We’re coming to the end of the month and if you’ve been hanging around here for a bit, you know I heavily rely on meal planning to stay on track. I’m not great at feeding my family “on the fly” and I’m betting some of you aren’t either. I do my best with a meal plan and a recipe—the simpler, the better. And so, today, I’m sharing my December meal plan!
How I Meal Plan (quick recap)
- Gather materials (list of favorite recipes, cookbook, calendar, paper, pen).
- List the dates of the month (1 to 30 or 31).
- Come up with a couple of goals for yourself. For instance, do you want to try new recipes? Do you want to incorporate more veggies? Do you want to double your recipes and freeze the second batch? Schedule it.
- Fill in the No Brainers (For us, Tacos on Tuesday and Pizza on Fridays) This is KEY for me. 8 days out of 30/31 that I don’t have to think!
- Fill in the remaining meals. Schedule simple meals on busier nights and more complex meals on the slower nights.
- Follow Through. Once you complete your meal plan, check it often and cook what you wrote.
This post has more in-depth instructions and the reasoning behind why I plan this way and why it works for us.
Ordinarily, December can be a strange time to meal plan because there are so many parties and special events. NOT THIS YEAR! It’s kind of a bummer, but hey, at least you’ll have time to create and implement an awesome meal plan, right?!?!
Without further ado, here’s what I’m cookin’ this month:
As you can see, tacos (5 nights!), pizza (3 nights), and dining out (2 nights) are the stars of the meal plan.
I haven’t quite decided what we’re having for Christmas dinner yet. Are we going to go special or super casual? Not sure. Super casual might be fun and different, but IT IS a holiday, so… I don’t know, blame it on 2020. I’m planning on two new recipes (Enchilada Rice Skillet and Garlic Beef and Broccoli Soup from The Weeknight Dinner Cookbook). We’re also having quite a few salads — the more I serve them, the better my kids eat them.
Finally, we’re having a lot of warm and hearty meals (fajita rice bowls, chicken noodle soup, baked ziti, white chicken chili, ham chowder…). It’s December, it’s going to be cold. Gone are the cold sandwiches and hamburgers from my summer meal plans. These meals just feel good on dark winter evenings. Plus, my kids love them, which is always lovely.
Give Meal Planning a Try
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, check this post for VERY detailed directions, then download the step-by-step guide (below), print it out, and use my plan for inspiration. It’s all about baby steps until you’ve created a solid routine. Once you make your meal plan, try this guide to help you stick to it.
It’s starting to look like we’re heading for another intense session of family time (thanks, Covid). What better time to make a plan and focus on establishing a routine? Give monthly meal planning a try! I’d love to hear what you think! Leave a comment below or send me an email!
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