May Meal Plan

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Hey friends! I just finished up my May Meal Plan and thought I would share in case anyone was looking for some meal planning inspiration.

I'm not sure about you, but meal planning is just one of those daunting tasks that I never look forward too. But I've learned if I don't plan out our meals each week, then dinnertime is super stressful and usually ends up with some sort of take-out, which is not good for our budget.

I have been planning our meals a month at a time for about 6 months now, and definitely feel like it's been a timesaver. I've learned if I just sit down and plan my meals for the entire month, I can usually plan the entire month in the time it typically takes me to plan just one week. Then the task is done for the month.

Some of the tips I have learned when planning for a month at a time include:

1. Plan to cook only 4 times a week. Then plan to double each recipe so you can get 2 dinners out of each meal. That way your not having to cook every night of the week. Or better yet, triple it and freeze one of the portions.

2. Look ahead at your calendar and note any super busy nights. Then make sure to plan super easy meals, or crockpot meals on those days.

3. Use a formula to help come up with meal ideas. My formula is:
-- Sun/Mon - Soup (for Souper Sunday)
-- Tues/Wed - Mexican (for Taco Tuesday)
-- Thurs/Fri - Super simple meals or Instapot meals
-- Sat - Pizza, take-out inspired meals, favorite meals that may take a little longer to prepare, or sometimes just take-out

4. Always have some back-up options on hand in case a meal doesn't work out. I always have a frozen pizza or frozen meal like stirfry or lasagna on hand as a back-up.

5. Be prepared to substitue if needed. With recent food shortages at the grocery store, I also try to plan meals that can have easy substituions if necessary. Switching out proteins or frozen veggies is usually an easy substiution. Or you can always default to those back-up frozen meals.

6. Save all your recipes to a specific meal planning Pinterest board, so you can quickly access them when you are ready to cook. You can find my May Meal Planning recipes here

At the bottom of this post is a downloadable verison of my meal plan for May. We have already tried the Tomato Basil Soup with Grilled Cheese, and I have been eating the left-overs all week for lunch, it's just so good! And we also had the Chicken Tamale Casserole for Cinco de Mayo, which is a family favorite we typically have at least once a month.

What is your meal planning process? Do you plan a week or a month at a time? Or do you just wing it each night?

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