My meal planning starts with a list of possible dinners for an entire month to feed my family of six. Planning a whole month may seem overwhelming, but it is easy to come up with 30 meals my family will enjoy and if the meal just doesn't seem right for that particular night, I love the array of ideas at my fingertips. First, I start by considering the following:
My pantry and freezers stay well-stocked and translate into our favorite go-to meals. Fall crisp, and cool weather inspires me to cook hearty meals such as soups, stews, and other yummy dishes simmering in the crockpot all day. If I can grow vegetables in our garden, we can enjoy the fruits of our labor or visit a local farmers market for fresh, local produce. Dedicating one night a week to a fun family movie night with a coordinating menu is a wonderful way to get the kids involved in menu planning.
Once I have my list of meals, I have a calendar that I use and save each month as a reference for future meals. I make sure to match meals with specific dates based on what we have going on as a family. Planning a complicated dish that takes ages to cook would be best suited on a night when we have time to prepare it with family.
Menu planning may seem like a lot of work, but it saves me loads of time and money! I am not wasting time staring at the shelves in my pantry trying to decide what to eat or camping out on Pinterest trying to get inspired. I love saving money by only buying what we need and about 90% is in bulk. One of the most important reasons we meal plan is to make sure we are making healthy food choices. We may eat out once or twice a month, but typically we have a plan, and the right ingredients at home, therefore, spending money outside of our home is unnecessary, which is excellent for our tummies, thighs and wallets.
Most importantly, menu planning is about finding what works for you and your family, balancing routine and freedom, healthy and comforting, affordable, and treating yourself. Let’s feed ourselves and our loved ones delicious, healthy, homemade food. Feel free to share your favorite recipes for another monthly menu.
Happy menu planning, preparing, creating, and sharing! To download my November menu, click on the calendar shown above.
I'm a former high school teacher now homemaker and Principal of Soaring Pine Private Academy. I am so very thankful for each day that God blesses me with my sweet family. I hope you enjoy my blog where I'm happy to share our homeschool journey from our home nestled in the woods, recipes and more!