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A Monthly Meal Plan for December

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Planning a month of meals at once is a great way to save money as well as time.

A Monthly Meal Plan for December - Planning a month of meals at once is a great way to save money as well as time.

Sometime in the last few weeks my family and I were brainstorming ways that we can make our household move more smoothly. Over and again we landed on the topic of food. They are willing both to cook as well as to make freezer meals, so kitchen patrol and specifically, effective meal planning, will be our first line of defense.

Yesterday on the three-hour drive home from the in-laws’, I planned out the meals for the month. I know that sounds crazy to some people, but it really works for our family. I’ve done monthly meal planning since my kids were very little. Not every month, of course, but typically in the winter months when there’s less daylight and we tend to be home bound more often.

I worked this December’s meals around a regular routine:

Sunday – breakfast for supper

Monday – casserole

Tuesday – tacos or other Mexican fare

Wednesday – pasta 

Thursday – soup/sandwich/salad

Friday – French Fridays

Saturday – Pizza night

Having a pattern for meal planning keeps me sane while maintaining variety at the same time.

I also decided that we’d make triple batches of any dish that is freezer-friendly. In this way, I can start building a stockpile of freezer meals without spending a large chunk of time to do it. 

A Monthly Meal Plan for December - Planning a month of meals at once is a great way to save money as well as time.

 

Pesto Penne and Cheese

Here’s what the month as a whole looks like. Asterisks (*) are for meals we’ll be freezing:

  1. Macaroni and Cheese*, Steamed Broccoli
  2. Turkey and Black Bean Tacos*, Mexican Rice
  3. Spaghetti and Meatballs*, Green Salad
  4. Sandwich Bar/Thursday Night Soup
  5. Paella, Green Salad, Cheese Course
  6. Pizza Night
  7. Breakfast for Supper
  8. Chicken Potpie*, Green Salad
  9. Lawnmower Taco*, Green Salad
  10. Pasta with Alfredo Sauce, Steamed Vegetables
  11. Sandwich Bar/Soup Night
  12. Salsa Verde Chicken*, Seasoned Rice Pilaf, Vegetables
  13. Pizza Night
  14. Breakfast for Supper
  15. Shepherd’s Pie*, Green Salad
  16. Taco Bowls, Fruit Salad
  17. Lasagna*, Green Salad, Bread Sticks
  18. Sandwich Bar/Soup Night
  19. Pork Medallions with Smashed Potatoes, Steamed Vegetables
  20. Pizza Night
  21. Breakfast for Supper
  22. Enchiladas, Mexican Rice, Green Salad
  23. Taco Salad, Fresh Fruit
  24. Tamales, Vegetable Rice Pilaf, Green Salad
  25. Tri-tip, Cheesy Potatoes, Vegetables
  26. Boules de Picolat, Potatoes, Green Salad
  27. Pizza Night
  28. Breakfast for Supper
  29. Sandwich Bar/Stone Soup
  30. Paso Mom Tacos
  31. Mocktail Party for New Year’s

Got YOUR meal plan on?

Check out Meal Planning 101 if you need to refine your meal planning skills.

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Comments

  1. Not on subject, but you have very pretty handwriting! Something of a lost art nowadays.

  2. I did a monthly menu plan this week. It’s nice to know what I am going to have to buy for the whole month and know what I’m eating. I didn’t plan on certain days, I’ll leave that for the week to week. I even went so far as to pin all of the recipes into a special board so I can keep track of it. I’ll move the recipes out of the board when they have been used so I don’t do a repeat.

  3. Love the idea of a monthly plan…we are out and about for a lot of the month, but I can take that in to account when I plan…

  4. Vanessa B says:

    I used to think a monthly meal plan was a daunting task and far too committal for my cooking style, but once I realized that I really didn’t need to write it on a calendar I embraced it. Each month I list about 25 meals that we want to have or have most of thr ingredients for and as I write my weekly plan I just pick from the list. So simple! Then I check them off after we’ve feasted and anything left on the list at the end of the month rolls over to next month’s list.

    I also have been doing some freezer cooking. Just today my leftover smoked turkey became your turkey and black bean enchiladas. I do need to amp it up in preparation for January’s lower income. Now that I’ve come to expect lean times in January I’ve become much better at preparing for it.

    I am craving the pesto mac and cheese now and can’t wait to try it! What do you suggest serving with it to appease the carnivores?

    I also want to try out your salsa verde chicken. My garden this year produced an abundance of green tomatoes so now I have about a dozen jars of canned green tomato salsa to figure out how to use.

    Thanks for all your inspiration. With every passing year, I cook a little more from scratch, waste a little less, eat out WAY less, and become a little more efficient. Thanks for all your hard work and dedication to sharing Good Cheap Eats with all of us!

    • The pesto mac and cheese is really rich, so they may not miss the meat, but chicken would be good to add in or serve on the side.

      So glad to hear how your monthly meal plan is working for you! Sounds like a great technique. I love your last paragraph. Thank you. That’s a day-maker.

  5. I am pretty diligent about a meal plan in December because the grocery bill can get out of control with all the holiday food! A plan really helps me to stay on track!

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