March Monthly Menu Plan

march

I’m trying to make a monthly menu plan instead of a weekly menu plan.  I’m trying hard.  Really, really hard.  

I didn’t think I’d enjoy the process of writing an entire month of meals (it’s not one of my favorite tasks!), but I have to admit I sort of liked it.  Well, I liked it as much as anyone might enjoy writing a menu.    

Benefits of a Monthly Menu Plan

  • Saves time – I don’t have to write a new menu each week.  I just have to look it over and make necessary adjustments.
  • Promotes variety – It keeps me from getting in a rut fixing the same meals week after week.
  • Saves money – I’m hoping to save money on my grocery budget by being able to better utilize the sales throughout the month.

Monthly Planning Method

I set up a system to make monthly planning easier.  I scheduled the same type of meals on certain days, so it was just a matter of filling in the blanks.  As our calendar gets crazy with baseball games and track practice, I can rearrange as needed.  

Here is the system I followed:

  • MONDAY:  breakfast for dinner
  • TUESDAY:  pizza
  • WEDNESDAY:  soup
  • THURSDAY:  whatever is on sale or a cheap meal
  • FRIDAY:  pasta
  • SATURDAY:  meal that can be changed easily if we want to order a pizza instead
  • SUNDAY:  easy meal or leftovers

My goal is to post my monthly menu plan during the last week of each month. Hopefully, the accountability will force me to keep up with this efficient menu planning method.  

If you need some help with menu planning, check out the Menu Planning 101 series!

Here’s the menu plan:

Breakfasts around our house tend to be a fend-for-yourself affair. I try to keep a wide enough selection of items on hand that the kids can either fix for themselves or can fix with minimal help. Also, since my husband works a job with odd hours, every meal is not a “family meal”. When Dad is at work, I try to keep things simple to save time and my sanity (well, whatever sanity I have left by dinner time). 

BREAKFAST

Leftover pancakes
Cereal
Oatmeal
Bagels
Eggs
Homemade bread
Toast
Yogurt
Fruit

LUNCH

Sandwiches
Cheese, lunchmeat, crackers
Grilled cheese
Mac & cheese
Ramen noodles, salad
Boiled eggs
Leftovers
Fruit
Veggies and dip

DINNER

WEEK #1
Waffles, homemade syrup, sausage, eggs, fruit
Pizza, salad
Homemade vegetable soup (recipe coming!), salad, dinner rolls
Chicken, rice pilaf, roasted veggies
Baked Rigatoni, salad
Burrito bowls, chicken
Quesadillas or leftovers

WEEK #2
Pancakes, homemade syrup, eggs, bacon, smoothies
Pizza, salad
Lentil soup with sausage, fried bread (recipe coming!)
Tacos
Pasta with garlic and olive oil, salad, garlic bread
Sausage, cooked cabbage, salad
Quesadillas or leftovers

WEEK #3
Sausage, biscuits, eggs, fruit salad, potato cakes
Pizza, salad
Black Bean Soup, cornbread, salad
Gyros, salad
Spaghetti, salad
Sausage fajitas, cilantro lime rice
Quesadillas or leftovers

WEEK #4
Pancakes, homemade syrup, eggs, bacon, smoothies
Pizza, salad
Chicken Noodle Soup, biscuits, salad
Burritos, Spanish rice
Mac & cheese, salad, fruit
Hot dogs, chili, salad
Quesadillas or leftovers

Shared with Menu Plan Monday.

 

Comments

  1. Laura says

    Amy, I’ve been putting together a monthly menu plan for almost 15 years now, and I can’t imagine living without it. It started when my kiddos were tiny just because funds were extremely tight, and I got tired of going to the grocery store every time I turned around. Now that our kids are 10, 12, 14, & 18, it’s evolved into planning meals around all of the activities we have in the evenings. And now, it’s evolved to include semi-extreme couponing. I just use a table in Microsoft Word, print it, post it on the fridge, and check off the meals as we have them. Sometimes we stick to it exactly and sometimes life happens, and the plan goes out the window. Also, I rarely get the question, “What’s for dinner?” because they know I’m just going to say “Check the menu.” :-)

    • says

      Laura,
      Love it! Thanks so much for sharing. This gives me encouragement that monthly planning is a great way to go! After the flu hit our house this week, I was feeling a bit discouraged that the menu plan has already flown out the window, but I know that’s just how life goes sometimes. I’ll hang in there and hope to find the kind of success you’ve found with it!

      On a funny note, our kids are almost the same ages! Mine are 11, 14, and 18! :)
      Amy Clark Scheren recently posted…15 Verses for When You Feel Like a FailureMy Profile

  2. Jennifer Hoffman says

    I love this! We live a very chaotic life right now (hubby gone half the week for work, I’m undergoing medical treatments and my son and I stay with my parents for help) and desperately need something to simplify life. What is your grocery budget? And what vdo you do for snacks?

    • says

      Jennifer,
      I’m glad you enjoyed seeing our monthly menu plan! Snacks around here are pretty simple. My kids grab things like pretzels, granola bars, snack crackers, or apples. Sometimes I’ll have cut up veggies, homemade bread, or fresh cookies waiting for them after school (if they’re lucky :) ).

      I prefer not to say the exact amount of our grocery budget, as each family is different. It depends on the area of the country where you live, the size of your family, the ages of your children, and any special diet concerns, just to name a few budget influences! Instead, I would refer you to my 31-Days to a Better Grocery Budget series. It has lots of helpful information on saving money on your grocer bill!

      http://gospelhomemaking.com/better-grocery-budget-round/
      Amy Clark Scheren recently posted…9 Reasons to Use a TimerMy Profile

  3. Jennifer Hoffman says

    Thanks so much! Totally understand about the budget and I like how you handle things because you are absolutely right- the variables make a huge difference and we should all try to fit into Gods best plan for our family- not someone else’s. A lesson I am trying to learn!
    Do you do any freezer cooking/do you list it when you do? Looks like you keep things homemade and balanced which I love!
    I also love your weekly to do list! Will some of the monthly tasks include things like garage cleaning/swapping out seasonal clothing etc?

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