“Real Food Meets Reality” Menu Plan: February 1-7

FEB 1-7, 2016: A FREE healthy, easy meal plan that the whole family will love every Wednesday at Thriving Home (thrivinghomeblog.com).

Sponsored by Hy-Vee (Columbia)

Someday I look forward to trying new and exciting dishes and having more time in the kitchen. But, the reality is I have two jobs, three somewhat picky kids, and quite a bit of running around to do after school each day. So, the necessary grid I run my menu plans through is this:

  • Will my kids eat it? (Most of them at least!)
  • Will it be easy to prepare at home?
  • Did I include a good variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and meat?
  • Can I afford it? (Lining up my meal plan with Hy-Vee’s ads each week helps me stay within my grocery budget.)

I hope you find these simple plans helpful during this phase of life. And maybe, just maybe, someday I can start experimenting more with recipes like the ones I drool over in my Bon Appetit magazine.


Weekly Menu Plan

(FF) = Indicates a freezer-friendly recipe. Save time and money by doubling and freezing this recipe for another dinner later. Read Freezer Cooking 101 to learn more about this helpful strategy.


Dinner menu:


Sale Items (thru 2/2):




  • Grapes 
  • Tumaro’s Low-in-Carb Wraps
  • Mushrooms
  • Fresh green peppers
  • Green Seedless Grapes

Chicken Penne Pasta

  • Mandarin oranges
  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
  • Swanson Broth or Stock
  • Barilla Pasta
  • Fresh asparagus
  • Fresh green bell pepper
  • Cuties Mandarins


  • Use up fridge leftovers or use a freezer meal.



  • Whole wheat toast
  • Orange slices 
  • Honeysuckle White Ground Turkey, Sausage
  • Hy-Vee Natural Shredded Cheese (6-8 oz)
  • Fresh green bell pepper
  • Hy-Vee Butter
  • Silk Almondmilk
  • Zeal Cara Cara Navel Oranges

mini italian burgers

Basic Roasted Vegetables Recipe

crock pot cinnamon apples

  • Ground beef (in a roll)
  • Hy-Vee Parmesan Cheese
  • Grimmway Farms Baby Carrots (32 oz)
  • Washington Stemilt Golden Delicious or Granny Apples OR Organic Washington fuji or golden

broiled parmesan tilapia

roasted asparagus

  • Pear slices 
  • Fresh tilapia fillets
  • Kraft mayonnaise 
  • Hy-Vee Parmesan Cheese
  • Fresh asparagus OR Short-Cuts Garlic Lemon Asparagus
  • Stemilt Anjou Pears

(slow Cooker)

Slow Cooker Whole Wheat Spinach Lasagna

  • Whole grain baguette (from bakery)
  • Green leafy salad
  • Grapes
    • Barilla Pasta
    • Hy-Vee Cottage Cheese OR Hy-Vee Ricotta
    • Hy-Vee Natural Shredded Cheese (6-8 oz)
    • Hy-Vee Parmesan 
    • Dole Power Up Greens Salad Kit OR Earthbound Farms Organic Salad Mix
  • Green Seedless Grapes

Shop Online Now

New Online Shopping feature! Save time and hassle by ordering your groceries online from any Hy-Vee of Columbia. If you spend $100, delivery is FREE!! (What!?) If not, it’s only $4.95 for delivery or $2.95 to pick up! (What!?) Listen to Polly explain how she uses it to save time and money…


For a step-by-step tutorial, read Polly’s post about using Hy-Vee’s Aisles Online. It’s so easy!

Printable Menu Planner

Here’s an easy way to get started on saving money and eating healthier–download our free printable menu planner!

Free printable menu planner

More Healthy Recipe Ideas

For more recipe ideas, check out our past Menu Plans or our extensive Recipe Index full of healthy, family-friendly recipes.

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  1. Erin says

    Thank you for “real” family friendly dinner ideas that are simple and not a time suck! I have three small kids too and I have to keep dinners super simple – both for my sanity but also so the kids will actually eat dinner. We do try to serve a variety of foods – but I’m glad to see other moms serve breakfast for dinner and other simple items with fruits and veggies sometimes too. I Enjoy your blog and the recipes very much – thank you!

    • Rachel says

      Thanks, Erin! I’m glad they can be of help to your family, too!