A Back to School Meal Plan to Save You Time and Money!

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Preview: This back to school meal plan will help you get those first few weeks of school off to a great start. The plan includes 2 weeks (Monday-Friday) of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners to ease the transition into a new school year.

Do you struggle with meal planning when life gets busy? I know I do! And for many of us, the start of a new school year means we are that much busier.

There won’t be any more leisurely suppers on the back deck. No playing outside ’til dark chasing fireflies. Soon, supper will be a speedy affair before we rush off to the next ball practice or music lesson. And there will also be breakfasts to make and lunches to pack. I get stressed just thinking about it.

So I need a plan? Do you?

If so, I’ve got a two week (weekdays only) back to school meal plan where you prep for an hour or so on Sunday, then spend just a few minutes cooking each night. Many nights you will cook extra so that you have a head start on the next night’s meal.

Frugal meal plan contains an easy diy lunchable

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Making this back to school meal plan work for you

This meal plan is designed to be mostly made from scratch. However, you do what works for your family. Below are some tips to help you make the most of this back to school meal plan.

Use Convenience Food

While I have provided a muffin recipe, if you don’t have time to make the muffins on Sunday night, then by all means, buy muffins at the store. Cook your own rice or use the pre-cooked kind. I think I have even seen pre-cooked pasta at the store that you can purchase for the pasta salad lunches. You can purchase the rice crispy treats and the brownies or even skip them all together. Let your time, budget, and tolerance for processed foods dictate how much you make from scratch versus how much you buy already prepared.

Cook the amount your family will eat

Some of the recipes I have provided don’t have ingredient amounts. This is because the actual quantity is up to you. I have big eaters, you may not. So cook just as much as your family will eat (unless the recipe says to cook extra for the next day). Every recipe here can either be packed for lunches the next day or frozen for later.

Put away extras so you’ll have it for the next meal

To make this meal plan work, you do have to cook extra of several items. If you are worried your family will devour it all, put some away as soon as it is finished cooking. (I have 3 boys. I hide food. All. The. Time!) You will also need to prepare a few things the night before, but that is included in each day’s prep notes.

I did not provide a grocery list this time. Since I know many of you will opt for some convenience food, (and there’s nothing wrong with that) I have no way of knowing whether you will need flour for the muffins or not. The simplest solution is to decide what you are making from scratch and read through the recipes to see what you need to purchase and then add it to your shopping list along with the store-bought items you are purchasing. Make it work for you and your family.

Desserts?

The two desserts (one each week) are included in the prep on Sunday. However, they don’t actually show up on the meal plan. I wanted you to choose when you wanted to serve desserts. You can have them on Sunday night as a family treat or serve them with supper during the week. They were also designed to be easily packable so you can  include them in the school lunches.

Two week Back to School Meal Plan

WEEK 1

Monday

  • B-Chocolate Chip Muffins, hard-boiled eggs (optional)-Instead of making the mix, go ahead and mix up the muffins.
  • L-Homemade Lunchable
  • D-Carnitas

Tuesday

  • B-Chocolate Chip Muffins, hard-boiled eggs
  • L-French Bread Pizzas
  • D-Burrito Bowls

Wednesday

  • B-Oatmeal Breakfast Bars-these freeze great so make extra to stash in the freezer.
  • L-Pepperoni Pasta Salad
  • D-Chicken Fried Rice

Thursday

  • B-Oven Pancakes, Bacon, and Pancake Syrup-Use your favorite pancake recipe. This post tells how to make pancakes happen on a busy morning.
  • L-Honey Mustard Turkey & Cheese Tortilla Rollups
  • D-Tortellini Caesar Salad

Friday

  • B-Oven Pancakes, Bacon, and Pancake Syrup
  • L-Deli Meat Salad & Crackers
  • D-Sausage Sheet Pan Supper-While not an exact recipe this post details how to make a sheet pan supper.

WEEK 2

Homemade lunchable with peanut butter and jelly, carrots, cucumbers, mango, and cherries
Homemade Lunchable

Monday

  • B-Blueberry Muffins, hard-boiled eggs (optional)-Instead of making the mix, go ahead and mix up the muffins.
  • L-Homemade Lunchable
  • D-Pesto Chicken & Roasted Veggies

Tuesday

  • B-Blueberry Muffins, hard-boiled eggs
  • L-English Muffin Pizzas
  • D-Pesto Pasta with Chicken

Wednesday

Thursday

  • B-Smoothies
  • L-PB&J Rollups
  • D-Tacos

Friday

  • B-Smoothies
  • L-Deli Meat Salad & Crackers
  • D-Taco Soup-This easy recipe makes use of leftover taco meat from the night before.
Back to School Meal Plan
Back to School Meal Plan

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Do you need more meal plan ideas?

You also might enjoy my Frugal Meal Plan and my Spring Frugal Meal Plan. They both contain a weeks’s worth of suppers that will hopefully save you some money. I tend to build my meal plans around a couple main dishes and re-use the leftovers in new ways. So you cook once and eat multiple nights.

And if you need some snack ideas for those busy school days, this post has some healthy snacks to fill up those hungry kids when they get home.

Follow me on Pinterest where I have several boards dedicated to helping you find meal plan and meal prep ideas as well as lunches to pack for the kiddos (and yourself).

Do you meal plan during the school year or do you just wing it? I would love to know!

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