I’ve been meal planning for years now. Ever since I started buying my own groceries, I was creating meal plans. I’m not exactly what you would call a five star chef. In fact if it wasn’t for Pinterest, I would have probably starved to death by now. Thankfully, there are thousands of other people out there who DO know how to cook and have been kind enough to document their skills in cookbooks and on food blogs!
Cooking doesn’t always come easy for everyone, myself included. I can’t cook without following a recipe, and I’m not really good at coming up with meal ideas. Through trial and error, I have found a number of awesome recipes that both Mr. Penny Pincher and I look forward to each week. Having a meal plan full of meals you love and can look forward to every night will keep you out of restaurants and save you money!
Here are some of my go-to recipes when I’m sitting down to make my meal plan, in case you need a little inspiration.
My Favorite Go-To Recipes for Meal Planning
Breakfast for Dinner
We always have bacon, eggs, and pancakes in the house. This means whenever our budget is a little tight or I’m looking for an easy meal, breakfast is a great option. It’s an easy meal, and who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner?
For those of you who are having trouble breaking your Subway addiction, this sub is a great substitute. This is one of my favorite recipes since it can be easily customized to specific diets. Mr. Penny Pincher and I will split up the sub so we can each choose our own toppings.
These nachos are AMAZING! If you are looking for nachos with less calories, these are perfect for you! All you need to do is chop up a few vegetables and then bake them in the oven!
Hot Dogs and Fries
Meal plans don’t have to be full of intense or elegant meals to be good. Hot dogs and fries are a staple in our household. It’s become one of those meals that always seems to slip into our meal plan each week.
These desserts are perfect for that chocolate craving in the middle of the night! You probably have all of the ingredients you need right in your kitchen, and this recipe only takes a few minutes to make. All you need is a muffin tin and a few kitchen ingredients.
Whenever tortillas are on sale, we have fajitas! It’s easy to make both meat and meat-free fajitas and it only takes a few ingredients. We usually have chicken at the ready in the freezer, which makes this an easy go-to meal.
This was one of the first recipes I made for Mr. Penny Pincher when we first moved in together. It can get a little messy when working with Barbecue sauce, but these cauliflower wings are delicious! Most of the ingredients are probably already in your kitchen, meaning you just need a head of cauliflower.
If you are short on time and looking for a delicious dish to make, this one is perfect! The shrimp marinates in the fridge most of the day, and all it takes is a quick dip in the saucepan and dinner is on the table.
Shrimp and Broccoli
Shrimp and broccoli is a favorite in our household. All it takes is some shrimp, sesame seeds, a head of broccoli, and some stir-fry sauce! This is such an easy but delicious meal. We take it one step further by enjoying this meal with chop sticks to make it feel more authentic.
This is one of our favorite meals! We make this almost every single week. It only takes 20 minutes to make and has a little kick to it. I’m not really into spicy foods, but this one is by far one of my favorites.
Tacos are another staple in our home. Since we usually stockpile taco seasoning and taco shells, we have almost all the ingredients needed to make tacos. Tacos are a great way to spice up our meal plans, and Mr. Penny Pincher is a big fan of tacos!
Pizza is a favorite in our household! Frozen pizzas can save dinners when we’re not feeling up to cooking or just in a pinch and short on time. Our favorites are Red Baron Cheese Trios or Singles, and California Pizza Kitchen pizzas.
Meal planning is a breeze if you have a list of go-to meals to choose from. I keep this list handy whenever I’m creating a meal plan!