For quite a while I’ve thought about making a menu that would last a month. This would simplify my life in more ways than one – I would only have to get my cookbooks once a month, make a major shopping list once a month, look at my online recipe box once a month. You get the picture. Plus, I don’t always take the time to plan a menu. Then it’s five o’clock, and I need supper in an hour. All I’m looking at are ingredients and I’m feeling totally uninspired.
So last month after collecting meal ideas – things we really like – for a few months as I remembered to do it, I finally sat down and made the month-long menu. I’ve been loving it.
The plan is for my husband (who does all the grocery shopping – yeah for me) to do a big shop once a month and small weekly trips for produce and dairy. We’re still tweaking this part of the plan and getting used to it, but I can see that once we perfect this it will save time for my husband making his life simpler too.
I was telling my sister about what I’m doing, and she suggested that I should write a blog post about it because she would like to see how I do it. So here is my method. I hope it can help you.
First I collected a list of meals that we enjoy. My plan was to get thirty different meals. I got eighteen. That’s okay. I realized that some meals we will enjoy eating more than once a month – like kai si ming. My children love that dish and will eat it every week if I offer it.
Then I took out the calendar to figure out when the birthdays were, the nights that Daddy wouldn’t be here, the nights I needed a fast supper because of an evening activity, etc. From there I just started filling in the menu with the help of my list of main dishes. I added the sides and desserts that we enjoy. In a surprisingly short amount of time I had filled in three and a half weeks of meals.
Next I went through each meal, and thought about the ingredients. I started listing out what I would need. Again, in a short time I had a grocery list ready to go for the ENTIRE month. Happy, happy, happy.
I did all of this on scraps of paper that I had, but just for you I designed some nice sheets for you to print up that you can then do all this organizing on.
I have included two different kinds of grocery lists. Here is a sample of one…
And finally the most important page where all of your work comes together…
There are seven pages in all, and you can get them for free here. I am so excited to be able to offer this. This is the first time I ever designed something all by myself to give away here on my blog. Dropbox will ask you to sign up for an account when you first arrive. BUT if you just click on the background the sign up box will go away, and you can still sign up for free.
I’m thinking about getting a picture frame and hanging the menu up each month. You could even mark on the glass frame with wipe off markers. Do you think if I hang it on the wall that I won’t hear at least five times every afternoon, “What’s for supper?” ☺
Have you ever planned and shopped for your meals a month at a time? Would you?