Step 1First thing I do is print off a month calendar. Just for you guys, I have a July Calendar here. I set a category for each day which really helps in getting items on the list. At this point I am just worrying about the main dish. As you can see in my meal plan below, I have set up Sundays Soup/Crockpot, Mondays Chicken, Tuesdays Mexican, Wednesdays Left Overs, Thursdays Beef or Pork, Fridays Splurge meals and Saturdays Southern Cuisine.
I typically scan through my past few months meal plans and pick out items that we really enjoyed and write them in. Then, I go through my Pinterest boards to find anything interesting. If I don't already know the recipe, I print it off at this point.
Finally, I scan through a few of my favorite foodie blogs for ideas. I have listed a few of my favs at the bottom.
Step 2Once I have my month planned out and all my recipes printed, I move on to a weekly calendar. This is pulled out and pinned on the fridge every week. It is a more detailed list that includes the main course and sides and any prep notes I have (such as set out frozen food for the next nights meal.)
Step 3From here, I write out my grocery list. I split the list into 2 different trips. One big trip at the first of the month where I get all non-perishable items, all my meats (I freeze it if it's more than a week and a half away) and I also add in my cleaning supplies that I need for the month.
The second trip I plan about half way through the month and it is a much smaller trip. I plan for perishables and any other items added to the list from the month.
I keep everything in the order that I need them in in this clear page protector. I don't know about you guys, but I can be a mess in the kitchen. This keeps everything from getting sauce stains all over it and keeps it in one spot.
And that my friends is how I successfully meal plan for an entire month. Not only has it made life a whole lot easier in the dinner department, but it has really helped us stick to our grocery budget having cut out so many Wal-Mart trips. Now, if only I can get the Mr. from making so many ice cream runs.
Check out all the sources for printables and blogs below.
Weekly Dinner Calendar
Grocery List Week 1
Grocery List Week 3
Go-To Food Blog SourcesSouth Your Mouth
The Pioneer Woman - Cowboy Food