Meal planning is ESSENTIAL to ensure you are feeding your family real, nourishing food. The reason I plan one month at a time is because I HATE thinking about what to make for dinner and this way I really only have to think about it once a month! LOVE IT! I also prefer to cook healthy, nutritious, whole foods (as much as possible) with very minimal (if any) processed foods. I TRY to use what’s in season and get it as “locally” as possible.
- I come up with a list of “categories” – mine are Beef, Chicken, Vegetarian, Soup or Salad, Fish and Fun Foods. Then I come up with about 5 recipes in each category, which I rotate until we get sick of them! I try to do fish once a week and at least one or 2 “meatless” meals (to cut down on costs and to try to get more nutrients and vitamins in!).
- You can then pick certain days to correspond with your categories. For instance, Sundays = crockpot meals, Mondays = soup or salad night, Tuesdays = vegetarian, etc. Our Saturday nights are “fun food nights” so we often have homemade pizza and occasionally we alternate it with hamburgers/hotdogs on the grill. You don’t HAVE to do it this way, it’s just one idea.
I will be linking the actual recipes to this as I have time, as well as adding breakfast and lunch ideas. But for now, here’s a sample of 30 days of dinners at our home (highlighted in red are things I do before going to bed in order to be prepared for the next day):
Sunday: Lunch at friends’, leftovers for dinner –soak beans, get grd. beef from freezer
Monday: Beef & Bean Casserole, raw carrots – soak black beans
Tuesday: Chicken Tortilla Soup with toppings
Wednesday: Church Dinner night! YAY! – take salmon out of freezer, soak quinoa
Thursday: Salmon, veggies, quinoa
Friday: Neighborhood dinner
Saturday: Homemade Pizza
Sunday: Homegroup for lunch/potluck – take veggies out of freezer, if needed
Monday: Cheesy Vegetable Chowder w/ homemade croutons, fruit – take chicken out of freezer
Tuesday: Chicken Pot Pie, fruit or applesauce
Wednesday: Church Dinner Night!
Thursday: Spaghetti w/ homemade sauce, veggie, bread
Friday: Out for dinner or leftovers
Saturday: Homemade pizza night, fruit/veggies – soak quinoa
Sunday: Crockpot Chicken Quinoa, spelt rolls – take grd beef out of freezer, soak beans
Monday: Tacos, pinto beans, veggies/fruit
Tuesday: Homemade Chicken Soup, veggies/fruit (use this broth and add in whatever you’d like!)
Wednesday: Church Dinner night! –chicken out of freezer
Friday: Spaghetti Pie
Saturday: All beef natural hotdogs, veggies, terra chips
Sunday: Homegroup Potluck – soak split peas, take sausage out of freezer
Monday: Split Pea/Kale/Sausage Soup, spelt rolls, applesauce – chicken out of freezer
Tuesday: Chicken Divan
Wednesday: Church Dinner Night –soak cornbread and beans, beef out of freezer
Friday: Date night! (kids get quesadillas or Annie’s Mac & Cheese, veggies, fruit)