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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

[4]

Once you get into the habit of meal planning for the week, [5] 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.

How to Plan for a 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 [6] or this Monthly Meal Planning Sheet [7].

2. Survey your freezer and pantry – I’ve been keeping a good record of my freezer inventory [8] 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 [9], 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 [10].

Our Monthly Meal Plan

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:

  1. Southwestern Grilled Chicken, Rice, Salad
  2. Pasta & Spaghetti Squash w/ Red Sauce, Foccaccia*, Green Salad
  3. Touchdown Chili [11], Cornbread, Veggies and Dip
  4. Chili Dogs on Homemade Buns [12], French Fries, Fruit Salad
  5. Beef Enchiladas, Beans [13], Rice [14], Green Salad
  6. Pizza [15] and Chi-Chi’s Salad [16]
  7. BBQ Sandwiches [17], Potato Salad, Veggies and Dip
  8. Grilled Tri-Tip, Baked Potatoes, Green Salad
  9. B-day Dinner! Sauerkraut and SpareRibs [18], Boiled Potatoes, Bday Cake
  10. Baked Chicken [19], Mashed Potatoes, Cranberry Sauce, Steamed Broccoli
  11. Carnitas Soft Tacos [20], Guacamole [21], Beans [13] and Rice [14]
  12. Taco Soup [22], Indian Shuck Bread [23], Green Salad
  13. Pizza [15] and ChiChi’s Salad [16]
  14. B-Day Dinner! Lasagna [24], Pasta w/ Sausages [25], Foccaccia, Green Salad
  15. Bernie’s Grilled Chicken, Grilled Veggies, Salad, Quick Seasoned Rice [26]
  16. Roast Chicken [27], Garlic Potatoes, Green Beans
  17. Summer Rolls [28] – no, it’s not summer – but these are easy and delicious!
  18. Tacos
  19. Beans and Rice [29]
  20. Pizza [15] and ChiChi’s Salad [30]
  21. Pasta w/ Red Sauce [31], Green Salad, Garlic Bread
  22. Hamburgers on Homemade Buns [12] and French Fries, Veggies and Dip
  23. Potstickers w/ Dipping Sauces, Rice, Broccoli
  24. BLTs, Potato Salad [32]
  25. Pasta w/ Meat Sauce, Corn Muffins [33], Green Salad
  26. THANKSGIVING w/ the Grandparents
  27. at the G’parents
  28. at the G’parents
  29. Shredded Beef Enchiladas, Beans [13] and Rice [14], Green Salad
  30. Chicken Stir-fry w/ Sauteed Rice Cakes (an experiment w/ Asian ingredients)

How about you?

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 [34].
* Recipes to follow


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URL to article: http://lifeasmom.com/2009/11/meal-planning-planning-more-than-one.html

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[3] my free seasonal newsletter: http://eepurl.com/q47Vb

[4] Image: http://lifeasmom.com/2009/11/meal-planning-planning-more-than-one.html/not-soggy-nachos

[5] meal planning for the week,: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/06/meal-planning-for-the-beginner.html

[6] Monthly Meal Grid: http://lifeasmom.com/2009/11/meal-planning-planning-more-than-one.html/monthly-meal-grid

[7] Monthly Meal Planning Sheet: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/03/my-household-planner-revealed-a-few-free-downloads.html/monthly-meal-plan

[8] a good record of my freezer inventory: http://lifeasmom.com/2009/11/freezer-inventory-how-to-keep-track-of.html

[9] going to be doing some freezer cooking this week: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=180068948248

[10] eat three times from the same amount of work: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/10/meal-planning-cook-once-eat-thrice.html

[11] Touchdown Chili: http://susanbranch.com/cooking/fall2005/chili.htm

[12] Homemade Buns: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/07/homemade-hot-dog-buns.html

[13] Beans: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/04/homemade-pintos.html

[14] Rice: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/04/ultimate-recipe-swap-mexican-food.html

[15] Pizza: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/07/basic-homemade-pizza.html

[16] Chi-Chi’s Salad: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/10/chichis-italian-salad.html

[17] BBQ Sandwiches: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/09/bbq-pork-sandwiches.html

[18] Sauerkraut and SpareRibs: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2008/08/recipe-swap-whats-in-your-crockpot.html

[19] Baked Chicken: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/09/good-cheap-eat-baked-chicken.html

[20] Carnitas Soft Tacos: http://www.blogger.com/%3Cdiv%20class=%22separator%22%20style=%22clear:%20both;%20text-align:%20center;%22%3E

[21] Guacamole: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/01/fresh-guacamole-its-fine-thing.html

[22] Taco Soup: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2008/06/frugal-food-taco-soup.html

[23] Indian Shuck Bread: http://susanbranch.com/cooking/fall%2709/indianshuckbread.html

[24] Lasagna: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/01/recipe-swap-in-kitchen-with-kids.html

[25] Pasta w/ Sausages: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/03/urs-pasta.html

[26] Quick Seasoned Rice: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/09/quick-seasoned-rice.html

[27] Roast Chicken: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/10/good-cheap-eat-roast-chicken.html

[28] Summer Rolls: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/10/summer-rolls.html

[29] Beans and Rice: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/06/good-cheap-eat-beans-and-rice.html

[30] ChiChi’s Salad: http://www.blogger.com/goog_1257106549375

[31] Pasta w/ Red Sauce: http://www.goodcheapeats.com/2009/04/one-of-our-favorite-good-cheap-eats.html

[32] Potato Salad: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2008/05/summer-salad-triumvirate.html

[33] Corn Muffins: http://susanbranch.com/cooking/cornmeal_muffins.htm

[34] Menu Plan Monday: http://orgjunkie.com/category/menu-plan-monday

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