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Monthly meal planning isn't for everyone, but it can be a tremendous sanity saver if you are on a tight budget or want to save time by getting it done in chunks. I love the feeling of not having to worry about what to make every single day! Such freedom!!
If it seems intimidating, don't worry--we're going to break it down! Click below to download your free WORKBOOK and pull out your recipe collection.
Monthly Meal Planning #1 - Pick Theme Days
Set yourself up for success by selecting themes or categories that work with your favorite foods and make sense for you. These are categories that you have at least 4 meals with a staple in common, such as: rice, potatoes, soup, Mexican, Chinese, chicken, beef, pasta, meatless, slow-cooker, pizza, etc. Each day of the week, Monday through Sunday should be assigned a theme. If you eat out once a week, you can enter that for one day.
Monthly Meal Planning #2 - Fill in Your Favorite Meals
Start going through your recipe collection and jot down the meals in each box of the template. Your goal is to have a set plan for week 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the month. You can have a unique meal for each of the four weeks, or you can repeat twice a month or even every week (for instance, Friday is pizza night at our house and Saturday is tacos or burritos). As you are filling in your calendar, you may notice that two similar dishes might end up next to each other, so feel free to move things around for variety.
Monthly Meal Planning #3 - Make a Shopping List
Once you have your recipes picked for each week you can make either a weekly shopping list or a monthly one. List all the ingredients needed for the meals, marking how much of common ingredients you'll need (think dairy, dry or bulk). This is your chance to keep it simple, do a massive shopping trip and stock up, or break it into small and quick trips throughout the month.
Monthly Meal Planning #4 - Make Additional Months to Rotate (optional)
If you have a ton of recipes you like to make, you can put together multiple months and rotate. I personally wanted to simplify this season of my life and so we stick to one month. I have only a few meals that repeat throughout the month so in general each meal is only eaten once a month. Not too bad! In the future I will probably shake things up, but this was the most cost-effective way for me.
If you're ready to simplify your meals, monthly meal planning will take so much stress off you. Set aside a chunk of time and let's do this!
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