese, but I bet avocado slices would be amazing too!)

Grab and Go!

While it can be expensive and unhealthy to get into the habit of eating out ALL the time, let’s be real. Teaching and parenting is EXHAUSTING. Sometimes you desperately need to sit on the couch with tacos or pizza on paper plates that you can just throw away. When it comes to making good choices for eating on the go, my biggest tip is to plan this out as well. On a budget? Find your favorite fast food places with “value” menus. Want to watch what you eat? Locate healthier options close to work or home.

While I was teaching one of my favorite lunch ideas was to grab a footlong sub from Subway, eat one half that day, and ask them to avoid dressing or tomatoes on the other half so I could save it in my mini fridge for the next day. It saved me so much time and money, and I had a yummy sandwich to look forward to!

Save Time and Money

Taking time out of your already hectic week to plan meals might not sound like it’s worth it. But I promise, you will save so much time, money and sanity if you get you an idea of your meals for the week.

Is this something you do? Do you have favorite recipes/tricks you’d like to share? This busy momma would LOVE to hear from you!

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