This Month’s Menu: March

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This Month's Meal Plan; Healthy, quick meals for the month of MarchTime for a new menu! March is upon us, so that means it’s time to switch to the spring meal plan.

If you’re unfamiliar with my strategy for meal planning, keep reading. If you just want a list of meals for the month, keep scrolling. :)

I decided just last month to go back to a monthly meal plan. Check out that article if the concept sounds interesting.

Here are some tips to help you understand and get the most out of this meal plan:

  • I have four basic monthly menus; one for each season. Fall and spring are similar but not identical. Summer features meals like salads and lighter foods. Winter has lots of soups, stews, and crock pot meals.
  • You’ll find 23 meals on this list. I always leave a few not planned for a few reasons;
    • I know you have your favorite meals
    • I know there are days when families eat out/at church/at someone else’s home, etc.
    • I leave room for new recipes.
  • I’ve organized the meals by the amount of time they take as well as the source of  protein. This helps when you’re filling in your calendar. You can choose the “10 minutes or less; hands on”  for those days when you have to do the prep in the morning. You can use the protein categories to be sure that you don’t eat all chicken meals one week and all beef the next.
  • You will find very little pork in my meal plans. To be exact, you’ll find some crumbled bacon on the potato soup (in the winter plan) and some ham on my pizza. Other than that we stay away from pork as much as possible because it’s just not good for you. If you would like to use pork, you can substitute it in many of the chicken dishes.
  • I always try to make homemade whenever possible; you’ll sometimes see a recipe calling for a store bought ingredient like whole wheat rolls. This is to keep it easy for you. If you prefer to make homemade, all the better.
  • If you find an error in any of the recipes please let me know!
  • Some recipes have pictures, some don’t. I’ll be adding pictures as I make each meal. I just wanted to get them posted so you’d have access to them.
    • Come back often. Each time I make a meal that isn’t currently linked to a recipe, I’ll write the recipe (with pictures) and link it in this post.

Here’s what our family will be eating this month: (Titles in orange are links to recipes.)

Chicken

10 Minutes or less; (hands on)

Chicken Cacciatore (Crock Pot)

Salsa Chicken Nachos (Crock Pot)

20 Minutes or less; start to finish

BBQ  Chicken Tortilla Pizzas

Chicken Lo-Main, Egg Rolls

Chicken Stir Fry, Rice

Chicken Fajitas

Grilled Chicken Tenders, Pasta- Marinara

Italian Grilled Chicken, Grilled Veggies, Rice

30 minutes (+/_)

Sweet & Sour Chicken, fried rice

Teriyaki chicken tenders, fried rice,

Three- Cheese Baked Spaghetti, Salad

 Beef

20 Minutes or less; start to finish

Steak Hash–Sorry, no recipe, it wasn’t very good.

Super Nachos

Beef ‘n Broccoli (this needs to marinate so it’s technically not 20 minutes start to finish)

Hamburgers, Baked Beans

Tacos

Quick Beefy Noodles, Peas & Carrots

Seafood

20 Minutes or less; start to finish

Fish with Mango Salsa, couscous, green beans

10 Minutes or less; hands on

Salmon Patties, White Beans, Broccoli slaw (This post has different sides.)

30 Minutes (+/-)

Tuna noodle bake, Whole wheat rolls

Meatless/other

20 Minutes or less; start to finish

Chef Salad, Garlic Bread (ours isn’t meatless but you can just leave the deli meat out if you want this to be a meatless meal.)

30 minutes (+/-)

Homemade Pizza

Tomato Basil Pizza, Garden Salad

Need some help with your grocery list? 

I hope to offer a grocery list option in the future but it’s a big job to create it in such a way that you can still customize it for your needs. Until then, let me recommend Plan to Eat. It’s a meal planning resource that I have been using and I’m finding it to be helpful and easy to use.

I’m working on getting my meals onto this site as quickly as possible (forgoing pictures for now) so that you can easily pop them into your Plan to Eat account, schedule them for when you want to make them, and print an organized grocery list. (You can add other meals and groceries as well.)
I think you’ll love the using the combination of this list of meals and Plan to Eat.

If having a meal plan saved you from the drive through just twice in a year or a “sit down” restaurant once in a year, your investment in Plan to Eat will have paid for itself! (And we all know that using a meal plan and getting your shopping done will save you way more than that!)

Just click the graphic for more information. 

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

*This post contains affiliate links

 

Linking up with:

amazinggrazefarm   orgjunkie.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Ways To Eat Better and Spend Less:

Comments

  1. says

    You have some great meals coming up! I’ve always found it somewhat of a struggle to stick to a weekly meal plan, but this post actually has me considering a monthly plan. I’m constantly trying to come up with new recipes and try new things which for some reason conflicts with my ability to stick to a meal plan. I think part of my problem is that I usually fail to account for leftovers, or try to make 100 new meals in one week, and then don’t want to cook at all the next. Maybe a monthly plan will allow me to better plan my ‘creative’ meals. Hm.

    You wrote that you stick to four basic menus, but do you get tired of eating the same things? Do you try making new things often?

    Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Yuliya,
      You brought up some good points. I’m actually planning on a post that will address the issue of how often to try new meals. In a nutshell, I personally think there are a few reasons to try to keep it pretty low, maybe one a week. First, you almost always spend more money when trying something new. You need spices you don’t have, a jar of this or that which isn’t already in your pantry, etc. But also, while it can be exciting to try a new recipe, it’s also a lot more time consuming. You have to really read the recipe step-by-step and it takes several times of making a new meal to find your “groove” and learn the quickest way for you personally. I find that when I have too many new meals on my plan, that’s when I end up straying from the plan. Dinner time comes around and I just don’t want to mess with new directions, etc. I want to throw something together that I can do while listening to a podcast, chatting with my kids, etc. (Now, if you use my meal plan or any service that plans your meals for you, there will be lots of new meals. Just know that you will learn them, and they will get faster and faster to make.)
      You asked if we get bored. Well, each meal plan is for a month and there are no repeats within the plan. So, each meal is only served once a month for three months. Some meals will show up in more than one plan but those are the ones we really like. Either way, we don’t have any meal more than once in any one month. I know a lot of people who make 6 meals. Period. Now that would get old fast.
      I hope that helps.
      I appreciate you taking a look at the meal plan and sincerely hope it helps you find your sweet spot when it comes to meal planning! (I don’t really like meal planning but it’s a whole lot better than not!)

  2. says

    I definitely see where you are coming from with the new recipes. For us it’s really half new, half old per week simply because I love experimenting. My blog is also based on recipes, so if I were to cut back on trying new things, I would have the majority of my content gone. Even if I weren’t doing that, I would still cooking new meals very frequently because that’s how we are in my home. The way I cook tends to be a spontaneous in general, which is how new recipes come to be in my home. Our new creations are not typically based on following recipes, but rather throwing together a bit of this and a bit of that, which takes the stress away. I fail sometimes, sometimes it turns out fantastically. The hardest thing has been to actually write down what I cook so that we can recreate the things that turn out well. As for new ingredients, yea, sometimes, I buy extras that I normally wouldn’t, but I try to find a few recipes that use that particular ingredient so I can use it again later. We use all kinds of spices, so those aren’t typically wasted. New veggies/extra veggies are frequently frozen.

    In any given month to two months, we have a few fall back meals – stir fry, red pasta sauce with veggies, and chili. We use veggies in all three, and they tend to depend on what is in season. I can see then, how you don’t get tired of your meals, especially if you are only eating things once a month.

    I do definitely need to find a better balance though with everything because I do tend to overbuy in general from an overly ambitious meal plan. Regardless of new meals or not, it seems I never take leftovers into account, and ultimately something will not be used and can’t be frozen. I actually talked to my husband about this over the weekend, and I think we’ll give monthly planning a shot. I also want to do groceries once a month (with the exception of fresh produce that we buy at the market). Thanks for the help and inspiration :)

    • says

      Ah, yes, you bring up many good points. Being a food blogger definitely means you need to try new recipes more often than most people. And if trying a new recipe is what gets you into the kitchen then by all means, make a new recipe! my sister is like that. She gets bored after she’s made a recipe a few times. I feel like it’s too much trouble to alway have to read directions when I cook! I need to use my brain for other things, like I mentioned.
      We’re all different, and it’s cool that we can find the way that works for us, whether it be freezer cooking or always fresh, lots of new recipes or the same thing every week, monthly shopping or weekly. As long as we do find that thing that works and keeps us out of the drive thru!

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