Monthly Meal Plan for February

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Cooking ahead, shopping the sales, and meal planning all work together for easier meals and calmer evenings.

Going into February the boys and I are doing a big freezer cooking day this week. I figure this is a great way to teach the older ones some kitchen skills, fill the freezer, and do our meal planning — all in one fell swoop.

Originally, I was going to let them choose all the meals individually. But, since The Cookbook (coming September 2012) contains several freezer cooking plans, it was just easier to let them choose that way. We get a range of meal options, plus the grocery list and freezer cooking plan are already done for me. Super plus! (Cookbook recipes are italicized. Wait for it….)

I probably don’t need to tell you that they chose the most carnivorous of the “Everything” plans, so I’m supplementing some of the meals with meatless nights to have pasta or beans and rice. But, as “luck” would have it, all the meats on that plan are on sale this week at my local stores. Score one for the Mama!

By cooking ahead, shopping the sales, and planning our meals in advance, we’re more likely to eat more healthfully as well as more economically than if I flew by the seat of my pants. As I plugged meals into the calendar, I also kept in mind Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras so that I could plan more festive meals for those days.

Now, of course, we need to do the shopping and the cooking first, of course, but this is the plan at the moment.

Here’s the plan for the rest of January:

29. Birthday Menus chosen by the Birthday Boy Man

30. Chicken Stir Fry, Rice

31. Chili in the Crockpot, Cornbread

Here’s the meal plan for the month:

  1. Grilled Med Steak, Couscous, Pita Bread
  2. Pasta Bar, Salad or Veg, Focaccia
  3. Pizza Night, ChiChi’s Salad
  4. Spicy Shrimp and Tomatoes, Rice, Veg
  5. Tortas, Veggie Dippers
  6. Chicken Teriyaki Skewers, Quinoa Salad
  7. Burrito and Quesadilla Bar
  8. Caribbean Pork Tenderloin, Rice, Veg
  9. date night – Pizza for the kids
  10. Pasta Bar, Focaccia
  11. Steak with Gorgonzola Herb Butter, Baked Potatoes, Veg
  12. Tortilla Soup with Shrimp, Cornbread
  13. Herb-Crusted Pork Roast, Rice, Veg
  14. Chicken Parmesan, Spaghetti, Broccoli, No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake (Valentine’s Day!)
  15. Soup Night, Good Bread
  16. Date Night – quesadillas, veggies and fruit
  17. Pizza Night, ChiChi’s Salad
  18. Beans and Rice, Chips, Salsa
  19. Tortas, Bean and Rice Salad
  20. Herb Butter Chicken Tenders, Quinoa Pilaf, Veg
  21. Jambalaya Pasta with Sausage and Chicken, Beignets (Mardi Gras!)
  22. Soup Night, Good Bread
  23. date night – Pasta Night
  24. Pizza Night, Veggie Dippers
  25. Teriyaki Chicken Skewers, Rice, Stir-fry
  26. Seasoned Steak with Herb Butter, Roast Potatoes, Salad
  27. Beans and Rice, Quesadillas
  28. Soy Ginger Pork Tenderloin, Rice, Veg
  29. Soup Night, Good Bread, Monster Ice Cream Sundae (Leap Day!)

What’s cooking at your house this week?

For more meal planning inspiration, visit Menu Plan Monday each week.

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  1. Your menu looks awesome! I will be working on my 2 week menu today. And I love how you say good bread. I always put that on my grocery list as bread as in sandwich and good bread as in with soup. 🙂

  2. Yum.. great menu.. I really need to do this.. I have no clue what’s for dinner this week, besides pork chops for supper tonight.. Guess I better get busy. 😉

  3. Dh is out of town again…so it’s the “daddy’s out of town menu”
    Sunday: mexican chicken corn chowder
    Monday: Pancakes
    Tuesday: Pizza
    Wednesday: mac-n-cheese
    Thursday: pasta night
    Friday: shredded pork tacos
    Saturday: daddy-daughter date…me and DS, Subway (son’s choice).

    DH usually only gets 1 week notice for travel…so planning an entire month doesn’t work for us. I plan using what’s on sale, what’s in the pantry/freezer and after looking at our schedule (wednesday night is kids choir…so the mac and cheese is easy and fast).

  4. Since I work 7-5 outside the home 🙁 I cook a lot on the weekends for the week ahead. Yesterday I made chili. We wil have it in baked potatoes one night.
    I also cooked a whole chicken with vegetables which we ate last night. I will make chicken gravy and mix the left over chicken into it an serve it over rice one night.
    Tonight my son asked for chicken noodle soup which I made enough to have for soup in the lunch boxes tomorrow. (There are 5 of us who take lunches.)
    My husband browned the 5 lbs. of hamburger I bought yesterday and we will use it to fill in the rest of the meals at suppertime this week (taco’s? baked spaghetti? casserole?).
    I went to Aldi’s after church today and bought fresh fruits, nuts and veggies to eat in lunches this week too.
    Eggs were on sale here for $1 a dozen so we may have breakfast one night as well.
    I hope you all have a blessed week and keep up the posts! I love to read them.

  5. Great menu. I do my menu. I do my menu by the month also. Drop by and link up for meal plan Monday tomorrow if you get a chance. Thanks for sharing your menu.

  6. After finding and pinning a recipe for sweet potato chili which received 20 repines in a matter of minutes, I’ve decided to plan sweet potatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!! Can’t wait to try the sweet potato chili and see if it’s all it’s up to all the hype!

  7. I plan for the month too 🙂 People think I’m crazy, but it really helps with the budget and hectic evenings.

  8. Your food always looks so good! Kudos to getting the boys cooking. Here is what is on our menu this week:

  9. Did I miss the explanation of the pasta bar somewhere? I would love to know how you set this up. We don’t eat past often but I know my kids would love making a special occasion out of it! Thanks for all the great ideas!

    • I think I explained it in previous meal planning posts, but plan to devote a whole post to it soon. It’s basically that my family loves pasta, but we have slightly different tastes. So, I make a few different sauces and a ton of pasta and let folks choose.

  10. Emily @ Random Recycling says:

    I am always impressed when I see a monthly meal plan. Just getting a week done is an accomplishment in my house. I guess with a larger family it’s a great way to stay within your budget.
    I tend to make a lot of new recipes each week. This stems from my love affair with foodie magazines and blogs. I was wondering how often you incorporate new recipes into your meal plan?

    • @Emily @ Random Recycling, I do a lot of my recipe developing during the day, and the kids and I eat it for lunch. Or I’ll serve something new “in addition” to the dinner plan. That way, if it’s a train wreck, I haven’t ruined dinner.

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