Monday, October 8, 2012

Day 8 - Meal Planning

Today is the perfect day for a nap.  Cold and rainy with an afternoon at home breeds the perfect recipe for a sweatshirt, blanket, and couch combo.  But that was yesterday’s agenda, so this afternoon I am instead stretched out in my recliner with my brown mug of coffee and Pandora playing softly beside me.  Almost as good as a nap...  I was planning on touching on a different topic today, but I wasn’t ready yet.  So I skipped to my next topic… meal planning.

One of the most stressful parts of the day can be deciding what to what fix for supper.  My husband’s solution to this is to simply go out to eat.  In order to avoid our budget going out the roof, a monthly meal plan is essential!  I have done weekly meal planning for years.  I used to gather all my cookbooks, spend an hour or two pouring over them, and make a meal plan and grocery list for the upcoming week.  This worked well in the past, but then I discovered making two meal plans for the year and rotating the meals through a month at time.  This is a meal plan… meaning it doesn’t always happen, but without a plan it is sure to never happen.  

Here is a glimpse of our fall menu (vegetarian/pescatarian) :

Monday- Cereal or muffins, fruit
Tuesday- Eggs, toast or grits, fruit 
Wednesday – Green smoothie,  muffin or bread
Thursday – Eggs, toast or grits, fruit
Friday – Green Smoothie, muffin or bread
Saturday - Pancakes or French toast, fruit
Sunday – Muffins or waffles (frozen)

- Sandwiches, fruit, veggies
- Yogurt with berries
- Quesadillas or crack wraps
- Mac N Cheese
- Fun Nuggets

Mondays – Italian/Ethnic
1. Baked Spaghetti
2. Pesto Lasagna
3. Stir Fry w/rice & veggies or Fried Rice
4. Spinach Spaghetti

Tuesdays – Main Dish Salads/Legumes
1. Quinoa Salad, Tilapia, & Spinach Bake
2. Taco Salad
3. Savory Fall Stew
4. Tempeh Chili & Cornbread

Wednesdays – Sandwiches
1. Cheese & Bean Quesadillas 
2. BBQ Tuna Sandwiches
3. Tuna Cheesies
4. Eat at church

Thursdays – Soups
1. Wild Rice Soup
2. Broccoli & Cheese Soup
3. Mexican Corn Soup
4. Cream of Tomato Basil Soup

Fridays – Special Dinner Night
1. Homemade (or delivery) Pizza (twice a month)
2. Hamburgers, baked beans, cole slaw
3. Date Night

Saturdays & Sundays
- Leftovers 
- Nachos 
- Baked Potatoes 
- Breakfast or Waffles
- Cheesy Wild Rice Casserole
- Stuffed Peppers

Meals for others…
- Creamy Chicken and Noodles, green bean casserole
- Minestrone Soup
- Piggies in a blanket, oven fries, coleslaw
- Broccoli Casserole & Corn Bake

How this works for our family:

At the beginning of each month, I take out a blank calendar and literally fill in the month with these meals.  By having themes for each day, it helps me to be deliberate in making sure we get in enough protein each week.  This may seem boring, but as a home school mom of three, routine is essential in keeping my sanity, the budget down, and well-rounded meals on the table as much as possible.  Another goal is to produce a main monthly grocery list from these meals.  (This is still a goal in the works.)  In my homemaking binder, I have all the recipes that go along with my menu for the season, so I’m not having to waste time looking through cookbooks or Pinterest to find the right recipe.  I really hope that this will help spend more meals at home and less time wondering what to fix for supper.  

Here are a few more resources:

o Keeper of the Home (her seasonal plan)
o Passionate Homemaking (her winter meal plan)


  1. LOVE this! I've been working on meal planning myself! Thanks for sharing your ideas :)

    1. Thanks for your encouragement, Lindsey! Praying for you guys this week!