We did a 6-Day time-saving family meal plan on the blog last summer to show you how to put together a simple, 6-day easy meal plan. We figured it was time to do another one for those who may have missed the last one or just wanted another 6-day easy meal plan to save time and money.
Everyone is different and there are nearly infinite preferences. That’s actually why we switched from doing PDF-based meal plans to having a full-featured meal planner in our website…so people can easily and effectively meal plan according to their preferences!!!! Feel free to try it for free for 3 weeks if you would like to see what I mean. You can easily put together a meal plan like this with meals that fit your preferences.
6-Day Easy Meal Plan
This plan allows you to cook extra on days 1 and 2 and use the results to make the next 4 days super quick.
As with our last example, starting on Saturday will be the most effective way to use this plan. That way, you’ll get the extra cooking (which isn’t much anyway) done on Saturday or Sunday and then Monday-Thursday will be a breeze after work. Friday can be a leftovers night or a night out.
You can use the electronic meal plan and shopping list at the bottom of this blog to follow this plan. See the very bottom for ideas on how you can make your own plan like this any time.
Here’s a day-by-day overview:
Day 1 - Marinated Flank Steak, Purple Potatoes (or Sweet Potatoes), and Asparagus
The marinated flank steak is to die for! Grill it up and pair it with some sweet or purple potatoes and asparagus.
⏲ TIME SAVER 1: Instead of just cooking the flank steak for THIS recipe, go ahead and grill up all of the flank steak for this whole plan (~3 lbs total). You’ll use this grilled steak in two other recipes later in the week but it will already be cooked and will save steps in the other recipes. NOTE: You’ll only want to marinate some of the steak for this recipe and some of the steak for day 5. The other flank steak (for day 3) can just be salted and grilled along side as you don’t really need a marinade for that recipe. So, you’ll have 3 different sets of steak.
⏲ TIME SAVER 2: If you like, you can go ahead and cook some brown rice to use on day 3. You won’t need it for today, but if you are short on time during the week, you can cook it now and save it in the fridge or even freeze it. Here’s a recipe with all different ways to cook brown rice and here’s a post on how to make freezer packs with it. You can also just buy frozen brown rice packs at the grocery store if you prefer.
NOTE: You can switch Days 1 and 2, if you prefer.
Day 2 - One Pan Salmon and Green Beans paired with optional Sweet Potatoes
This is another quick recipe that sets you up nicely for the rest of the week if you just bake the rest of the salmon at the same time. You’ll use your oven for all the parts of this recipe. You’ll want to put the sweet potatoes in first and then add your sheet pan of salmon and green beans at the right time. The rest of the salmon can be cooked while you eat or on another rack at the same time.
⏲ TIME SAVER 3: Instead of just cooking the salmon for THIS recipe, go ahead and cook all of the salmon for this whole plan (~3 lbs of salmon total). You’ll use this salmon in two other recipes later in the week but it will already be cooked and will save steps in the other recipes.
⏲ TIME SAVER 4: Check out the chimichurri recipe on day 5 and make up the chimichurri sauce and put it in the fridge. This is totally optional but will definitely save time on day 5.
NOTE: You can switch Days 1 and 2, if you prefer.
Day 3 - Flank Steak Stir Fry
Here’s where you’ll use some of that flank steak you grilled on Day 1. Since you have steak already cooked and brown rice ready in the fridge or freezer, this recipe takes almost no time at all. You can skip the first step in the recipe entirely. Make sure you don’t use the steak that was marinated for day 5!
Day 4 - Salmon Kale Pasta Caesar Salad
Now it’s time to use some of that salmon that you baked on day 2. This recipe uses salmon but is totally different than just eating salmon again. You won’t have to do step 2 in this recipe, but you might want to just heat the salmon up a bit in the oven or microwave. It would be fine either way.
Day 5 - Cilantro Chimichurri Steak Tacos
Now, you can use the flank steak from day 1 that was for these tasty tacos. If you made the chimichurri sauce already, this will go together super easy!
Day 6 - Salmon Lettuce Wraps with Sesame Garlic Roasted Broccoli
You can use up the last of your cooked salmon for these simple lettuce wraps. I’ve paired with with a tasty broccoli recipe, but if you prefer to go with a salad, that would be great as well.
THE 6-DAY EASY MEAL PLAN
- Click on any recipe and a the full recipe will pop up.
- Use the Print Collection button or Print Recipes button to print all of the recipes or the the whole plan.
- Click on “shopping list” and a shopping list containing all of the ingredients for all the days will appear below the meal plan.
- You can modify the shopping list after you have generated it by deleting things you may already have, adding additional things you may need, and modifying quantities.
- Use the “save” button at the bottom of the shopping list to generate a unique url and email it to yourself. Then you can open the list from your email when you are at the store.
- Use the print button to print the shopping list.
NOTE: On mobile, the meal plan just shows one day at at time. You can use the arrows to scroll through the days. The shopping list will still generate for all 7 days. On desktop, you’ll see all 7 days in one view but it would be too small to show that way on mobile.
Make Your Own Time-Saving Easy Meal Plan
If you like this idea but not necessarily the meals in this plan (or you want to make more like this), you can easily use our website or many other resources to make your own time-saving family meal plan. Here are the basic steps I used to make this:
👉 Start with 1 or 2 simple meals such as the meals in our “1-2-3 Eat!” category. The best kind of meals to start with just involve a popular and versatile meat option with easy sides. You don’t even need a recipe. You can just do grilled chicken with steamed veggies and grilled pork chops with sweet potatoes and salad. Any meal like that will work well for days 1 and 2.
👉 Now, based on the meat(s) you chose for days 1 and 2, search recipes to find meals that use the same meat(s) for days 3-6 (and even beyond if you wish). You can actually use the advanced search feature in our website to search by ingredient and bring up all of the recipes in our site that use that meat!
👉 Once you have your recipes picked, make your shopping list. If you’re using our member meal planner, it’s super easy.
👉 Finally, make sure to cook extra meat on days 1 and 2 for use later in the week per your plan. You can also look through your chosen recipes for any other things you can do ahead of time such as cooking rice, making dressings, and prepping veggies.
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I love doing this with chicken, makes things so much easier