Nothing is worse than staring at the refrigerator after a long day of work, trying to figure out what to make for dinner. It can be so frustrating. Well, it’s time to get that task off of your plate by meal planning for a month.
Don’t know where to start? Let’s go to The Chalkboard.
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Benefits Of Meal Planning For A Month
We are huge proponents of meal planning at The Kitchen Chalkboard as we firmly believe that planning leads to success in the kitchen. Choosing your meals for the month will help you use up the food you have on hand, thereby eliminating food waste. You can purchase what you need from the grocery store and save hundreds of dollars per year.
Who Should Be Meal Planning For A Month
A monthly meal plan is a good idea if you have y predictable schedule week to week. Making a 30-day plan is excellent if you have little time for meal planning. Spending less than an hour once a month can end the dreaded nightly discussion of “what’s for dinner?”
Interested in meal planning but don’t know where to start? Check out our Ultimate Guide.
Who Should NOT Make A Monthly Meal Plan
If you crave certain foods and need to make them right away or love to shop for dinner that night, it’s best to plan for shorter durations. Also, if your schedule frequently changes without much notice, a monthly plan may NOT be for you.
How Do I Make A Monthly Meal Plan?
- Gather all of your recipes whether they are in a binder or online recipe manager. Need some tried and true meal ideas? Check out our Chalkboard Favorites.
- Sit in your kitchen, so it’s easier to see what you have on hand.
Take An Inventory Using Our Monthly Meal Planning Template
This step may take you a few extra minutes the first time, but it’s well worth it.
- Download our monthly meal planning template.
- Write down all of your vegetables. This task helps you use what you have and reduce waste.
- Write down what’s in the freezer. Are there any meals you have lurking in the back? Any meats or veggies? Write them down in the freezer column.
Start Meal Planning For A Month
We are going to plan the month one week at a time.
- Think about the center of your meals and plan around it. I like to plan around the vegetables although, it may be easier to think about the protein of each dish. Write down any proteins/vegetables you want to eat/cook.
- Pick your anchor meal. Think of one dinner you love that everyone eats and write it down every week. Perhaps you love Taco Tuesday or Pizza Friday.
- Plan one night for leftovers. Remember, leftovers don’t need to be boring. We have many ways to repurpose them into a new meal with little work!
How Do I Create A Meal Calendar?
You already have two days a week filled now; let’s finish the month.
- Pick one item from the proteins category and find a meal you like. Need some inspiration? Check out the “Meal Types” box for some ideas.
- Do one week at a time and analyze after it’s filled. Are the meals too ambitious? Are you eating all of the same things? Fix it before moving on.
- Repeat for the next week.
What Do You Think?
Do you do your meal planning for a month? How is it working out? What makes it successful? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to hear.
Still not sure what meals to put in your plan? Check out our 30-Day Costco Meal Plan.
Happy Meal Planning!
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