april : a monthly meal plan

Yes, we will be eating meals a little more substantial than these cookies. But I’ll bake these a few times during the month because they’re Daniel’s favourites.

I’ve been meal planning for most of the year and it’s true what they say; it really does remove the daily what are we going to have for dinner? dilemma. But lately I’ve been thinking of going one step further and meal planning for the month. It makes complete sense; I can keep the month’s ingredients in mind when I’m grocery shopping (and pick up specials as I go), I can cook double of one meal in the first week (and freeze the remainder for later in the month) and as my pregnancy progresses (and my weariness increases) I can rely on this list when my imagination is kaput.

So, what are we eating for April?

Sat 1st : Restaurant! (not an April Fool’s joke but a weekend in the city for my birthday!)

Sun 2nd : Roast Chicken (then in the slow cooker to make my no-fuss chicken broth)

Mon 3rd : Chicken Pie + Greens

Tue 4th : Broth, Noodles + Vegies

Wed 5th : Spaghetti Bol + Salad

Thu 6th : Bean Tortillas + Corn Salsa

Fri 7th : Lamb Cutlets, Mash + Greens

Sat 8th : Pizza + Salad

Sun 9th : Curry + Rice + Yoghurt & Cucumber

Mon 10th : Tuna Pasta

Tue 11th : Pumpkin Soup + Toasties

Wed 12th : Make-Your-Own Sushi

Thu 13th : Chilli Con Carne

Fri 14th : Potato Bake + Sourdough + Salad

Sat 15th : Tamari Chicken + Vegies + Brown Rice

Sun 16th : Roast Beef + Apple Pie

Mon 17th : Beef Curry

Tue 18th : Broth, Noodles + Vegies

Wed 19th : Avocado + Eggs on Toast

Thu 20th : Pizza + Salad

Fri 21st : Shepherds Pie + Greens

Sat 22nd : Pea + Ham Soup (slow cook + enough to freeze)

Sun 23rd : Tuna Pasta

Mon 24th : Curry

Tue 25th : Noodles + Vegies

Wed 26th : Sausages + Mash + Greens

Thu 27th : Spaghetti Bol + Salad

Fri 28th : Nachos

Sat 29th : Minestrone

Sun 30th : Roast Chicken

We eat pretty simply and I’m not one to slave over the stove for hours a day. Lately I’ve been starting dinner shortly after the kids get home from school (a little trick that sometimes saves the witching hour) and often I’ll chop vegies mid-morning so there’s one less thing I have to do in the afternoon/evening.

As you can see from this list we often have broth + noodles + vegies on a Tuesday night as it’s just three of us (Che stays at my parent’s house on Tuesdays and Daniel is in Sydney). I realise there are also a lot of red meat meals here but right now they’re a necessity as my iron levels are really low. I’m eating lots of greens as well but I find the energy lift from a small portion of red meat is impressive.

Throughout the month I’ll probably do a poached chicken in the slow cooker which will ensure I have enough broth in the freezer too add to meals (I use it in soups, spaghetti bol sauce and pies) and I’ll use the meat for sandwiches and curries.

I’ll also add that I’m more than happy to substitute eggs on toast for any of these meals if I just can’t be bothered cooking. Breakfast for dinner is always a great option, in my opinion. Furthermore, pizza night may become takeaway pizza night more often than not!

I’ll share my recipes for pumpkin soup, bean tortillas + corn salsa and chilli con carne over the next few weeks.

Tell me, do you meal plan? And if so, what do you think of this monthly plan?

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Showing 16 comments
  • Amy
    Reply

    Yup, I love meal planning! Helps me reduce the crazy when I walk in the door from work at 4.45pm with a tired toddler in tow (luckily that’s not every day of the week!). I usually plan for a fortnight at a time as that’s how I shop, leaving two nights open for takeaways, change of plans etc.
    A whole month seems a bit overwhelming, but if I’m honest, we eat a lot of repeats each fortnight anyway (sausage pasta from Jamie Oliver, roast chicken, which then becomes congee or sushi bowls, falafel, dahl and rice are all regulars on our menu). I keep meaning to start a master list of all of my go-tos, as I always seem to draw a blank when it comes time to plan!
    My daughter has multiple food intolerences so planning takes the pressure off with this a bit too – I need to think outside the box a bit so we don’t all get bored.
    I never manage to cook enough to freeze leftovers though, as those are gobbled up for lunch the next day.
    I’ll have to come back to your list to add to my regulars next week!
    xx

  • Clémence
    Reply

    I’m so fond of meal planning, I like this time with a mug of tea and a cookbook. I change book every time I plan, every ten days or so. My freezer is definitely my friend, every time I freeze what’s left of a meal I put it on the planner for another day in the month. I love not having “what shall we eat tonight” questioning at night and it’s good for the budget too!

  • Lucy
    Reply

    Before our twins were born, we bought a chest freezer and I cooked slices, cakes, stock, spag bol, chicken cssseroles, chilli con carne, vege lasagne, spinach and ricotta cannelloni, vege muffins, zucchini slice, berry/chia muffins, Anzac biscuits, beef bourginon – I literally cooked and cooked and put it all in the deep freeze along with lots of loaves of bread. It has been a lifesaver for our first six months with the twins to include one or two nights on our meal plan per week with the words “freezer meal” and knowing there were homemade things for the older children’s lunch boxes and for me to snack on when breastfeeding. It was the best decision and purchase I’ve ever made!!

    • Jodi
      Reply

      We have a tiny freezer so I’m really considering buying a chest freezer in the next few months so I can spend June & the first part of July stacking it with lunchbox treats and dinners! x

      • Kristy
        Reply

        You won’t regret it Jodi, we have four little men, and it’s been so handy to have the chest freezer with its extra room! Even buying extra meat etc when on special and popping it into the deep freeze has helped me to stay a little more organised. Thanks so much for the meal plan reminder, I should get back on board with it. Looking forward to your recipes in the next few weeks! Take care, Kristy x

  • Caroline
    Reply

    I love hearing about what other people eat! I’m not much good at meal planning – perhaps about 3 meals in a row but I would like to become better. My friend told me she had done a meal plan for the year – breaking it down into months and seasons – I couldn’t believe it!

  • Rae
    Reply

    I do indeed – monthly meal planning is the best. I started monthly meal planning at the end of last year and it’s been amazing. It’s been a great sanity saver as we are in the midst of vintage (wine) and long hours it’s a saving grace on some less than spectacular days. The Bonus money saving on groceries budget sweetens the practice too.

  • Vanessa Kinnear
    Reply

    Those cookies look amazing!! Will you be sharing that recipe too? (Pretty please)

    • Jodi
      Reply

      Yes! Later this week sometime x

      • MJ
        Reply

        i’m excited about the cookie recipe as well! we meal plan each week and a roast chicken is usually involved as well as soup in the cooler months, which has been a lot this year in Southern California

      • Nikki
        Reply

        Yes please to cookie recipe they look lovely! I still stumble over your words ‘being pregnant’ every time I read them! 🙂 xx

  • Reannon
    Reply

    You know I love meal planning, it makes me happy, & I normally do it a week at a time but your reasoning for monthly planning makes a lot of sense. I might give it a go 🙂

  • Kat
    Reply

    4y.o twins here. Meal planning is a life saver! I love your choices! My go-to substitutes are lentil soup, homemade + frozen chicken nuggets &pasta, fish & chips, scrambled eggs, oatmeal + fruit. Pre- cutting for 2-3 days helps a lot as I usually end up with 24 min. before dinner time! Thank you for sharing yours. Always happy for inspiration!

  • Nicole
    Reply

    Yes Jodi I meal plan too I think that’s why I can keep my grocery bill at around $300 with a family of 7 I need to get a bit better and And feeding my toddler twins the same food as us
    but we meal
    Plan 6days a week with one night being takeaway
    Love to have the cookie recipe please and the chilli con corne 😘

  • Emma
    Reply

    I do ‘skip’ meals. I’ll make a double batch of say meatballs. Day 1 we have it with pasta. Day 3 we have it with rice and veggies. Usually Day 3 is a day I’m at work so dinner prep is very quick. I plan weekly but try to only repeat meals every fortnight to three weeks.

  • Kali
    Reply

    Meal planning has been a game changer for me, especially as a newish mama. It means I only have to go to the market once a week, I save precious funds on unneeded items and when 4 pm hits, I don’t have to panic about what to make. It’s also helped us avoid eating out too much, as we have one designated night per week to eat out (Fridays, because I’m always tired) and we look forward to it so much we hardly ever cheat!

    Thanks for sharing!

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