Meal Planning for 6

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I get asked this question a lot with having a large family.  How do I plan and cook for all these people?  Yes, it is a major chore but I have it down to a science.  Every Saturday, I figure out what is happening the week ahead and plan out our meals.  I keep it pretty simple for breakfast and lunch with the basic staples, but dinner is planned out just about every night.  We eat out maybe 1x a week. 2 reasons….  You honestly don’t know what is in restaurant food i.e. sodium, sugar etc. And for our family of 6? We can’t go anywhere for under $100 that is ‘good’ food.  In my opinion, it is just not worth it.   So we cook a lot at home.  Our grocery list is pretty much the same every week.  I keep it simple so the kids know what they are eating via the menu on our chalkboard door in the kitchen.

Breakfast – during the week, kids eat either frozen waffles or pancakes, cereal or eggs.  We only do eggs if they are dressed and downstairs by 6:30 am – that doesn’t happen often LOL! But when it does I will happily make them eggs.  Karl and I are not big breakfast eaters anymore due to being Keto and intermittent fasting. I don’t IF every day but if I do eat it is usually eggs, sausage or bacon or an avocado.

Lunch – We pack the kids lunch 3-4 days a week.  Yes, I said WE. They help me and we do it together.  So when I am doing my grocery list I make sure I have lunchmeat, fruit, cut up veggies, cheese, yogurt etc.  We use these containers amazon and make our own ‘lunchables’. Much healthier for them and I know what they are eating.  I am not saying anything about cafeteria food. Let’s just leave that alone 🙂 For me and Karl?  Since we are Keto (more on that in another post) I generally will eat a salad with protein and veggies and Karl will eat whatever is left over from the night before since he works from home when not traveling.

Dinner – As I mentioned, we try to stick with the same things just to make it easier with all the kids’ activities after school.  If it’s not an easy meal it will be stressful. So to keep my sanity, I follow the KISS method and Keep It Simple!!!  So generally this is what we do:

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I work in the following simple meals that I can make in 20-30 minutes or less, based on the proteins above:  pasta, tacos, meatloaf, chili, grilled or baked chicken, a crockpot meal, etc. Every meal has a veggie and a ‘carb’ for them.

Who remembers Web Van?  That was seriously the BEST.SERVICE.EVER!  I used it ALL.THE.TIME! At the time you ordered via a website (no smartphones then)  and they would deliver to your door.  They would even cater food and I used them once for Thanksgiving and it was delicious!  I literally cried when they went under, I really did.  But now I am thrilled that Kroger came out with Click list! Have you tried it yet?  I personally love it!  It is worth every bit of the $4.95 they charge and it’s the ONLY charge. 

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They do not upcharge their items. If it is on sale in the store, then you get the same price.  I first found out about it when the new Dawsonville Kroger opened up on our way to the lake.  Grocery shopping was always a pain when we would head up to the lake because one of us would have to stop at the store, shop, and we would have to figure out who would have the dog, do we take 2 cars etc.  But with this service I plan our meals before heading up, shop on the app, and pick it up on the way.  So convenient and I don’t  have to take 4 kids into the store. They do the shopping for you!  You build your list on the app, add it to your cart, pick your Kroger location, select a pick up time, and go pick it up! They have several lanes in the front of the store. Just pull up, call the number and they will come out and load you up!   I was thrilled when our Kroger added it in our area. In the beginning you do need to build your ‘list or collection’ of items but once it is done you just add the items every week.  Since we generally buy the same things it is super simple. I get asked the following question quite a bit when I tell people about this service….  “But I want to pick out my own produce and meat”.  Yes, I would agree but this is what I do.  I get all the big items taken care of:  dog and cat food, case of water, canned goods, snacks, cleaning products, bread, etc. and have them ‘shop’ for me. This service saves me a bunch of time and money.  I was going to the grocery store several times a week. Now I go to the grocery store just for meats and produce 1x/week or whenever we run out.  They also have coupons you can load on the app and they will take your coupons once you arrive into the lane.  Plus they send you freebies via email or even FREE pickup if you buy certain things and most times it is something I need. I have tried Instacart but they upcharge an insane amount in both the grocery items as well as service charges. I have not tried Shipt yet.  I highly suggest trying the Kroger app!  You have nothing to lose but you’ll gain more time in your day and you’ll save money.  What other apps/services have you used for grocery shopping?  I would love to hear your suggestions.

xo,

Fran

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