Last week, I shared my monthly meal plan recipes. Today I want to share how I’ll be incorporating these things into my monthly menu.
Why do I plan monthly rather than weekly? Well, there are several reasons.
1) I don’t LOVE to cook. If I can avoid the hassle and the mess for several meals a week, I’m all for it. Especially when the family still gets tasty, nutritious meals.
2) I like knowing I don’t have to worry about the “what’s for dinner” question for an entire month. Between my food stockpile and my freezer meals, I am rarely stumped by that ever popular question.
3) It’s a time saver. Some meals require a bit more prep time, but if I can invest an hour and make enough for 5 meals instead of one, no problem! I also save time because I don’t need to sit down and plan each week. It’s a one-time deal.
4) I don’t have to tailor my meal plan to match the weekly sale ads. Instead, I can watch the sales for an entire month and get stuff that matches my favorite meals!
And now, onto the menu. I adjust quantities based on which day of the week I plan to serve these. For example, on the weekend everyone is home, so I’ll need to make more of anything I plan to serve on these days.
(8) Crunchy Chicken Strips. Using these, I’ll make:
::(4) chicken strips and fries.
::(2) caesar salad w/crunchy chicken strips (sliced up) & bacon bits.
::(2) crunchy chicken sandwiches or roll-ups.
(4) Chicken Packets.
14 days remaining, and I will alternate simple meals:
(3) Tuna Salad
(2) Soup & Grilled Cheese
(3) Egg Salad
(2) Mac & Cheese
(4) Pizza using the par baked pizza crust and homemade pizza sauce.
(3) Salisbury Steak
(3) Beef Burritos/Beef Taquitos
(2) Northern Italian Stuffed Shells
(2) Bacon Wrapped Chicken
(7) Meatballs. Used to make:
::(3) Spaghetti & meatballs
::(2) Meatball subs
::(2) Beef gravy meatballs: 1 jar beef gravy, 1 can cream of mushroom soup in crockpot w/meatballs.
Six dinner meals to go, and I’ll be serving:
(2)Thanksgiving dinner leftovers
(3)Leftover freezer meals or whatever we have on hand.
BREAKFASTS – are harder to plan. The kids love cereal, and I usually have a bagel. As we feel the urge, we eat any of the freezer breakfast meals:
(1)Waffles. Just pop them in the toaster frozen!
(2) Breakfast Bagel Sandwiches
(3) French Toast Sticks
(4) Breakfast Burritos
These are compiled onto a calendar that hangs on the side of the refrigerator. Then I make both weekly and monthly grocery lists. Monthly lists are made using recipes, and subtracting items I already have on hand. I keep in mind how many family members will be eating each meal. Weekly lists are based on perishable items I need for each week. It’s a bit of work to get the grocery lists right, but well worth it.
To get more make-ahead meal ideas, check out the Once A Month Cooking Community Forum on Recipezaar.com.