I have just put together a weekly menu plans for the family for the month of March. Menu planning is a corner stone of my planning for the family:
- If I have a menu plan created, it makes shopping for the family easier.
- If I factor into my menu plan the kids’ after school activities, it makes the afternoon period easier for me.
- If I know what I have to cook and have the ingredients to make it, I can put together the meal easily without having to think about it.
The above are very big incentives to create a menu plan – anything that makes my life easier is a bonus! I have written in detail before (and video too) about the process I undertake to plan evening meals for a month which you can find here:
- Menu Planning Process
- Bulk Monthly Menu Planning
- How To Menu Plan For A Month In 35 Minutes!
- Monthly Menu Planning Time Again, This Time With Added Video!
- Family Menu Planning FAQ and Monthly Menu Plan
Today though I thought I would share some quick tips to help you if you are thinking about created menu plans for a month for the first time:
- Use a template – you can find mine here – Menu Plan Monthly Template (including kid’s input table).
- Theme the days – for us Sunday is a traditional roast meat and veg meal for example and Fridays is a more casual meal.
- Get the family to help – the template has space for them to write their ideas down. It is much easier if you can get others to come up with meal ideas too.
- Go seasonal – as we are in autumn in the southern hemisphere, my monthly menu plan below shows I am hedging my bets on what the weather will be like. We have a more summer type meal on Tuesdays being a wrap based meal, but Thursdays sees me pulling out the slow cooker. The slow cooker meals though are mostly on the lighter type of the meals.
- Repeat as necessary – a number of meals are repeated twice on the monthly menu plan. That is a ground rule I set with the kids, any meal can only be on the monthly plan twice. You may have one meal that everyone eats and loves, there is no reason why you can’t serve that up once a week if it works for your family.
- Factor in leftovers – I try where possible to make meals on the weekends that will help with lunches. For example making chicken schnitzel, and I will make extra so the kids can have cut up chicken strips in their lunch box. Roast meats also work well to make tasty wraps and rolls.
It is certainly not an exciting task to work through, but stick it at for 30 – 60 minutes and you will be so pleased with your results. You won’t have to think about what to cook for dinner for another 28 days!
Our family monthly menu plan – March 2015
Week Commencing 9th Mar
|Beef Stir Fry
|Sweet chilli chicken wraps
|Lamb chops and vegetables
|Zucchini Bolognese and Slow cooker spaghetti bolognese
|Chicken Wings, Baked Potatoes and Corn
|Roast chicken and vegetables
|Weekly menu plan shopping list 9th Mar
Week Commencing 16th Mar
|Chicken stir fry
|Sausages and crispy mashed potato mounds
|New recipe - slow cooker chicken tacos
|Sweet potato hash, eggs and avocado
|Weekly menu plan shopping list 23rd Mar
Week Commencing 30th Mar
|Moroccan minted beef
|Weekly menu plan shopping list 30th Mar
PWK Menu Planning App
The kid friendly menu planning app allows you to:
- Create weekly menu plans quickly, choosing as many meals per day as you would like to plan for.
- Generate the shopping list for all the meals selected.
- Modify the shopping list to check off items you already have at home.
- Email the shopping list to yourself and/or others.
The most popular recipes from the blog have been included and more will be added on a regular basis. Each recipe lists the ingredients required, easy to follow instructions and a photo from the blog.
Do you plan your evening meals? How far out do you plan?