How to Meal Plan for the Month. How to Meal Plan for a Family + FREE Monthly Family Meal Plan easily modified with Vegetarian Options.
Meal Planning can be time consuming and although you want to plan your meals every week you may not have the time to do so. I have a solution for you: MONTHLY Meal planning! I’ll share with you what I know about meal planning for the month, meal planning for your family, and give you a FREE one month meal plan that is easily adaptable for vegetarians and includes Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner ideas.
Here we go!
How to Meal Plan for a Family – Your All-inclusive Guide to always having delicious and healthy meals ready for your family. Never say, “what are we having for dinner” again!
First things first; get everyone involved and aim to incorporate everyone’s favorite meals. Ask each member of the family what their favorite meal is and what meals they’d like to have that month. They can share their favorite breakfasts, lunches, dinners and even snacks; this way you’ll have a lot of meal ideas to keep in rotation. If you’re not able to physically get to everyone in the family, try creating a group text that is just for meal planning purposes. You can get feedback from family members about the dinner you prepared that night and even announce what you’ll be making for the remainder of the week. Keep your family’s favorites in consideration as you create your meals so that everyone’s tastes and desires are met.
Find and compile the recipes you plan to cook in a folder (electronically or printed) and add them to your recipe binder. Be sure to keep all the recipes for that month together – that way, when it comes time to prepare your food, you’ll know exactly what you need and how to prepare each meal.
Take inventory of what ingredients you have so you can plan to use them up (if needed) within the month. As you plan, consider how much of each ingredient you will need to purchase for the meals in the month.
EXTRA STEP FOR SUPER PLANNERS! Plan your breakfasts, lunches, and snacks too.
If you’d like, you can incorporate time for eating out, birthday dinner requests, special events, holidays, and occasional treats the family loves!
Keep your circumstances in consideration. Don’t let your diet go ‘out the window.’ Plan healthy meals around your specific nutritional needs, health, and fitness goals.
REMEMBER! It’s important to give yourself variety so you don’t get bored!
When monthly grocery shopping, feel free to buy fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables; but, do eat the fresh foods first, then move on to your frozen fruits/veggies. Also, plan to use the fresh ingredients for the meals earlier in the month and the frozen ingredients for the meals later in the month.
Stock up on nonperishable items (rice, dried or canned beans [BPA free cans], flour and spices) when they are on sale so in your month of no shopping you will have everything you need, plus more.
Keep meals with the same fresh ingredients grouped in the same week so that fresh ingredients can be used before they go bad. For example, fresh herbs may need to be used up within the first week after purchase, so plan to prepare the herbed dishes in the first week of the month.
Use multipurpose ingredients for convenience and to saving money. For example, you could buy a bag of dried black beans, use them for rice and beans and then make black bean burgers the next day with the leftovers. Multipurpose ingredients help to stretch your grocery budget.
Make freezer meals and Easy Meals. Themed nights help to keep dinner time fun and easy. Friday family Pizza night, Taco Tuesday, and Meatless Monday are great dinner themes that most families can enjoy.
Finally, commit to your plans! It’s of no use to create a plan and not stick with it. Create your monthly meal plan and grocery list and make a strong effort to commit to the plans you created.
Don’t know where to start with Monthly Meal Planning? Click here to get a sample Monthly Family Meal Plan that can be easily adapted to fit a Vegetarian Diet.
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Fruit Infused Overnight Oats
Omelets with hash browns
Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Oatmeal
PB & J Sandwiches
Bean Soup and Salad
Pasta with Tomato Sauce and Garlic Bread
Chili and Baked Potatoes
Lasagna with Salad
Yellow Rice, Black Beans, and Plantains
Nut Butter Infused Overnight Oats
Egg and Cheese Sandwiches; Fresh Fruit
Chia Pudding infused with coconut shreds
Maple Syrup Oatmeal
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Vegan or Chicken Quesadillas
Fettucine Alfredo with Broccoli
Baked Sweet Potato and Chicken or Mock Chicken Breast and Spinach
Pancakes with Tofu Scramble
Breakfast Potatoes and Avocado Slices
Cinnamon and Apple Oatmeal
Filling Veggie Sandwich
Bean and Cheese Burrito
Tuna or Mock Tuna (Chickpea) Sandwich
Vegetable Stir Fry
Baked Ziti and Caesar Salad.
Rice and Beans, Steamed Vegetables, Baked Chicken or Meat substitute.
Fruit Smoothie & Avocado Toast
Minestrone and Fresh Baked Bread
Raw Fruit and Vegetables with Spread/Dip
Baked Mac and Cheese, Carrots, and Sweet Peas.
Salmon, Asparagus, and Avocado Slices.
Roasted Potatoes, Homemade Burgers (can be veggie), Glazed Carrots.
Asian Chow or Lo Mein