I’m not sure I’ve ever been this excited about making a meal plan before, friends. My January Meal Plan was not one it thrilled me to work my way through — we were having a “No Spend January” and while I was still buying groceries as we needed them, a big goal was to clear out the freezers. I was looking forward to February’s 28 Day Meal Plan about a week in.
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Adding to my resentment of my freezer full of beef was this pretty little cookbook, The Weekday Lunches & Breakfasts Cookbook, which was given to me mid-January. I wanted to look through it immediately, but didn’t want to get excited while I was working my way through our inventory.
Finally, FINALLY January 30th arrived, and I didn’t wait a single minute longer. I opened the cookbook and immediately used almost an entire stack of post-its marking recipes I wanted to try. Then I got to work on my meal plan.
Meal Plan Basics
As always, I meal plan in 4 steps.
Step 1: Gather materials
Materials: paper, calendar, list of favorite recipes, and a cookbook (optional).
Step 2: List the dates of the month
Just 28 this month!
Step 3: Add in some No-Brainers
For us, that’s pizza on Fridays and tacos on Tuesdays. It might be different for you, maybe Soup Saturday or Meatball Monday… it doesn’t need to be alliterate, but you get bonus points if it is.
Step 4: Fill in the Rest
Using my favorite recipes list and cookbook, I fill in the rest of the days.
I try to vary our proteins up week by week and I rarely repeat meals within the month, aside from Tuesdays and Fridays.
I also try to create goals for myself, such as eating more vegetables or trying 2-3 new recipes a month.
Scheduling in “dining out” days is also helpful. It gives me a break, but in a controlled way instead of an impulsive swing through the drive-thru.
My 28 Day Monthly Meal Plan for February
Here’s my February Meal Plan. Use it meal for meal, pick and choose meals, or just keep it in the back of your mind as you create your own meal plan.
- Cuban Sliders (find the recipe here)
- Tacos (homemade taco spice mix here)
- Chicken Fajitas (homemade fajita spice mix here)
- Paprika Potato Skillet (from The Weekday Lunches & Breakfasts Cookbook)
- ORDER OUT
- Spaghetti & Meatballs
- Whole Chicken (crock pot recipe here)
- Taco Salad
- Chicken Noodle Soup (using leftover chicken from the 8th)
- Chicken and Avocado Sandwiches (using leftover chicken from the 8th)
- ORDER OUT
- Stuffed Peppers
- Whole Chicken (yes, again)
- Creamy Chicken Casserole (using leftover chicken from the 15th)
- White Chicken Chili (using leftover chicken from the 8th)
- Cheater Japchae (from The Weekday Lunches & Breakfasts Cookbook)
- Breaded Pork Chops with Salad
- Pasta, Chicken, & Broccoli with Garlic & Butter Sauce
- Taco Salad
- Korean Lettuce Wraps (from The Weekday Lunches & Breakfasts Cookbook)
- Chicken Parm and Pasta
- ORDER OUT
- Breaded Chicken & Salad Kit
Meal Plan Notes
- On nights where I just have a meat listed (such as whole chicken or pork chops), I’ll make quick sides like mashed potatoes, rice quinoa, and a vegetable.
- I cook a whole chicken about twice a month in the crock pot. I then use the leftover cooked/shredded chicken in recipes for the next few nights. This makes dinner prep quick and simple.
- I transfer this list, week by week, into my planner. If meat has to be defrosted, I add that onto my “to do list” at the same time.
- I refer to this list when creating my grocery list and scan the pantry to make sure I don’t already have the ingredient in stock.
- I’m working on compiling posts of my commonly used recipes for easy reference, but I don’t have many yet.
February Monthly Meal Plan
Meal planning a month at a time may seem overwhelming, but it’s one day of thinking about food and weeks of not thinking, which is my favorite part. This month was even simpler than usual since it was short. There are so many ways of meal planning, from planning every 6 weeks, planning every week, or having a dinner schedule where you cook the same meals every night. How do you meal plan?