the best way to keep boys full + meal plans

If there's one thing I have learned about feeding a big hungry family, it's this: you need lots of roughage. :D 

Inexpensive, homemade carbs like bread, rice, potatoes, and popcorn are some of my favorite ways to keep growing bellies full:

While Rob worked on a house project this weekend, I stayed in my pj's and made a few rounds of food to get ready for the week. I browned 5 lbs. of beef and then made taco meat, a big batch of chili, a pot of brown rice, several pounds of chicken, popcorn, and several loaves of artisan bread throughout the afternoon.

We ended up eating the chili for lunch that day, and have enough left over for a couple of lunches for Rob. The chicken is also mostly for lunches this week, and the rice goes with beans/tacos/etc.

Our meal plan still pretty much stays the same as usual, but lately we've been eating out more {now that it's winter and I want to get out of the house at night} so we really need to save some $$ and eat at home. I'm hoping that being a step ahead with the food prep might help us stay on track a little more this week. :)

Here's what we have planned for meals for 7 this week:

breakfast: oyo {on your own- we have lots of options like cereal, eggs, etc.}

lunch: sandwiches, leftovers, chicken salad, chicken + rice, salad, green beans + chicken, black bean soup

snacks: apples, carrots, bread + butter, popcorn, string cheese, granola bars

monday: small group dinner
tuesday: taco salad {taco meat, salad, cheese, sour cream, salsa, chips, avocado}
wednesday: baked potatoes {I make the whole 10 lb. sack and serve with cheese/sour cream/avocado/barbecue/turkey bacon/chicken toppings}
thursday: meatless spaghetti + green salad
friday: pizza night {we need 3 pizzas now!}
saturday: pinto beans + rice
sunday: breakfast for dinner- oatmeal, eggs, turkey bacon and toast

I think protein is a great way to keep them full too, but for some reason my kids don't tend to love lots of meat, dairy or eggs, {they love just a little, then they don't want it anymore!} so I'm all ears to hear your favorite way to keep growing bellies full! :) They love it when I feed them salad for dinner, but the downside of that is they can and will eat salad for hours {ok, literally like an hour and a half}. :)

Do you meal prep on the weekend? When's the best time you've found works to make lots of batches of food?