This is a few weeks late, but I wanted to share a realistic, easy to do, month-long menu for the average, busy mom! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…I’m all about finding the Chasing Supermom Trifecta…Cheap, Easy, and The Kids Will Eat It! This month in particular, I have returned to old stand-bys….the classics…the food I KNOW my family will eat and enjoy. I went on a new recipe kick for awhile, determined to make something new every night, and yes, found a few winners….However, there is something comforting about sharing a tried and true meal with your family….a favorite….those recipes that your kids will be calling and asking the recipes for when they’re out on their own.

I am a BIG fan of menu planning, and have a TON of weekly menus up on the website for you to use! (Check out the Weekly Menu Archives!!) I typically have always meal-planned for longer than a week at a time. We typically only do one large grocery run a month, and it is easier and cheaper for me to plan a larger stretch of meals at once. For several years, I planned my meals a month at a time, and I LOVED it. LOVED it! Then, for whatever reason, when life got busier, (and I needed the extra help and planning the most!) I dropped back to two weeks at a time….Then, a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon my old monthly meal plans, and decided to give it another go….and again, I am LOVING it! Talk about a total stress reducer!!! I don’t have to worry about what I’m going to fix for dinner for a WHOLE MONTH! I spend about two hours near the end of the month, and plan out what sounds great for dinner. Then, I write up my shopping list, make sure to stock up (see a Well Stocked Pantry), and I’m set!

Here are a few monthly meal planning tips!

1. Plan for a whole month. Sit down with your favorite cookbooks, favorite websites, recipe box, etc. Take family suggestions.

2. Create a shopping list to match up with what you’ll need for the whole month’s worth of dinners.

3. SAVE your menus! I either print out a blank calendar template, and just save the stack, OR I buy a cheap little calendar around the first of the year, and use it solely as my meal planning calendar! (I’m going to do this again this coming year!) Then, you have months and months worth of ideas at your fingertips! You can also go through and  make notes on the different meals such as (*the kids really loved this, or don’t make this again!)

4. Plan the side dishes!!! This has saved my life! It’s one thing to write “meatloaf” on a menu….but then you’re still stuck wondering what on earth to serve with it at 4:30….So, I’ve started planning out my side dishes right along with my main dishes, and seriously….NO stress! This is great!

Here we go!!

1. Skyline Chili and garlic bread (*Skyline chili is a mid-western restaurant chain…This is spaghetti noodles with beanless chili, and topped with cheese, onions, tomatoes, etc….Delicious! If you’re ever in Ohio/Michigan…try it!)

2. Tacos

3. Beef Stroganoff, rolls, green beans

4. Dippers, Jell-O (*Dippers is basically Spanish rice with chicken instead of beef, and we scoop it up with tortilla chips! This is my husband’s favorite! I’ll get around to posting the recipe one of these days!)

5. Pizza

6. Manicotti, bread, beans

7. Home-made Egg McMuffins, hashbrowns, yogurt

8. Oven Fried Chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, biscuits, corn cobs

9. Sloppy Joes, fries

10. Creamy chicken enchiladas, rice

11. Hamburger patties, pasta box, cornbread

12. Hot Dogs, tater tots

13. Tortellini, veggies

14. BBQ Chicken, mac and cheese, broccoli

15. Grands Fiesta Chicken Casserole, fiesta blend veggies, Jell-O

16. Tater Tot Casserole

17. Oven Beef Stew, biscuits, mashed potatoes

18. Chicken Tacos, rice

19. Tuna Melts, fries

20. “Hannah’s Chili” , corn muffins

21. Porcupine Meatballs, rice, veggies

22. Pizza

23. @Zoolights

24. Thanksgiving Dinner

25. Thanksgiving with Parents

26. Thanksgiving Leftovers

27. Hot Browns, mashed potato leftovers

28. Cranberry Chicken, cheesy potatoes, whole wheat bread

29.Halibut filets, orzo, rolls

30. Lasagna, garlic bread, beans