Summer is nearly here, I hope! It is hard to tell in Minnesota. But summer means crazy schedules and the desire to spend as much time as possible outside. Summer in Minnesota is too short to miss a single nice day. We have one son left at home, but we are super busy with his soccer schedule. Those of you with more than one child in sports….I don’t know how you do it! With hectic schedules it is harder to eat at home….but it is possible to avoid those quick drive through meals with a little planning!
Planning is the key to most of our success in this pursuit of becoming debt free. If you want to save time and money, menu plan! How do you menu plan when you have to be at soccer practice three nights a week at 6:30 and Mom doesn’t even get home from work until 5:30 or 5:45?? Planning, planning and more planning is the answer. On soccer nights we plan easy meals that can be made ahead, which saves us time and money and a million calories!! Supper is ready and in the fridge just waiting for us.
We look at what evening we will be home during the week and then make a few nights meals that evening. A few weeks ago on a Monday evening, Jen made two additional meals in addition to our evening meal. She made Beef Enchiladas and Chicken Salad for Tuesday and Wednesday night meals. Jen makes the enchiladas to the point of going in the oven, then puts them in the fridge with the heating direction on them. Then we can call home and have who ever is home put supper in the oven and it is ready when we arrive at home!
Beef Enchiladas ready for the oven!
Chicken Salad can be made ahead! Cut up some fruit and have a bag of Sunchips and croissants on hand and supper is ready in a matter of minutes! Plus this meal is healthier than McDonalds and cost less as well.
Other meal ideas that can be made ahead – most sandwiches, such as ham spread, seafood salad and Summer Sub Sandwiches – crockpot meals and Pasta Salads. Jen recently subscribed to the Emeals Healthy Lunch Menu Plan, which makes for great make ahead quick meals on very busy nights! We can even grab the meals out of the fridge and eat them on the way to practice, if needed.
We hope this post gets you thinking of how you can spend a little time each week to plan your meals and avoid the golden arches this summer! It is great to pack a lunch to take with you on an outing as well. Lunch always tastes so much better outside at a park!! Of course we occasionally have a meal at the Golden Arches, but when we do it is a real treat. Just remember you can make your own healthy food fast with a little planning.
Paul and Jen
Faithfully Living Below Our Means!
Other Articles in our FPU Series:
Financial Peace University
Our FPU Story: That was then…..This is now
FPU: Leap of Faith Budgeting…Time to Make a Plan
FPU: Inside Our Weekly Budget Meeting
FPU: Sink Your Debt with a Sinking Fund
Groceries: Cut the Dance and Start to Wiggle!
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