(Family Features) As you and your family embark on a mission to create delicious, nutritious meals all while saving money, it’s key to remember meal planning is essential for success. From tracking a list of ingredients you’ll need to note your loved ones’ favorite foods, there are some easy steps you can take to make dinners at home enjoyable and budget-friendly.

Getting on track with your own plan can start with these tips from Healthy Family Project’s Mission for Nutrition, which aims to help families find weekly meal success with an internationally inspired e-cookbook including grocery lists, recipe ideas, and cooking hacks.

Work together. Before heading to the store or heating up the oven, sit down with your loved ones and make a list of easy-to-make recipes you all enjoy. Each time you discover a new favorite, add it to the list so you’ll have a reference guide when it’s time to plan a week’s worth of meals.

Stick to a schedule. Set a day and time each week your family can meet and plan out dinners. This also offers an opportunity to bring to light any newfound favorites or fresh ideas while bringing everyone to the same room for quality time together.

Plan time-saving processes. Think ahead while planning meals and consider the equipment you’ll need. Saving time while cooking can be as easy as sticking to recipes that call for hands-off appliances like a slow cooker or pressure cooker and using a food processor rather than a knife and cutting board.

Schedule a “leftovers night.” When you prep dinners that call for crossover ingredients, it’s easier to turn one meal into two. For example, buying sweet onions and chicken breast to make Chicken Apple Enchiladas means you’ll have those ingredients on hand for Greek Chicken Bowls later in the week.

Make a list. Once you’ve decided on recipes for the week, create a list of all the ingredients you’ll need. While you’re at the store, stick to your plan and avoid impulse buys to help stay on track while getting in and out quicker.

Find more recipes and meal planning tips by downloading the free e-cookbook at healthyfamilyproject.com/mission-for-nutrition and join the conversation by following #missionfornutrition on social media.

Chicken Apple Enchiladas

Recipe courtesy of Healthy Family Project’s Mission for Nutrition

  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1 Envy or Jazz apple, diced
  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 6 ounces shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided
  • 1 can red enchilada sauce
  • cilantro (optional)

Heat oven to 350 F.

In skillet, cook onions until translucent. Add jalapeno and apple; saute 2-3 minutes.

Add cooked chicken and mix well. Remove from heat.

Lay out tortillas and sprinkle cheese on each. Add chicken mixture and roll. Place in baking dish and cover with enchilada sauce.

Bake 20 minutes, or until heated throughout.

Greek Chicken Bowls

Recipe courtesy of Healthy Family Project’s Mission for Nutrition

  • 1 cup cooked white or brown rice
  • 1 grilled chicken breast, sliced
  • 1 RealSweet onion, sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cup black olives
  • 1 tablespoon feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons tzatziki sauce

Place cooked rice and chicken in bowls.

Top each bowl with sweet onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and black olives. Sprinkle each with feta cheese. Drizzle each with tzatziki sauce.


David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...

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1 Comment

  1. Keeping a schedule is important when you’re planning meals. Just as importantly, it’s good to have varied meals so that the act of prepping and cooking meals doesn’t have to be laborious.

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