Back to School Week: Easy Meal Ideas

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With the rush of after school activities, sport practices and games and of course homework, dinner can seem the last thing you want to tackle. But with a little planning and some easy meal ideas, you shouldn’t be struggling too long.

Any time you can double your recipe will save you time later in the kitchen. I always cook two chickens at a time, usually in the oven, but we have also cooked chicken on the grill.

There are endless meals that can be created with Roasted Chicken. Chicken n’ Noodles are a huge favorite in our house, and of course Chicken Quesadillas are yummy too. You might like this Easy Chicken Barbeque Salad as well!

Sandwiches are all the rage now, and are a perfect easy meal idea. The Grilled Cheese with Sauteed Mushrooms and Jarlsberg Cheese were a such a hit, we decided to try another sandwich with mushrooms, and we added chicken to make the sandwich a little more hearty for dinner.

Another quick and easy meal idea, are Stir-Frys, especially if you have the meat and veggies cut up ahead of time, the cooking time is usually less than 15 minutes. This Mandarin Chicken Stir-Fry was a hit with my boys.

Tip: Buy a large package of chicken breasts, slice, place in freezer bags and it’s ready to go during the week. Smaller pieces of meat also defrost quicker.

Using your CrockPot can be a HUGE help too! A great resource for Crockpot meals is Crockpot365 Blog and she also has a book, Make it Fast, Make it Slow. I think I need to grab her book and use my Crockpot more!

We love these Sloppy Joes! The recipe makes a big batch and I usually freeze a container for another meal. I have been using this recipe ever since I discovered, Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms, a GREAT resource. Last year I cooked a whole week of dinners and shared the schedule, prep work, and cooking day with recipes from the cookbook.

Let’s talk a little about planning meals…

You all know how I love to meal plan, especially for the whole month. Having a plan just makes your life in the kitchen easier, and now with school schedules added, it’s essential that you are organized.

There is over two years of Monthly Menu Plans here on Hoosier Homemade and you can grab other Menus over at Pocket Change Gourmet {our new blog} If a month is too much for you to schedule at once, you can also find Weekly Menu Plans that will help.

Easy Meal Resources

Speaking of meal planning, E-Mealz is one of my favorite resources to help! They take the guess work out of meal planning for you. Even though I have meal planned for years, I LOVED using E-Mealz! Mostly because they also have a shopping list for you, which is a HUGE savings!  At only $1.25 per week…it’s TOTALLY worth it!


And right now, you can save 10%…just enter the code SCHOOL TIME. They are also offering a FREE Back to School Checklist, just enter your email and they will send you a great list planned to help you get organized for the school year ahead.

Feast in 15 is another great resource! This eBook has tips for speed cooking, weekly menu plans and of course, lots of great recipes! At only $4.99, this eBook is a steal! Like Tiffany says…”Cooking just one 15 minute meal at home instead of eating out will save you much more than the cost of the book.”

My good friend, and fellow foodie, Tiffany from Eat at Home is sharing a series right now on her blog…Drive.Play.Feed.Sports Season Suppers. As a sports Mom myself, I LOVE these ideas! And even if your kiddos aren’t in sports, there is sure to be after-school activites, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, 4H meetings, and the list goes on and on.

Follow along with our Back to School Week…

Share your tips for staying organized in the kitchen!

Linking to…Show and Tell Friday, Frugal Friday

One Comment

  1. Great tips! I love roasting a chicken on Sunday and having chicken meals for several days with the leftovers.

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