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Meal Planning: Planning More than One Week of Meals at a Time
Posted By Jessica Fisher On November 1, 2009 @ 9:17 pm In Meal Planning | 31 Comments
Once you get into the habit of meal planning for the week,  you may want to get a little more ambitious and plan for a longer length of time, like a fortnight (2 weeks) or a whole month.
1. Print a calendar – I like to print out a month calendar to fill in my meals. In this way I have right in front of me the placement of weekends, holidays, birthdays, etc. You can print out this Monthly Meal Grid  or this Monthly Meal Planning Sheet .
2. Survey your freezer and pantry – I’ve been keeping a good record of my freezer inventory  this month (more on that later this week), so I know what we already have. I plugged those into my calendar.
3. Plan some new meals based on current sales - I don’t know what will be on sale in the coming weeks, but I know what bargains are available now. So, I’m going to stock up on the proteins that I know I’ll want for my November meal plan. I’m also going to make a list of side dishes that I might want to keep my eyes open for in the sales.
4. Cook ahead if possible – One of the reasons that I’m planning the whole month is to save myself some time – planning time, shopping time, cooking time. One way to maximize on time savings is to cook ahead.
Since I’m also going to be doing some freezer cooking this week , I was able to place those meals on my calendar, incorporating the dozen meals I have left in my freezer with the new ones I’ll be adding.
Even if you don’t do a BIG cooking day, having a monthly meal plan will help you think how you can cook once and maybe eat three times from the same amount of work .
While “the plan” is always subject to change, I have a road map for the week’s ahead. For November, my “plan” is as follows:
What do you do? A month in advance? A week? A day? How do you meal plan?
For more meal-planning inspiration, visit I’m an Organizing Junkie every Monday for Menu Plan Monday .
* Recipes to follow
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 Image: http://lifeasmom.com/2009/11/meal-planning-planning-more-than-one.html/not-soggy-nachos
 meal planning for the week,: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/06/meal-planning-for-the-beginner.html
 Monthly Meal Grid: http://lifeasmom.com/2009/11/meal-planning-planning-more-than-one.html/monthly-meal-grid
 Monthly Meal Planning Sheet: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/03/my-household-planner-revealed-a-few-free-downloads.html/monthly-meal-plan
 a good record of my freezer inventory: http://lifeasmom.com/2009/11/freezer-inventory-how-to-keep-track-of.html
 going to be doing some freezer cooking this week: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=180068948248
 eat three times from the same amount of work: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/10/meal-planning-cook-once-eat-thrice.html
 Touchdown Chili: http://susanbranch.com/cooking/fall2005/chili.htm
 Homemade Buns: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/07/homemade-hot-dog-buns.html
 Beans: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/04/homemade-pintos.html
 Rice: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/04/ultimate-recipe-swap-mexican-food.html
 Pizza: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/07/basic-homemade-pizza.html
 Chi-Chi’s Salad: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/10/chichis-italian-salad.html
 BBQ Sandwiches: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/09/bbq-pork-sandwiches.html
 Sauerkraut and SpareRibs: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2008/08/recipe-swap-whats-in-your-crockpot.html
 Baked Chicken: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/09/good-cheap-eat-baked-chicken.html
 Carnitas Soft Tacos: http://www.blogger.com/%3Cdiv%20class=%22separator%22%20style=%22clear:%20both;%20text-align:%20center;%22%3E
 Guacamole: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/01/fresh-guacamole-its-fine-thing.html
 Taco Soup: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2008/06/frugal-food-taco-soup.html
 Indian Shuck Bread: http://susanbranch.com/cooking/fall%2709/indianshuckbread.html
 Lasagna: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/01/recipe-swap-in-kitchen-with-kids.html
 Pasta w/ Sausages: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/03/urs-pasta.html
 Quick Seasoned Rice: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/09/quick-seasoned-rice.html
 Roast Chicken: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/10/good-cheap-eat-roast-chicken.html
 Summer Rolls: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/10/summer-rolls.html
 Beans and Rice: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/06/good-cheap-eat-beans-and-rice.html
 ChiChi’s Salad: http://www.blogger.com/goog_1257106549375
 Pasta w/ Red Sauce: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/04/one-of-our-favorite-good-cheap-eats.html
 Potato Salad: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2008/05/summer-salad-triumvirate.html
 Corn Muffins: http://susanbranch.com/cooking/cornmeal_muffins.htm
 Menu Plan Monday: http://orgjunkie.com/category/menu-plan-monday
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