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Save Money with Monthly Meal Planning

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Family Food Savings Click below to read the series

Slices of kiwi fruit

My meal planning system is based around dinner. I plan out 12-15 dinners each month. ¬†I cook dinners in bulk, usually doubling the¬†original¬†recipe. ¬†People ask me if my family tires¬†of eating the same meal 2 days in a row. ¬†Of course they may grow weary depending on the meal. ¬†I have one child who I can count on to remind me that tuna noodle casserole is not his favorite. ¬†I remind him that the quicker we eat through the tuna noodle, the sooner mom can make something else. ¬†We have family favorites that everyone gobbles up. ¬†You can tell Chili is one of those family favorites from last weeks Feed Me Thursdays. ¬†I’ve also listed before 10 quick and easy family meals.

Here’s an example from a few days on my monthly meal plan:

and the small font means nothing except I had a battle with this form and I lost.

 EXAMPLE:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Breakfast

Oatmeal

Bagel/Fruit

 Eggs/Toast

Lunch

 Chili/Corn Bread

 Tuna Noodle Casserole/Veggie

Chicken Noodle Soup/Sandwich

Dinner

 Tuna Noodle Casserole/Veggie  Tuna Noodle Casserole/Fruit

Chicken Noodle Soup/Sandwich

Snacks available

 Apple Sauce

 Jello

 Banana Bread

You’ll notice days {Monday for example} that each meal is different–boy what a treat! If you look at my entire month you’ll see on average we have 3 days per week where every meal is different. ¬†I try to add a little something diverse to each meal. ¬†For example if we’re having chicken noodle soup & PBJ Sandwich I may have sliced peaches on the side. ¬†For our next meal we could have chicken noodle soup & ham¬†sandwich¬†with applesauce on the side.

Capture

In a perfect system I would cook double, then freeze half for later in the month. ¬†I’ve yet to make that system fully work for me. ¬†Although freezer cooking was my initial idea two years ago when I set out to learn how to cook. My plan has¬†formed¬†into what we see now. ¬†Similar to my¬†philosophy on once-a-month grocery shopping, by cooking in bulk I’m saving myself time which I can then invest in my babies in other ways.

¬†Out of 14 total lunches & dinners per week I’m only cooking 3-4 times. ¬†

I  utilize our freezers a great deal.  When we complete our once-a-month shopping trip I pre-cook our meat for the month.  I place the meat in labeled freezer bags for easy access.  I also freeze chicken broth, fruits/veggies,  and breads.

Our breakfasts are very simple.  I have the older boys training in making oatmeal, cooking eggs in various configurations, and mastering the toaster.  When my husband is able to enjoy breakfast with us he usually makes pancakes too.

You may click ¬†here to download a view of our monthly meal plan. This is my¬†skeleton that I add side items & snacks to round out the meals. ¬†I rotate meals each month and I’m always looking for new easy recipes, *hint.

 

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