Meal Planning: One Month At A Time

At this time last month I made three decisions that have drastically changed my life for the better.

  1. I started going to bed a lot earlier.
  2. I filled my freezer with several weeks’ worth of prepared meals.
  3. I planned our menus for a whole month.
While the month of November certainly hasn’t been perfect, it has gone a lot more smoothly, particularly with illnesses, birthdays, the holiday, and out-of-town travel and all its packing and unpacking. Not to mention just life in general. In fact, I can’t imagine doing anything differently for the month of December with its birthdays, holidays, out-of-town travel and all its packing and unpacking. Not to mention just life in general.
If you haven’t made one of these three things your habit, I highly suggest giving one of them a try. For help in creating a month-long meal plan, check out these suggestions. And, join MoneySavingMom and I this week if you’d like to learn more about preparing make-ahead meals to save time and money.

Obviously, #2 and #3 kind of go hand in hand. This weekend I spent some time planning and shopping so that I can cook up a veritable storm this coming week. Not only did having a long term plan save me time and money this past month, but it also added more variety to our diet. I’m hopeful that we’ll see similar results in December.

Here’s our meal plan for December:

1. Roast Turkey and all the Fixings
2. Beef Ragu, Pasta, Garlic Foccaccia, Green Salad
3. Beef Taquitos, Beans, and Rice
4. Pizza and Salad
5. Macaroni and Cheese, Steamed Veggies
6. Turkey Enchilada Casserole, Beans and Rice
7. Shredded Beef and Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Squaw Bread
8. Turkey Pot Pie, Green Salad
9. Spaghetti and Meatballs, Salad, Garlic Bread
10. Tamales, Beans and Rice
11. Pizza and Salad
12. Asian Stirfry, Rice
14. Nachos
17. Turkey Enchilada Casserole, Beans, Rice
18. Pizza and Salad
19. FAMILY XMAS Dinner
20. Roast Turkey and the Trimmings
21. Boules de Picolat, Boiled Potatoes, Green Salad, Baguette
22. Burritos
23. Fajitas, Rice and Beans
25. Pizza and Salad
26. Swedish Meatballs, Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Veggies
29. Ragu and Pasta, Salad, Foccaccia
30. Whatever Our Kansas Visitors Want to Eat
31. ALL SORTS OF FUN SNACKY FOOD

What have you got cooking this month? Visit I’m an Organizing Junkie for more meal planning inspiration each week.

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Comments

  1. That is awesome that you can plan a whole month at one time:-)

  2. Hi there, I've been looking through your menu and recipes for inspiration for my own menu this month.

    question for you…

    are rice wine vinegar and rice vinegar the same thing?

  3. Ter, yes. I better go look at my bottle. Maybe I got the name wrong. Sorry for the confusion.

  4. Money Funk says:

    I've considered the thought of trying to plan my menu for a month, but I just don't think I could do it.

    Great job. I am sure it makes for an easier month in the kitchen (especially during the holidays).

    Going to have to check out that peanut butter chicken. Thanks

  5. I want to steal your plan. I will be 35 weeks pregnant tomorrow, and I have been putting off doing freezer meals because I have been keeping our freezer full of food. Just not pre-made meals. I plan on buying a chest freezer this week and cooking up a storm when my sister comes to visit in 2 weeks.

  6. I really love the variety of your meals, and that they can be anywhere from comfort foods, to bistro/gourmet type foods!!

  7. FishMama ~ I plan my menus for 2 weeks at a time. I've found that this helps in a couple of ways: 1) I have a plan each day, 2) it keeps me out of the stores – no spur of the moment trips to the grocer which saves $$ (I go 2x a month now). I love that you do it for an entire month. Hmmm…maybe that's a goal for 2010.

    I'm going to try a variation of your peanut butter chicken/noodles tonight.

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