Meal Planning Monday ~ Busy, Busy, Busy!

This week’s post is by Christine Luken.

Busy, busy, busy!  I have SO much going lately, it seems like I’ve been buzzing along at a hundred miles an hour.  I would venture to say that many of you are in the same boat, with a hectic schedule and a long To-Do list.  I recently finished an excellent book on Audible by Crystal Paine (Money Saving Mom) called,  “Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life.”  Let me tell you, it could not have come at a better time for me!

I’m working very hard to grow my financial coaching business, so I have been networking like a crazy woman!  I’ve joined a weekly networking group (BNI) and still have another five months of my Referral Institute class left to go.  And somewhere in between all of this networking and relationship building, I actually have to accomplish some work.  Not to mention taking care of housework, grocery shopping, and errands.

As a result, I’ve really slacked off on my couponing and keeping up with my binder.  Several weeks’ worth of coupons would stack up on the kitchen table before I’d finally get around to clipping and filing them in my binder.  One thing that Crystal talks about in her book is deciding what’s really important in your life right now, and focus on those things.  This means that you may need to stop doing certain things or cut back on other activities to make that happen.  At this moment, it is vitally important for me to capitalize on the momentum I’ve generated for my business.  I know that in the long run, these activities are going to bring me thousands of dollars.  Something’s got to give!  So, I’ve decided to scale back on my paper coupons for now.

What do I mean by that?  It means that I’ve temporarily retired my coupon binder and traded it in for a small accordion coupon file, which is the size of a large wallet.  (Look how much smaller it is!!)

Before I go to grocery store, I go online, load up my shopper card with electronic coupons, and search for printable coupons for the items on my list.  Then I pull out the coupons from my file that I KNOW I am going to use and clip it to my list.  I bring the accordion file with me as well.

The first time I did this, it felt really weird not having the coupon binder with me!  I felt strangely naked – and light! –  not having the bulky binder slung over my shoulder walking into the store.  But, I must say, that the system is working well and I don’t feel so stressed out over neglecting my coupon binder maintenance.  I’m only clipping coupons I know that I will use, so I’m spending less time with the scissors.

Am I leaving some dollars on the table by not cutting every single coupon that I might possibly use and religiously scouring the sale ads?  Probably.  But I think having a saner schedule is worth it to me.  So, I hope that you understand and don’t demand that I turn in my Coupon Queen crown!  ;)  Of course, I don’t think that I will ever slack on my Meal Planning activities because they save me so much time and stress.

On that note, here’s my Meal Plan for this busy upcoming week!

Monday ~ Strangely enough, this will be my only weekday that I have extra time to make a more involved meal.  We’re having rosemary lemon roasted Cornish hens with wild rice and asparagus.

Tuesday ~ Turkey slices and gravy with Bob Evan’s mashed potatoes and green beans.

Wednesday ~ Easy Cheesy Casserole with spinach salads.

Thursday ~ FFY – Fend for Yourself!  I have a financial coaching appointment in the evening.

Friday ~ Turkey Polish sausage and pierogies fried in a little butter with onions and broccoli.

Saturday ~ Firecracker Casserole

Sunday ~ Trying something new!   Spinach Artichoke Dip Stuffed Chicken, which sounds really, really good!



  1. I don’t use coupons and frankly I don’t plan meals out, either. I probably should start meal planning, though – it would save lots of time.

  2. Debbie Denny says:

    I have an accordion file and think it is great. Very handy

  3. I have to admit right now we are in the thick of survival mode it’s the only way I can do things!
    Maybe that’s a half-truth.
    If I can manage to squeeze in a four or five day menu I’m doing well.
    I work at home as a guild care provider which means long days.
    So much so that when the last child goes home at the end of the day I am exhausted!
    Hopefully this week will be better!

  4. Jen V says:

    I need to get better about meal planning. When I don’t have a plan, we end up eating out a lot, which is expensive since we have 4 kids.

  5. brett says:

    i had to cut WAY back on coupons. family has to take priority- and they are worth it. i was kind of obsessed though

  6. Pam says:

    The Spinach Artichoke Dip Stuffed Chicken sounds really good! You have to let us know how it was.

    • Christine says:

      I couldn’t wait to try it, so I made it earlier than I planned on… it was AWESOME!!

  7. Krista says:

    There are some great meals on your list! This week we will be having a lot of BBQ meals, fish and salads!

  8. I have a small coupon wallet, but I really can’t fit anything in it and it just takes too much time to find things in it. The only thing that works for me is to put my coupons in an envelope and write my list on the outside. Being organized before I enter the store saves me the most.

  9. Shauna says:

    You are totally awesome. The stores that are around me don’t have those shopper cards to load up so I have to lug the coupons. Thankfully the kids are at school on Tuesdays which means those are my normal coupon-shopping days.

  10. If only I could be organized enough to stick to a meal plan for one day.

  11. Dawn Lopez says:

    I had to let go of some of my couponing, I really miss the savings.. but glad to have some of my sanity back. Now, I just need to find a happy medium! I love the idea of a meal plan, thanks for sharing yours. Sounds yummy!

  12. Sandra says:

    I love my meal planning, I do this on Saturday after the gym while I am sitting at Starbucks with my sister, we collaborate and I love every second of it.

  13. Aly Mashrah says:

    I love this post! Meal planning can be so challenging for me, so this was nice to read.

  14. I’m so impressed by how organized you are! Will have to try some of your tips!

  15. Trisha says:

    I really need to start meal planning! The Easy Cheesy Casserole sounds like something that would be a hit in my house. I’m particularly interested in the Spinach Artichoke Dip Stuffed Chicken!

  16. Amanda says:

    Funny enough, my husband is the coupon cutter! I love it because it’s one less thing I have to do, but I will share this post with him!

  17. Liz Mays says:

    It sounds like the trade-off is definitely the way to go for you now. Good look with the coaching business!

  18. Lexie Lane says:

    Wow! Good for you for being able to plan your meals like this. It’s inspiring me!

  19. Milena says:

    I like FFY – LOL! I try myy best to meal plan, but it’s usually in my head. I do need a system.

  20. I need to try out a couple of these recipes, I’m curious about the firecracker one. Oh and we have some fend for yourself days too.

  21. Taralyn says:

    I love Money Saving Mom! Excited to read her book!

  22. Debi says:

    I do not use coupons that often but mostly because I forget them all the time. I have to try that way.

  23. I need to read the book. I checked out the recipe for the stuffed chicken too – and shared it. I would love to make that as a part of a weeks meal. I get on a roll with making weekly menus and then fall off and everything falls apart. I need to stay consistent.