Monthly Meal Planning Menu #1

We began weekly meal planning a year or two ago and found it really helped us eat a variety of foods, cut back on take out, and save time when grocery shopping.

This year I thought I'd give monthly meal planning a try.  I really liked the idea of only tackling this job every 30 or so days and it was pretty easy once I got going.

We eat a lot of warm, comfort foods in winter so I tried to make sure we had a different soup, casserole, and hot sandwich meal each week.  I also tried to make sure we were eating a variety of meats and side dishes and that we had a meal each of the boys would eat at least a few times each week. (They're all picky in their own ways so I made sure that I rotated through meals they each liked).  


I wanted to wait until the end of the month to post this to see how well we did with sticking to the menu and to see if my plan really worked. Other than two or 3 last minute decisions to get take out or just not eat dinner at all we stuck to the menu really well! 

Here's what we've been eating this month (if I have ever shared the recipe I made sure to link it up!):

1st-- Pot roast with mashed potatoes, roasted squash and broccoli


2nd-- Chicken pesto soup with homemade challah bread. 


3rd-- Ham and pea mac and cheese


4th-- Weight Watchers lasagna with salad


 5th. -- Leftover night (we had lots of soup, mac & cheese, and lasagna left)

6th-- Grilled chicken breasts, rice pilaf (from a box), and steamed broccoli

7th-- BLT sandwiches with French fries (butternut squash fries for my husband and I) and salad. 


8th-- Fish casserole (though I used zucchini and yellow squash in place of the broccoli), baked up some chicken tenderloins for the younger boys that I just sprinkled with Italian dressing since they don't eat fish, roasted potatoes and cooked up some steamed broccoli (for all three boys).


9th-- Grilled rib eye steaks, baked potatoes, roasted asparagus and mushrooms with salad. 

10th-- Spiral ham, Weight Watcher's smashed potatoes, and roasted acorn squash.

11th-- Chicken, broccoli, and rice casserole.


12th-- Weight Watchers Unsloppy joes with roasted potatoes (for the boys) & butternut squash fries (for my husband and I) with salad. 


13th-- Weight Watchers American chop suey with salad. 


14th-- Shake and Bake pork chops with egg noodles (for the boys), green beans, corn and salad. 

15th-- At the last minute we ended up getting take out from the Black Dog. 

16th-- Sausage and Tortellini soup in the crock pot with homemade bread.


17th-- We had a little birthday party for Alec with his grandparents and ended up getting take out pizza since the whole turkey we had planned to cook up was still frozen solid. Alec did cook up some delicious white chocolate/ raspberry blondies. 


18th-- Shrimp stir fry with riced cauliflower for my husband and I with chicken tenderloins and rice for the boys.  Served with lots of mixed veggies and salad. 

19th-- Roasted turkey with steamed broccoli & rice pilaf (the meal we had planned to serve at Alec's party!) since the turkey was finally thawed. 

20th-- Last minute take out since my husband and two of the boys had haircuts right at 5:00.  They brought home grinders from D' Angelos. 

21st-- Chicken parm. casserole with pasta and sauce for the boys (zoodles for me) and salad for all. 


22nd--   Italian herb marinated chicken with squash casserole, broccoli and salad.


23rd-- We had an unplanned "fend for yourself night" since no one was hungry after a very late lunch. 

24th- Cranberry marinated pork tenderloin (recipe coming soon!) with roasted potatoes and green beans.


25th-- Tacos/ taco salad night. 


26th-- Shaved Steak grinders with salad

27th-- Baked potato and ham chowder 

28th-- Homemade Weight Watcher pizzas with salad.


29th-- Parmesan crusted haddock (this recipe from Penny with haddock in place of Salmon) with baked potato, broccoli and salad.  (with chicken tenderloins for the boys).

30th-- Sundried tomato chicken & Orzo that I found on Tanya's blog

31st. -- Weight Watcher's Turkey Pot Pie.


Linking up with: Spread the Kindness, 


















Comments

  1. I have been doing meal planning for about a year now and it works out great. You always know ahead of time what is for dinner with no worries. You have a lot of great dinner ideas.

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    1. The only thing I have found is that I don't always feel like making what is planned for dinner but at least with a week's worth of groceries on hand I can usually just swap it out with another night's dinner.

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  2. Every thing sure looks delicious. I think meal planning really keeps grocery bills down because you only buy exactly what you need.

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    Replies
    1. I'm not so sure how "down" it keeps our bill since it's pretty darn high but I bet it would be much worse without our plan. LOL

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  3. So many good recipes here! I am definitely trying the butternut squash fries soon!

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  4. Ohh! I love meal planning and do it weekly. I don't think I am organised to do it monthly. It looks like you have some tasty meals planned. It's making me quite hungry x

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    Replies
    1. I didn't think I was organized for monthly meal planning either but I actually found this to be so much easier.

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  5. Everything looks so tasty!! I plan a month at time now too, but meals still tend to get moved around. :)

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  6. You are so organized to do monthly meal plans. #goals! Thanks for linking up with Hello Monday! Tanya - The Other Side of the Road

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  7. Lots of good meal ideas!! Thanks so much for linking up with me at the #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 21, open until February 26. Shared on social media.

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  8. So many good looking recipes. I do want that pork tenderloin recipe soon! I need to be better about meal prep too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have it scheduled for the 15th (I'm pretty sure).

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  9. We meal plan weekly and that's about as much as I can handle, lol. I'm impressed that you can meal plan a whole month in advance! We also like to double recipes sometimes to have leftovers. I can't believe the amount of diverse recipes you make every night -- your boys are lucky!

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    Replies
    1. That's how I always felt! But I realized that I really did not enjoy meal planning and making one big long list of meals at the beginning of the month was just easier for me.

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  10. Yum! You made some great dinners! I am going to add some of those to our menus!

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  11. I love meal planning a month at a time. It's a lot of work for the planning time but so easy afterwards! My favourite nights are when we have too many leftovers in our fridge and get to chuck out the dinner plan in favour of leftovers! Whoo hoo! No cooking!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I love how easy it is afterwards and I only have to deal with it one day for the whole month. We rarely have leftovers and if we do they almost always get eaten for lunch but I do love those nights I don't have to cook!

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  12. I love menu plans, and these sound really yummy! Pinned.

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  13. I also plan my menu. I used to do it weekly, but with less grocery shopping trips these days, it's stretched out! Thank you for sharing at Party In Your PJ's.

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    Replies
    1. Oh I think I am doing more grocery shopping than ever! I swear it has been every 3 days lately. I don't know where all this food is going!

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  14. Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn

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  15. Joanne, I am a big fan of comfort foods and these all look seriously so amazing! I have never been great at planning meals ahead of time which means more frequent trips to the grocery store. Maybe I need to start small like a weekly plan like you did. We try to make at least 4 big dinners a week and then rely on leftovers for the other 3 days. Thanks for sharing all this deliciousness!

    Shelbee
    www.shelbeeontheedge.com

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    Replies
    1. We rarely have leftovers enough for dinner. My family tends to eat leftover for lunch and sometimes even breakfast!

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  16. Thanks for sharing with us at Farm Fresh Tuesdays Blog Hop! Your menu is one of my features at this week's hop! See you there!
    Melissa | Little Frugal Homestead

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  17. This is like scrolling through a Blue Apron menu! Everything looks and sounds amazing!

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