Saturday, January 11, 2014

Anyone do Monthly meal planning?

I have tried this a time or 2 and it worked out okay.
But the sheer extent of time that it took me to create a meal plan & shopping list for the month, made me stray from it real quick! It literally took me forever.
So I went back to the weekly plan.

I have found that I am spending more money this way though because I am in the stores each week, and always grab more than is on the list, especially when it comes to produce, because I juice so much. If I see a great produce deal or something looks fantastic, I buy it. In my mind, if I am not IN the store each week to see it,
I cant buy!

 So I am going to give it another try for the month of January but a totally different way....

I sat down and wrote out 14 meals I knew my family would eat, then doubled it. To make our meal plan for the month. That means they eat the same meal twice in the month.
That is 28 meals, with at least 3 days of Leftovers for the month.
( Probably will be more )
Cheating, I know.
But we are swamped this month, and it had to be done.

Here are the dinner meals for the month:

Spaghetti, salad, garlic toast
Linguine, salad, garlic bread
Chicken & Dumplings
Lemon Pepper Chicken, Mac & cheese, green beans
Chinese Pepper Chicken stir fry, rice
Chinese Pepper Steak Stir Fry, rice
Tacos, refried beans, fresh veggies
Cube steaks, fries, green beans
Pot Roast, potatoes, carrots
Beef Stew, French bread
Homemade Vegan Vegetable Soup, crackers
Homemade Vegan minestrone Soup , crusty bread
Burgers,  homemade Vegan macaroni salad, chips
BLT's, salad, chips

Breakfasts will be:
eggs and bacon
steel cut oatmeal with fruit
sausage gravy & biscuits with sliced tomatoes
 organic cereal with almond milk
bagels with organic preserves from Aldi ( Yum-o!)
homemade waffles

Lunches will be:
Turkey breast sandwiches, chips
( Aldi has nitrate and nitrite free turkey breast deli meat & bacon now! Squeeeeee!)
PB&J sammies, chips
Grilled chicken salad
sautéed veggies over leftover rice
wraps ( hummus, veggies, BLT's , Turkey, etc.) chips
grilled cheese, tomato or leftover soup , salad 

I adjusted the dinner meals on the nights I knew our son wouldn't eat the dish because of his Type 1 Diabetes, for example, the Chicken & Dumplings...he wont touch it, too many carbs. So I just don't use his Chicken breast from the 3 pack for the dish and prepare it separately. I just add a salad or green beans to his plate. The same applies to other dishes in the menu plan, but you get the idea.
Since I am vegan, I adjust my plate around what is for dinner, if no vegan options are there, I have a hummus and veggie wrap, salad or whatever really, I am not picky. ;)

We grocery shopped for the month on 1/2 since the Aldi was closed on 1/1 and the majority of the groceries would be purchased there.

We shopped at:

Winn Dixie: $150.22
for meats, organic rice, organic chick peas

Aldi: $155.80
for organic pastas, sauces, dishwasher pacs, 2 dish detergents,  and lots more...
too much to list, lol!

Dollar Tree: $22.28
for a few household cleaners, some spices, minced garlic

Dollar General: 25.02
for toilet paper & paper towels for the month.

We spent a total of $353.32.

That is everything needed for the months dinner meals, lunches and breakfasts.
As well as toilet paper, paper towels, dishwasher pacs, 2 dish detergent and a few household cleaners!

Of course I will have to get milk, eggs, produce and our sons
Zero Carb snacks as needed throughout the month, but that is it!

You guys know how high our grocery bill is since eating organic,
on top of 2 special needs diets,
 its right at $800 sometimes more.

$353.32 is a far cry from that.
Even with the "needed items" throughout the month, there is no way
they will cost over $400!

 It took a lot of planning, and about 3 hrs. shopping, but we are 10 days into the plan and I am loving it so far! We haven't been to a store since the 2nd!
Wooohooo Go us! ;)

Have you guys ever menu planned this way?
Any pointers for me?
I would love to hear your stories!


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