Monthly Menu & Recipes

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I have finally updated my monthly menu plan to include most of the recipes I use! Check it out here. I have not been sticking strictly to it though, as each day has it’s own surprises! I do like to stick to the dinner themes, but may rotate what soup I make for the week, etc. It is just so nice to know that I have all the ingredients on hand for any of the meals listed for the month, and can rotate them to whatever fancy I or my husband may like! I did discover that my husband prefers homemade pizza over stir fry this week (duh…Lindsay)! I have also been striving to limit my grocery run to once a month, but have only been successful with every three weeks as of yet. ;) We are on week 2 this week!

I would encourage you to consider making a monthly menu plan. Here are some of the benefits:

1. One time menu planning – or when you decide to change it (I like winter and summer menus)!
2. One time grocery list -After making your monthly plan, you just have to chart a simple shopping list with all the ingredients you will need for the recipes, and it doesn’t change! You can make copies or store this sheet on your computer, so you eliminate the need to write out a new list each week.
3. Keeps life simple! And I am all for that!

For more pointers, check out the Simple Menu Planning on A Budget post.

For more menu plans, visit Organizing Junkie.

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of three, homemaker, and writer. She is the editor of Passionate Homemaking since its beginning five years ago. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

8 Responses to Monthly Menu & Recipes

  1. Marymom October 21, 2009 at 10:13 am #

    I am following some of the tips and trying to make improvements to our eating one step at a time. I plan out 4 weeks of meals for each season. I place my plan and shopping lists in sheet protectors and take them to the store with my clip board. I save so much time this way. I usually leave one day each week for something new as I like to try new things. Excellent ideas.

  2. rickee March 14, 2008 at 8:37 am #

    I’m glad I found you!!!! I am living on my own for the first time-active duty air force-taking college classes and I struggle with finding time to cook real food! If anybody has a monthly plan written out that covers all three meals, PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!!!!!

    • Samara Root July 15, 2008 at 7:53 am #

      Rickee,
      I found the “Limited Time Limited Budget” section (pg 619) of Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon had some good suggestions for me when I was single and working close to full time:
      Short story:
      Find one block of four to five hours per week (mine was Saturday) and make enough “real” food to last you the week. You may not eat gourmet or incredibly diverse, but you will eat WAY healthier.
      -Make one or two large meals and a large amount of
      a grain side dish (like curry and rice) that will last you all week long for lunches and suppers.
      -Friday night, soak a large batch of muffin, cookie, or bread dough and make it on Saturday to last you for snacks for the week.
      -If you like soups, buy some organic chicken necks and backs (usually about $0.99 / lb), make some stock to keep in the freezer so you have a good stock ready to whip up into any soup you wish on Saturday
      -Put up a quick jar of sauerkraut
      -Make some sort of marinated vegetable side dish that you won’t get bored of for the week. Try marinating cooked green beans in olive oil, vinager and LOTS of garlic, for example :-)
      -Keep some pre-washed, torn salad greens in the fridge. A salad with some cheese and bread goes a long way for a good lunch.

      Sorry, this comment is pretty long. Hope it might help!

  3. Andrea February 25, 2008 at 1:19 pm #

    Just to start off with, this blog has blessed me so much! Frugality, organization, nutrition, and home skills are all so important, but I so often find one or two exclusive of the other three! I am thankful to find another young woman who is trying to feed her family healthy food, on a budget, stay organized, and make bread, condiments, etc. at home. Thank you for what you’re doing.

    Just to give a quick reference, I have been reading *Animal, Vegitable, Miracle* by Barbara Kingsolver. She is a talented writer, but unfortunately an atheist and doesn’t pull God into any of her gorgeous descriptions of fruits and vegitables and animals that come into her story of a year of living with her family by eating all foods locally. I live in Alaska (in an apartment to boot!) and will never be able to live 100% off of my local farming community, but I can sure try to support it as you do by belonging to a CSA, buying local dairy, eggs, and meat as possible and possibly even looking into free trade enterprises overseas for spices, teas, coffees, and chocolate. I can’t wait for summer farmer’s markets to open up, so that I can see what’s available there. The book encouraged me to take a fresh look at what I was supporting by my “one stop shopping” mindset of buying the lowest possible priced foods. Now my first change is to start supporting organic produce by buying at least one item when I shop and taking a close look at what hormone-free dairy I can replace my regular stuff with. My next steps will be to join a CSA (a local one runs over the summer, a long distance one runs from Oregon for the rest of the year) and find local sources of dairy, eggs, and raw milk.

    Anyway, I know this is getting long! But I have also used the free resources of Savingdinner.com in planning weekly menus that are creative and fun (just signing up will get you lots of free ones). I also bought a month long menu that had me putting 22 meals into my freezer to pull out, thaw, and cook each evening averaging less than a half an hour preparation. It was really neat.

    However, I know I need to move beyond someone else’s idea of dinner for my family, and make my own monthly rotation of meals. I can do it, and it can be delicious and healthy and even something that I can involve a box of CSA produce in like you do. Thanks for your inspiration! I’ll keep checking in for ideas!

  4. Stacy February 25, 2008 at 12:01 pm #

    I really like this idea! I’ve made menu plans every week and even up to two weeks in advance..but once a month sounds good.

    You may have already written about this..do you buy a particular brand of chicken? My local store has some on sale – but it doesn’t look very nice! We are able to get some good meat locally, but it is very expensive and hard to fit into the budget.

    Any suggestions?

    • Lindsay February 25, 2008 at 12:14 pm #

      Stacy,
      I try to buy my chickens from a local farm, as they are farm raised and free range. They are great quality this way. I pay around $2.15 per lb for whole chickens then cut them up. Otherwise I buy frozen chicken thighs and breasts at Trader Joe’s that do not have preservatives, etc. We actually can’t afford a lot of meat to stick to our budget, so we mainly stick to ground turkey from Azure Standard, and chicken from the local farm. Check out Eat Wild for local meat sources, as you may be able to find someone who does chickens in your area. Hope that helps!

  5. Laura February 25, 2008 at 5:59 am #

    I love doing a monthly menu plan as well. Another thing that’s great about it is that you save money. You’re only buying ingredients and food that you will actually use. :)

    • destiny January 23, 2009 at 3:15 am #

      I have never had a meal plan at all and you may find this really bad but i am just learning the basics of cooking because i grow up in a family that would only eat microwave meals only. So now that i am trying to have healthy meals. I have come to the realization that other than junk food i can not even think of foods to go on my menu. Can you help me to get it started? To help you if you do want to help me, my family is try to gain weight due to the fact that we are all underweight. HELP!!!!!!!! My dr has told me i need three meals a day and two large snacks of health food.