in the kitchen

Monthly Meal Plan

Meal Plan from Go Gingham
We eat healthier at home and save money if we meal plan every week.

Ahhhhh…..that’s what I say after I’ve written out our meal plan for the week. If I get lazy and skip it – which I’ve been known to do – it’s always a scramble around 5pm. And, because my kids love to eat leftovers for breakfast, they want a good dinner and with lots of leftovers so it’s easy for them to “make breakfast” in the morning.

I know my kids are getting a good start to their morning with leftover dinner for breakfast. Don’t ask me what they have in their lunches. They’re both high school students and capable of making their own lunches – which they do – but I don’t like any knowledge of what’s getting packed – or not getting packed. It helps their independence (and my sanity) when I don’t micro-manage, hover, and nit-pick.

Here’s what I do know: when my kids get home from school, they’re ready for the fourth meal of the day! If I’ve cooked during the day to photograph, they will actually hug, smile at me, and tell me I’m the best mom ever! That lasts for about 2.2 minutes for 3 seconds.

Monthly Meal Plan

Meal planning saves money, minimizes food waste, and ensures healthy, home cooked meals for the upcoming week. Meal planning is my frame work or agenda of what home cooked meals we’re going to have for the upcoming week. It only takes about 10 minutes to meal plan and involves a quick view of the week ahead and checking to see what staples I already have at home in the refrigerator, in the pantry, and the freezer. Once the meal plan is made, then I make a grocery list of what items are needed.

 Weekly meal plan from Monday, December 2, 2013 to Sunday, December 8, 2013

Monday: roasted root vegetable soup with turkey broth (from Thanksgiving)

Tuesday: turkey, oyster and sausage stuffing and green salad

Wednesday: pan seared salmon, brown rice and oven roasted broccoli sauteed greens

Thursday: pinto bean and brown rice bowls with fresh salsa

Friday: stuffed acorn squash (Thanksgiving decorations) with ground pork, quinoa and tomatoes

Saturday: whole wheat pasta with pesto (from freezer) and green salad (my daughter made dinner this night)

Sunday: oven roasted whole chicken, quinoa and green salad frozen green peas (my son made dinner this night)

Weekly meal plan from Monday, December 9, 2013 to Sunday, December 15, 2013

Monday: chicken pot pie – weeknight version – with leftover chicken and veggies

Tuesday: pinto beans, brown rice bowls with fresh salsa and avocadoes

Wednesday: pasta (bow tie and not whole wheat) with mushrooms and pork chops and coconut cake – this was my daughter’s birthday dinner and she chose the meal. It got finished at breakfast the next morning.

Thursday: salmon, quinoa and beet salad

Friday:  egg and Canadian bacon biscuit and spinach fruit smoothies (This is our version of a fast-food restaurant breakfast sandwich. The Canadian style bacon is the perfect size for the sandwich!)

Saturday: whole wheat pasta with carrots (The kids made dinner and we went to dinner group with a tasty arugula salad.)

Sunday: chicken noodle soup (my son made dinner this night)

Meal planning from Go Gingham
It’s very low tech but it totally works! We keep the plan on the refrigerator – front and center.

Weekly meal plan from Monday, December 16, 2013 to Sunday, December 22, 2013

Monday: sauteed shrimp, quinoa and oven roasted vegetables spinach salad (my son made dinner this night)

Tuesday: pinto beans, brown rice bowls with fresh salsa

Wednesday: whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce from garden tomatoes, ground pork and green salad frozen green peas (my daughter made dinner this night)

Thursday: egg strata with oven roasted potatoes and vegetables – we ate leftovers from the night before instead!

Friday: oven roasted whole chicken with roasted vegetables

Saturday: pinto bean and chicken (leftovers) burritos with fresh salsa

Sunday: family Christmas party at Auntie Mary’s house

Weekly meal plan from Monday, December 23, 2013 to Sunday, December 29, 2013

Monday: family dinner at Grandma’s house

Tuesday: seafood stew (made with fish broth, crab, potatoes and corn) Christmas eve meal

Wednesday: Christmas morning strata leftovers – We don’t cook a dinner on Christmas but have a large brunch. Everyone eats what they’d like for dinner and usually it’s what we had for brunch!

Thursday: spinach salad with bacon and boiled eggs

Friday: split pea soup with carrots

Saturday: split pea soup with carrots (leftovers)

Sunday: spaghetti with meatballs – whole wheat pasta with half pork/half beef baked meatballs – recipe is coming soon!

Weekly meal plan from Monday, December 30, 2013 to Sunday, January 5, 2014

Monday: egg strata with mushrooms, beet greens (from beets we grew last summer) and tomatoes (my daughter made dinner this night)

Tuesday: shrimp cocktail and beet salad

Wednesday: leftovers – We ate what was in the refrigerator, freezer and pantry

Thursday: leftovers – We ate what was in the refrigerator, freezer and pantry – again! It was time for an “eat down” on our food.

Friday: squash and pumpkin soup, green salad, corn bread and banana “ice cream” – This was a birthday dinner for my gluten-free mom. The “ice cream” was banana sorbet – or something like that. It was tasty!

Saturday: Block and Tackle restaurant – This was my husband’s birthday and his parents took us all out to celebrate! It’s a new restaurant and was delicious – and a treat because we never go out to dinner. Thank you Nana and Pepere!!

Sunday: oven roasted whole chicken (we had a houseful so we roasted 2!), stuffing (from Thanksgiving), green salad and birthday cake (my son made dinner this night)

I use a blank paper meal plan that is front and center on our refrigerator. Check the download page for a copy.

Are you a meal planner? Do you use a paper meal plan or an app?

Go Gingham related links:

Just say no to baby carrots!
New to cooking at home? Fear not!
11 reasons to meal plan every week – save money, save time and reduce food waste
How our freezer gets used – what I keep in our freezer and how I utilize the space
Grocery shopping soon? Plastic grocery bag alternatives

2 thoughts on “Monthly Meal Plan

  1. I think I’ve told you this before–I’m “sort of” a meal planner–I try to keep staples on hand so I can pull together a quick, nutritious meal any time. I have a general idea of what I will serve my family during the week but I admit, I get grouchy if I feel too constrained.

    My kids used to make their lunches but we’ve gotten away from that lately–probably should get them back into it again. With the winter we are having, it’s kind of a moot point as it seems like they are home for a snow day more than they are at school!


  2. Meal planning has really helped us a ton! Now everyone knows “whats for dinner”, and it eliminates the standing around with the fridge or pantry door open, saying what should I make!?! I like to do my menu a month at a time. When the weekly grocery ad comes out, I might tweak it a little here and there to adjust to the sales.

    Your menu’s look awesome. How’d you get the kids to make their own lunches? I would love for my teens to get up and make theirs too!


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