Tips for menu planning for a month

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:

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

MonEasy Beef Stiry Fry RecipeBeef Stir Fry
Tuesweet chilli chicken wrapsSweet chilli chicken wraps
Wedlamb chops and vegetablesLamb chops and vegetables
Thuzucchini bolognese mainZucchini Bolognese and Slow cooker spaghetti bolognese
Fri Pasta carbonara
SatServing ManyChicken Wings, Baked Potatoes and Corn
Sunroast chickenRoast chicken and vegetables
Shopping ListWeekly menu plan shopping list 9th Mar


Week Commencing 16th Mar

Mon Chicken stir fry
TueLamb Souvlaki Wraps Kids Self ServeSouvlaki
WedCrispy mashed potato moundsSausages and crispy mashed potato mounds
Thu New recipe - slow cooker chicken tacos
Fri breakfast for lunch mainSweet potato hash, eggs and avocado
Satchicken-schnitzel-recipe-500Chicken schnitzel and vegetables
SunSlow Cooker Roast LambSlow cooker roast lamb
Shopping ListWeekly menu plan shopping list 16th Mar


Week Commencing 23rd Mar

Mon Easy Beef Stiry Fry RecipeBeef Stir Fry
TueLamb Souvlaki Wraps Kids Self ServeSouvlaki
WedChicken-Sausages-and-SaladSausage and Salad
Thu Slow cooker beef stroganoff mainSlow cooker beef stroganoff
Fri Easy Homemade Pizza SlicesHomemade pizzas
SatServing ManyChicken wings, baked potatoes and steamed corn
Sunroast chickenRoast chicken and vegetables
Shopping ListWeekly menu plan shopping list 23rd Mar


Week Commencing 30th Mar

MonMoroccan Minted BeefMoroccan minted beef
Tue2013 paleo homemade taco seasoningHomemade Tacos
Wedpan fried fishPan Fried Fish and Salad
Thu slow cooker butter chickenSlow cooker butter chicken
FriHomemade Hamburger Recipe With Homemade Chunky ChipsHome made hamburgers and salad
Satchicken-schnitzel-recipe-500Chicken schnitzel and vegetables
SunSlow Cooker beefSlow cooker balsamic beef with pumpkin salad
Shopping ListWeekly menu plan shopping list 30th Mar

PWK Menu Planning App

If you are looking for further recipe inspiration, check out my complete list of Family Friendly Recipes. You might like to also check out the Planning With Kids Menu Planning App.

Menu Planner 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?