Who likes grocery shopping every week? Last month I was sitting down to decide what meals to make that week and create my grocery list. Then I thought, what if I planned meals for the month? So, I took fifteen extra minutes, a calendar and got to work.
Now, I’m in my second month of monthly meal planning and I can’t wait to share all the benefits with you. I cut my grocery spending in half and here’s why:
Buy in bulk, spend less.
Less time grocery shopping.
Less impulse buying. Think about it, every time you shop you end up with more than the items on your list.
Less eating out because you don’t know what to fix for dinner. I don’t always stick to the exact calendar schedule, but I always have ideas to choose from.
So, here’s how to do it!
Find a calendar (I used a template in microsoft word) and head to your favorite recipe source, mine is pinterest.
Map out your meals each week - I only do about four meals a week and we eat leftovers the other nights and for lunch.
Plan for those nights where you don’t feel up to cooking. Find some healthy prepared frozen meals or try What’s for Dinner? !
Once you have your meals picked, it’s time to make your grocery list. Remember to buy in bulk and plan for the whole month! For example, if you’re having ground beef three times in the month, buy a 3lb pack (adjust for family size) instead of a single pack for the week. Next rule, buy frozen vegetables. This doesn’t mean you can’t eat fresh, you can buy fresh produce for the first week and pick up more throughout the month, or stop by a local produce stand. Last, don’t forget snacks, lunch items, and household products. I started using Amazon prime subscription service for things like toilet paper and paper towels to cut out the bulky items when shopping for a month.
Below is a sample monthly meal plan with linked recipes and a grocery list. You will probably have to adjust the list to suit your family’s needs. I try to stick to a primarily Paleo diet (no starch or dairy), but you can easily add cheese or grains to these recipes. If you don’t get it right the first month, don’t give up. I was more prepared on my second monthly grocery shopping trip and so far I’ve only returned to the store once for a few produce items!
Buffalo chicken stuffed sweet potatoes- cook chicken breasts and shred. Toss in buffalo sauce. Stuff in cooked sweet potatoes. Top with ranch or blue cheese.
Sausage Breakfast Skillet - Cook sausage in skillet. Remove from skillet. Then sauté’ shredded sweet potato. Layer sweet potato and sausage on plate, serve with fried egg on top.
For baked chicken, pork chops, sautéed fish and tacos I typically pick up seasoning packs or marinades to make life easy!