We’re sharing how to meal plan by the month today!
Recently, my accountability partner and I were discussing how important it is to take time on Sunday afternoons to plan out each week.
It’s something I’ve been doing for a while now and it really helps to keep us on track.
During that conversation, she mentioned she meal plans by the week.
So when I told her it was just as easy to meal plan by the month, she decided to give it a try as well.
Meal Planning by the Month: Easy Tips…
Monthly meal planning works best if you know your family’s schedule in advance.
That said, this meal planning system will still work even if your plans change along the way.
As I mentioned above, we usually sit down on the same day each week to write out a grocery list based on our upcoming meal plan.
It really makes grocery shopping easier which always feels like a win-win!
In the past, we used a weekly calendar to keep track of our menu ideas.
Once we switched to a monthly meal planning list though we haven’t looked back.
Here’s a look at 5 simple steps to help you meal plan by the month…
Step #1: Fill In Celebration and Special Occasion Days
The first step is to fill in your list or calendar with the activities, events, or special occasions your family will be celebrating.
- Special Occasions like Valentine’s Day
- Fun Food Holidays like Fat Tuesday or Super Bowl Sunday
- Sleepovers, Sunday Suppers, or Friends and Family Dinners
That way, you can make the menu special for each celebration.
Step #2: Create Themed Food Days
Next, assign each day of the week a different theme, food group or category.
- Monday – Meatless, Sheet Pan, or One-Pot Meal
- Tuesday – Cultural Cuisine
- Wednesday – Hearty Salad
- Thursday – Soup, Chowder, Stew or Chili
- Friday – Pizza, Burgers, or Charcuterie Boards
- Saturday – Dinner Out/Leftovers, Seafood
- Sunday – Family Favorites / Try Something New / Sunday Supper
Step #3: Add Family Favorites
Once you’ve given each day a theme, start adding your tried and true recipes to the monthly meal planning list.
These will be menu items you currently make that are family favorites or meals that are quick and easy.
Step #4: Fill in the Blanks
At this point, start filling in any empty dates with new recipes or meals you’ve been wanting to try.
This may be hard for picky eaters but it’s good for us to try new experiences and break out of our comfort zone, you know?
Step #5: Create a Grocery List
After you have all the days of the month filled out, make a grocery list based on the way you shop (weekly, biweekly, or monthly).
This is also a great time to consider what you’ll be having for breakfast each morning and the supplies you may need for packing lunches and snacks.
That way everything will be on the same list!
There will be times when you probably won’t be able to follow the monthly meal planning list exactly as written.
After all, unexpected events tend to frequently pop up and life can get a little bananas sometimes.
When and/if that happens, simply move whatever menu item you were going to have on the day you miss to the following month and you’ll already be ahead of the game!
We like using a meal plan by the month list so much, we made one for you to try too.
You can always use a piece of notebook paper or your planner as well.
Monthly Menu Ideas…
Keep in mind, you can also click on the Monthly Menu Ideas Tab to find menus for each month of the entire year.
You can also follow this Simple Weekly Menu Ideas board via Pinterest as well!
We definitely want to make things as easy as possible because we know life gets hectic.
Let us know your favorite meal planning tips or tricks and recipes. We’d love to try them too!
Other Routine and Organization Posts to Enjoy:Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.