Meal Planning for a Whole Month

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Monthly meal planning is not something that comes easily to many busy families; in fact, MEAL PLANNING does not happen in most homes. This post will teach all you need to know so you can conquer meal planning once and for all.
Conquer Meal Planning Once and For All with Monthly Meal Planning

The realization that families are not taking control of this one area shocked 👀me. I may not be perfect at sticking to a meal plan but I always have created a written plan for meals and shopped based on it. The thought of most families winging it scares me however, it does explain a lot about the financial woes many have.

Grocery spending tends to be the 2nd or 3rd largest expense for families, after a home mortgage and child care. You can see why tackling this expense is so important and so overlooked.  If it were easy and effortless EVERYONE would be a master meal planner. Cliché?  Yes. Truth? Yes.

My goal is to share real life menu plans, tips and resources to make meal planning less overwhelming and more practical for everyone.

Why Monthly Meal Planning?
I find monthly meal planning to be the maximum bang for my time. Why? The law of productivity I suppose…(check out The Leader Within You) Here is an example of the law of productivity: I am given 20 letters to write in a day I will write them, but if I am given 20 letters to write in an hour I will also accomplish it.  (I bet you were not prepared for a lecture!) Therefore, I could break up meal planning into weekly sessions and shop weekly but in reality, I don’t want to spare the time.

The Basics
I have written many posts on monthly meal planning and how to keep your grocery spending under control here are the top posts:

Meal Planning 101
Family Staples List
Inventory Sheets
Meal Planning Youtube Channel 

TRELLO For Meal Planning
I first started using Trello as project management software for my business and school work. I decided to give it a go for meal planning because I love the way it functions and how customizable it is. Below you will see a video on how the very basics of Trello and how I use it for meal planning. If this looks overwhelming then just use pen and paper (here is a great desktop or fridge calendar I used)! I have had many requests over the year to use a digital platform to meal plan so I decided to give it a whirl and love it!
Here is a link to Septembers Menu Plan on Trello: SEPTEMBER MENU PLAN

Grocery List
Once I plan my meals for the month I create my grocery list. This process is simple when I keep my inventory sheets updated. I use excel to create my list because it can alphabetize it and easily delete and add items. You can see my grocery list and the basics to making an excel list or google sheets list in the video below.

My Haul
What fun would it be if I didn’t share with you my grocery haul? None of course. I went to 3 stores, yes, in one day. I tend to pre-order my Sam’s Club list because I can get into trouble just “browsing” the store…..remove your temptations to stay on plan!  I then come home and put that haul away. Then I go to Aldi and Martin’s. That takes around 2.5 hours and I always treat the boys to a snack because it can be a bit of a process for them.

What about Fresh Stuff?
We put back $20 every other week for fresh produce, milk, and eggs. So I spent right around $400.00 on grocery, household products, and personal care items for the whole family. That is a good jump from my old $150.00 grocery budget but we have increased our income and decreased our expenses. Full confession over the summer we spend much more than this on groceries and I could feel it in our spending plan!

Now that you have the basics to monthly meal planning do you have any questions or concerns? Do you think you can fit this into your lifestyle? Let me know in the comments section below or share your thoughts on the F&F Success Facebook page.

Conquer Meal Planning with Monthly Meal Planning

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