Here we are about to start the third month of the year. Anyone else feel like the year just got started? I know it can’t be just me. It seems like the older I get, the faster time goes. And consequently, that means I don’t have as much time during the day…or maybe I’m just slower.
Either way, the best thing I ever did was start meal planning. Not only does it save me time, but it also saves us money. By planning our meals we know exactly what we need to buy, how much we have left and it helps my kids not waste so much food by eating what they want when they want.
We have been meal planning for quite a few years now and I can honestly say with growing kids (one teenage boy and three pre-teens) it has saved our budget for sure! It isn’t always easy to stick to our meal plan, especially with picky eaters, and sometimes we waiver, but we continue to work on it and move forward.
Another reason I love meal planning, is that we can easily incorporate it into our homeschool. Each week we can assign a child the task of meal planning. They will create the meal plan, or at the very least put together a list of snacks and lunch meals, and then are required to stick to the budget they have been given. This covers math and cooking skills, as well as practical, everyday life skills.
Holiday Meals & Treats
Did you know that almost every day of the year has a holiday? Some of them may be a little silly, but there is literally something to celebrate almost every single day of the year. March 1st is Peanut Butter Day, which is the perfect time to try some of these creamy peanut recipes or experiment with a new twist on the classic peanut butter and jelly (which has a day of its own in April too!).
The Jewish holiday of Purim begins March 10th. If you don’t know about this holiday, you can read more about it here. Make it an interactive celebration by cooking up some traditional foods to serve at your Purim meal.
And of course, we can’t forget about St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th. While my kids are not adventurous in the food department, we do like to celebrate the day with some St. Patrick’s inspired treats. Check out this list to get some great ideas for your own family!
Choose from Two Meal Plans
The regular meal plan includes slow cooker meals on Sundays and Wednesdays, for a break in the kitchen or those busy days. There are a variety of soups to get you through those chilly nights as we welcome in some seasonal salads to break it up just a bit.
There is a variety of meats (fish, chicken, beef, pork) as well as soups and salads (on both plans) to keep the whole family happy. My hope each month is that you will find some new favorites to add to your own must-have rotation.
Or choose the Instant Pot Meal Plan. On this plan, I have included some delicious winter and festive meals with a variety of meats (fish, chicken, pork, beef), plus a few salads. Plus, the suggestions for breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and desserts at the bottom are all Instant Pot recipes!
As always, feel free to move any of the recipes around as needed to fit your family’s schedule. However, you can combine the two for more variety. And if you’d like to switch up some of the Slow Cooker Meals to an Instant Pot recipe, check out this Instant Pot beginners post for a great link to help!
You can download each meal plan by clicking on the corresponding images below.
Annette has been married to her husband and best friend since 2003. Together they are raising their six children to follow the Lord’s will, no matter what. Annette longs for the day when she will meet her angel babies who have entered heaven before her. She enjoys creating UNIT STUDIES and FREE PRINTABLES for homeschool families. You can follow her crazy life at In All You Do where she blogs about homeschooling, homemaking and marriage while trying to maintain her sanity. She is also the owner of Thrifty Homeschoolers where she shares her tips on homeschooling without breaking the bank.