4.19.2014

How to Meal Plan for the Month

One of my 101 in 1001 goals was to meal plan for an entire month. Not only does this make the whole "what's for dinner tonight?" issue disappear, it is a great way to save money each month! Here's how I do it:

1. Start searching the internet/pinterest for recipes that look tasty. This is the fun part! I'll list some of my favorites at the end of this post. Make sure to bookmark the recipes on your ipad, cell phone, or computer. I keep in mind what each recipe will cost roughly. Often times if a dish has an expensive addition, I just choose to leave it out when I make it instead of completely eliminating the meal. We also try to only eat meat one or two nights a week, so I like to keep that in mind.

2. Open up Microsoft Publisher or your favorite calendar making program, and create a calendar for that month. Add colors to make it fun!

Here is a little idea of what my monthly meal plans look like:

We block out one date night a month, Thursday nights as we have small group, and any days we plan to be out of town during the month. M cooks a few nights each month (although he usually helps me anyways), so those are the days that have an (M) by them. Once this is done, I print it out and slap it on our fridge for the month.

3. We grocery shop on Sundays after church, so sometime Saturday I sit down with the calendar and my Emily Ley grocery list sheet. I pull up all the recipes for that week on my ipad that I bookmarked previously and jot down the ingredients I need, keeping in mind what we already have in the pantry, fridge, and freezer. I also check with M to see if he wants me to add anything I don't have already. We've developed this system where we go to Sam's Club at the beginning of each month to get our meats and other things that we use throughout the month. I make sure to write down all of that stuff that we will need for the month on the week we go to Sam's.

4. And that's it! It's so simple and I actually love planning the upcoming month at the end of the previous month. It's also nice because now you have a record of all the things you have tried so you can go back and make them again the next time!

Check out some of my favorite recipes
(I am gluten free so many of these I adjust to accommodate this, if you need suggestions on how to do so please contact me!).
Can you tell which kind of food is my favorite?:
Happy meal planning friends!

3 comments :

  1. I absolutely love this. I'm in the midst of trying to learn to cook (newlywed over here!) so this is super helpful. Adding that quinoa bake to my list ASAP! Thanks, lady! ;)

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  2. This is such a great idea! I'm going to check out those recipes. Thanks for the idea!

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  3. Anytime! It's definitely a lifesaver for us. I recently started on freezer meals too which are awesome!

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