The start of another month means another meal planning session to cover us for the next four weeks. My monthly meal planning is an essential piece in Tabitha's Sanity plan (hah) as it wipes out that daily panic come dinnertime about what I'm making and what this family of ours is eating. In big part, thanks to Pinterest, I have enough recipes to keep me usually not bored with meals and also enough I-know-the-kids-won't-whine-about-this family favorites to get us by each month.
As a mealplanner, I would always suggest to mommas out there that hate that nightly panic about dinner to try planning out meals in advance (or mommas looking to save some money in the food department). Monthly plan works for me because I hate (triple hate, loathe) going grocery shopping and spending time pondering about food prep. but if you've never done it before, planning by the month probably seems daunting. You can start with just trying one meal/day a week. Or jump for the whole week.
We got our big Aldi trip out of the way for the month (and I only had the two girls with me for the trip! thank you Uch for letting Rusty hang with you at work during the schoolday!) We usually spend between $250-$300 on our big monthly shopping trip and then pick up milk, eggs, bread, and produce as we need during the month while our quarter-cow beef haul is already stored away in our deep freezer (which keeps us stocked for a big portion of the year with beef).
And since I only plan for five meals a week (weekdays) it leaves the other two days open for visits to family, leftovers, or occasionally eating out (or ordering in...preferred with this brood that loves jammies and loud noises).
So here's where we stand for this month's meals, taking into account the addition of Lent - which we observe for meatless Fridays - and sneaking in a little Leprechaun cheer too. And our fingers are crossed that spring will show up towards the end of the month (a grilling meal planned!)
W 3/1: (Ash Wednesday): fish sticks & pierogies (kids) and Blackened Tilapia & baked veggies (grown-up dinner)
R 3/2: beef & cabbage stirfry
F 3/3: fish fry dinner (volunteering at our church's fish fry!)
M 3/6: chicken roll-ups
T 3/7: Ranch baked pork chops & haluski
W 3/8: Chicken and wild rice soup with 4 ingredient bread
R 3/9: crockpot Hawaiian meatballs
F 3/10: baked potatoes with broccoli & cheese
M 3/13: Crockpot Roast
T 3/14: chicken & tater tot casserole
W 3/15: Rich man's Ramen & kielbasa
R 3/16: olive garden inspired Chicken & gnocchi
F 3/17: Bkfast: Irish Soda Bread Muffins (happy St Pats!) Dinner: Shrimp & scallops fried rice
M 3/20: Italian caramelized chicken
T 3/21: Taco pasta
W 3/22: crockpot chicken corn chowder
R 3/23: breaded baked pork chops
F 3/24: fish fry dinner (volunteering at our church's fish fry!)
M 3/27: grilled steaks and veggies
T 3/28: chinese green beans with ground turkey over rice
W 3/29: slow-cooker baked potato soup with cheesy beer bread
R 3/30: slow cooker cream cheese chicken taquitos
F 3/31: zucchini pizza boats
And for my Lenten Promise, I've given up excuses about eating right and exercising! So I'm doing the 21 Day Fix eating program (because it works for me and keeps me from being frustrated about eating limits like diets do - this one is all about portion control and food diversity) and exercising every single day during Lent. I have Beachbody OnDemand and I am loving the 3week Yoga Retreat so much. Gemma is my little Yogi partner (although she attempts to hold my hand in almost every pose and also has commentary to add every thirty seconds "this one feels so good" and "this one is terrible, how much longer!?") while Violet is the worst Yoga distraction ever. (see instagram for the proof).
Other family promises for Lent:
Bud: get up before 6:30am every weekday
Grey: feed the dogs twice a day without complaining
Gem: no Kissing movie (A Cinderella Story which she watched every single day for two weeks straight) for the whole 40 days!
What are you eating this month? Any St. Patrick's favorites? Or meatless options to spice up our Fridays?