Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday Tip: Monthly Menu Planner

(here's mine on the fridge)

I am a planner. I admit it. It just makes life so much easier. My life is not as hectic as most of yours, but that does not matter I like to have things figured out beforehand. I plan dinners for an entire month. Yes, I said a MONTH. It is a lot easier than you think. And then, my husband knows what to make if I am running late. I will purchase all of my meat at Costco and weekly I will purchase my Produce.

1. First I figure out how many meals we will need, adding 1 or 2 OTD's (out to dinner's) in there. 

2. Next I go through the freezer and see what I have left over and write that down. 

3. Then I write down all of our dinner staples.
Mine include:
Turkey burgers
Sloppy Joes (turkey or hamburger)
Chicken Pesto Pasta
TTHD (Tator Tot Hot Dish)
Pork Chops
Personal Pizzas
HH (Hamburger Helper)
CH (Chicken Helper)... Good tip for this one you can use the tuna helper for chicken as well.
Hot Dogs
Crock Pot Roast
Shake-in-Bake Chicken

4. Now I list all of my days out and start plugging the meals in. Making sure not to do chicken (or whatever) 2 days in a row.

5. From that list I can figure out what I have to by and I make a list. I see I am going to need 6 chicken breasts (for CH and Pesto pasta and Shake-in-Bake), 2 steaks, I need enough beef for a small roast and some to cut up for fajitas.... etc....etc...

6. I am off to Costco to buy my meat for the week.

7. When I get home from Costco I look over my planner and start dividing up all of the meat. Cut up the roast for that small roast and slicing some of it for fajitas. You can divide it up with freezer bags, just write the date of that meal on the outside. I use a Vacuum sealer, but the bags will work too.

8. After I get all of the meals put away I fill in the menus onto the Dinner Menu Planner. After the day of the week I put the date and what we are having, and on the misc. info line I put notes; where the recipe is located, or if I need to pick something up on my way home, or a note like brown all 3 pounds of hamburger and make sloppy joes but freeze 2, 1/3 packages for a later date. (and date those the other days you'll be having them).

Here's the jpeg to download it will fit landscape on a letter size piece of paper, just make multiple copies for the entire month. (just click on the image and it will open up in a new window, then you can save it from there—at full size).

I hope you find this tool helpful. I have found it really helps us to not spend extra money on going out or ordering pizza because we don't know what to have for dinner. It's right there and I know we have everything to make it.


  1. After modifying this for a family of 4 we have saved so much time and money at the grocery store. Thanks again for sharing this simple and ingenius idea! ♥


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