Meal Planning for Dummies & A $250+ Ultimate Houston Giveaway

Houston, it’s BACK TO SCHOOL! Congratulations, you survived the summer. And if you are anything like me, it was by the skin of your teeth. The reprieve from alllll the planning was lovely but with back to school comes the busy schedules, activities galore, dreaded homework, and yes, a family that wants to eat. My children started Jr. High this year and with all of those changes, I am even more eager to spend time with them and hear about their days and less time trying to get dinner on the table.

Dinner time at our house is precious, y’all. It’s one thing I have fiercely protected since my kids were young. And actually, it’s never around an actual table but our island which works for our family. We each have our appointed spot and it’s a time for us to take a deep breath, eat a good meal, connect, laugh {or sometimes cry} about our days, until we need to move onto the next thing.

mom with twin tweens at kitchen islandHowever, the only way that this can happen without us driving through the nearest chicken or burger places {which are aplenty in our neighborhood} is sitting down every Sunday, lining up our week, seeing what we have in stock in our fridge and pantry, and following a simple “theme day” meal plan for the week. It helps organize my thoughts and hit on all of the children’s favorite items, while also still putting easy to make recipes on the table so we can actually enjoy 30 minutes of each other in this busy season.

It also means using delicious shortcuts whenever possible, and for those I defer to Pioneer products and recipes. With delicious seasonings and gravy mixes, I can have dinner on the table that much quicker so we can all truly slow down around the table.

Meal plans don’t have to be fancy, y’all. I just use a simple wipe on/wipe off calendar and our days typically go with the following themes:

Monday: Meatless Monday

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday {or really anything Tex Mex}

Wednesday: Italian/pasta night

Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner

Friday: Free For All {could be take out, pizza, leftovers – we let everyone choose}

Saturday: Grilling Day

Sunday: Slow Cook Sunday {I also take Sundays to try a “new to me” recipe as well since I typically have a bit more time before the crazy of the week begins.}


meal planning calendar

See? Super simple. Once I have my theme nights laid out, I decide what specific recipes I will make based on the theme nights. And I will tell you one of my kids’ FAVORITE days is Breakfast for Dinner. We are all basically done by Thursdays and this is such an easy way to get a nutritious meal on the table that’s a bit fancier than our normal breakfasts in the morning.

A friend shared this recipe for a yummy casserole using mostly Pioneer products including their delicious Smoky Country Bacon Gravy Mix and my kids have been devouring it. Throw in some fruit and a veggie, and you have a really well balanced meal that comes together super fast with simple ingredients full of flavor thanks to Pioneer.

Biscuits & Gravy Breakfast Casserole

Pioneer baking mix, bowl of cheese, gravy packet, and sausage packetInstructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 baking dish.
  2. Cook the breakfast sausage completely in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and spread into the greased baking dish.
  3. In a large bowl mix the Pioneer biscuit mix with eggs, and milk until combined. Mix in the cheese.
  4. Prepare the gravy mix, as directed on the package.
  5. Pour the prepared gravy over the biscuits.
  6. Pour the biscuit mixture over the cooked sausage and gravy.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden brown. You can also broil the top for a few minutes to get it brown.

And that’s it! No wonder my kids look forward to Thursdays. This is also great to make when you have kids running in and out of the house to various activities. Just bake the casserole earlier in the day, then reheat portions as people make their way back home.

plate sectioned into main dish, fruit and veggies

With so much happening in these back to school days, let’s give ourselves a break. With a little planning ahead and taking some shortcuts when you need them most, you can still make food your family will love, save a little money by avoiding the drive-through, and celebrate new memories around your dinner table {or island as it may be!}

Check out our reel here of this recipe being made! 

Pioneer and Houston Moms wants to celebrate back to school with you in a BIG WAY with some of our favorites around town! Check this post out on Instagram to find out more about this recipe and how you can win over $250 for the Ultimate Houston-sized Giveaway. Up for grabs in this giveaway package:

Enter to win here!

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Meagan Clanahan
Meagan is a Dallas native who has lived in the Katy area for over a decade. She kicked a soccer ball all the way to Louisiana to attend college at her family’s alma mater of LSU, where she promptly fell in love with a Texas Aggie in Baton Rouge for an internship. After swimming back to Texas following Hurricane Katrina, Matt and Meagan fell in love with the Houston area and now couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Following several years of infertility, their miracle twins Ryan and Quinn were born in June of 2010. She believes there is nothing better than a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio, a large Sonic Diet Coke, sushi take-out, Girls Nights Out, and a mindless book to curl up with. Besides playing chauffeur and catering to the whims of her children, Meagan also is the Co-Owner of Houston Moms Blog. You can keep up with Meagan at The Clanahan Fam and on Instagram @meaganclanahan!


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