How to get started with a Monthly Meal Plan
1. Grab a Calendar
The first thing I do before planning my monthly meal plan is to grab a pencil and paper or a printable blank calendar. The next thing that I do is sit down with my calendar and make notes of any appointments or times when I know that we are not going to be home to have dinner and write them down. This way you are not overbuying and wasting food.
2. Take Inventory
Then, I take inventory of what I have on hand. If I have any extra meat in the freezer that should be used up or leftover veggies or staples that I can use for any of my meals.
3. Check Ads
I will usually check my grocery store’s circulars to see what is on sale for produce or meat. I buy my meat in bulk so I can get many meals out of it.
4. Theme Nights/ Favorite Meals
This makes meal planning much easier because I am able to designate each day of the week into a certain theme. So, for instance, on Mondays, it’s Italian night so we may have spaghetti one week and baked rigatoni the next.
When I start thinking of meals, I will start with Monday and fill in all the Mondays with any Italian Meals that I want to have.
It’s helpful to have a list of your favorite meals so that you can use it for reference when making your meal plan.
Monthly Meal Idea
Keep it simple
One of the best tips that I can offer you is to keep it simple. Don’t plan meals that require tons of new ingredients that you may only use once. Find meals that the whole family will enjoy and that are simple and quick to prepare so you are not wanting to run to get fast food.
Change can happen
Remember your meal plan isn’t written in stone. You can change it and only use it as a guide. Whatever works for you! Meals can get changed around because life happens but at least you have a good idea of what you are having for a month.
Make it work for you
Shop when it’s convenient for you. A monthly meal plan will definitely save you time and stress because you are not having to worry about what to make for dinner every night.
But, if you find that shopping for an entire month is challenging because of unpredictable work or school schedules. You could still make a monthly meal plan but shop weekly. You will still save time and you are assured that you are not making the same meals week after week.
There you have it. An easy way to save time and money is just by planning out your meals for the month ahead so you are not scrambling at the last minute trying to think of dinner ideas.