How to Meal Plan by the Month

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.

How to Meal Plan by the Month: Easy Tips and Tricks-The Crowned Goat

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.

For example:

  • Birthdays
  • Anniversaries
  • 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.

For example:

  • 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!

Bonus Tip:

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:

Dinner Decision Jar

Quick and Easy Cleaning Routine for Modern Day Life

Modern Day Cleaning Schedule Made Easy-The Crowned Goat

52 Weeks to a Simplified and Organized Home Challenge

52 Weeks to a Simplified and Organized Home Challenge-The Crowned Goat
Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,


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  1. I tried the one you and your sisters suggested last year and it works really well. I don’t know why it didn’t dawn on me to plan for a few extra meals and I could have had the entire month. This is a great hack, Sarah

    1. I am right there with you Sarah, I was doing the same thing ha ha! So glad this is working for you now. It really does make grocery shopping and weekly planning so much easier. Hugs, CoCo

  2. Wow CoCo – this is completely different than how we meal plan. Thanks for opening our eyes to a different way of doing things.! Wish we could bump into each other in the grocery store…or better yet, share a fun meal together. Especially that lobster pot pie LOL. Big hugs.

    1. ha ha I could organize the list and shop for the ingredients and you could make the meals! We would be eating like Kings every night 🙂

  3. This is such a great way to save both time and money. I regularly plan by the week but will definitely have to consider a month long plan!

    1. It definitely helps us save time, Heidi! Especially, since you only have to chose 4 meals from each category. Plus, it’s always fun to celebrate food holidays too. February has a lot of good ones 🙂 Hugs, CoCo

  4. I used to do such a good job planning our meals for the month, but I just got away from it. Thank you so much for the inspiration CoCo. I loved your tips and am going to try to get back to being more organized, starting with this. I would love to share this on my weekly blog post tomorrow.

    1. So sorry, I’m late in responding to this Kim! I took the weekend off to hang out with my family and cheer on one of the littles at the soccer field. I’m not great in the kitchen at all but I do appreciate having a game plan and this has definitely helped us cut down on eating out and creating healthier meals at home too 🙂 Sending you lots of hugs, CoCo PS: You’re more than welcome to share anything you want any time. I’m just honored to be in your orbit 🙂

  5. I do something very similar and it works great, especially now with using grocery pick-up once a month. Thank you for sharing at Party In Your PJ’s.

    1. That is so awesome Ann! I would LOVE to be able to use a grocery store pick up service too. We live pretty far out of town and our stores don’t offer it just yet so it’s not an option but I love hearing how helpful it is for others so I can pass it along. I mean, anything that makes our lives easier is totally worth it in my book 🙂 Hugs, CoCo

  6. Great system! I am one that dreads meal planning, but then when I actually do it, I love it! I even enjoy the process of sitting down and doing the planning. I guess the rebellious spirit in me just doesn’t want to do it for some reason!

    1. Thank you so much, sweet friend! I can totally relate to not wanting to sit down and plan meals sometimes. We used to go from day to day or week to week for the longest time. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve been looking for simple ways to cut down on daily decision fatigue and meal planning definitely helps 🙂 Hope your week has been a happy one, CoCo

  7. Such a great concept CoCo! I love your planning pages, too – so thoughtful of you to make them in different styles – I love the flower ones! Thanks for the great tips, and Happy Saturday!

    1. Thank you so much, Barbara! We’re constantly looking for things like are simple to implement that will help make our lives easier. Hope it will make things easier for you and your family too. Hugs for a happy week, CoCo

  8. I used to do this years ago, but I have really gotten away from it. Thank you for inspiring me to start back with it. It is such a time saver. I love your links to the recipes also!

    1. You are so welcome, Susan! I know we’re all busy so I’m happy to pass along any little tip or trick that might be helpful. Batching tasks like meal planning has saved us so many times. Hope your week has been a special one, CoCo

  9. Pingback: May Menu Ideas –
  10. I love the dinner decision jar idea CoCo. There are some nights when it is 5 PM, and I think oh no, I forgot about dinner! Yes, I am that person who does forget about those things… and I have to come up with something quickly. Sometimes I do the tried and true, and other times I make something up on the fly. A jar with ideas would be so much easier than trying to reinvent the wheel when I forget about doing a bit of prep. My aunt recently passed, but she was the planner of all planners, or so I thought since I had never met someone else besides her who meal planned for the entire month. She kept to her plans too, and could tell me what she was making 4 weeks out. I was always so awed by that devotion to being so organized. I guess I can learn a thing or two about this… lol. One of my other aunts would cook all weekend so she did not have to cook dinner every night. I cannot say I would enjoy spending my weekends cooking, but not having to cook all week is appealing too. 🙂

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