December 2016 Monthly Dinner Plan — Winter Meals

December 2016 Monthly Dinner Plan -- Winter Meals | Monthly dinner plan for this wintry December -- simmering soups, plenty of pasta... overall family-friendly meals! Beef + chicken recipes + FREE printable! | www.fillingthejars.com

{FREE printable meal list + links to 16 recipes}

 

Are you ready for December? Things get a little crazy this time of the year, which is why I love having a monthly dinner plan ready to go! Since winter officially arrives during December, this dinner plan is full of meals that make heavy use of the oven and stovetop. Simmering soups, plenty of pasta… overall family-friendly dinners that I’m really looking forward to making!

Print or save the list, check out some of the recipe links, and let me know how it all works for you!

 

Simmering soups, plenty of pasta > check out these family-friendly #recipes for a month of dinners! Click To Tweet

 

If you’re just looking for this month’s printable meal list, scroll down to find it. If you would like the entire collection, it’s available in the free subscribers’ resource library!


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Why Plan for a Month?

You might wonder why I bother to plan an entire month’s worth of dinners at once? Well, between working and blogging and LIFE, I simply don’t have time to think about meal planning. I sit down ONCE, plan for the month, and make it EASY. For details on how I do that, read my post How to Plan a Monthly Menu That Works For YOU.

(In case you don’t know me well yet, my life philosophy is pretty much MAKE IT EASY.)

How much do we spend?

My monthly spending seems to naturally come in around $400, some months a little more or less. This amount feeds 3 adult-size people very well. Doing one big monthly shop at Aldi and only popping into the local store once or twice for milk and fruit saves my family at least $75/month compared to previous averages when I have carefully planned, but still shopped weekly.


Related post:  How to Grocery Shop for a Month



What do we eat besides dinner?

Breakfast – Not much. Sometimes I will make a big pot of rolled oats or my husband will make eggs and bacon on the weekend, maybe once or twice a month. Once in a great while my son will eat a banana while he’s waiting for the bus. Breakfast just isn’t our thing.

Lunch – Leftovers, pb&j, lunchmeat sandwiches, crackers & cheese. My younger son is a high school freshman this year. He is responsible for packing his own lunches. I make sure we always have bread, peanut butter, jelly, crackers, and fruit — oh, and bottled water. I’m honestly not quite sure what he packs for lunches, but I do know that I don’t have to think about it — so it’s all good in my book.

Snacks – Fruit, crackers, nuts, tortilla chips.

I usually do not make desserts. If we’re REALLY craving something, I’ll make rice krispie treats or some chocolate pudding to use up milk. But because it’s December and the whole family will be together, I’ll be making more treats. It is the season of excess before we all promise to get healthy again in January. 😉 

 

December 2016 Monthly Dinner Plan -- Winter Meals | Monthly dinner plan for this wintry December -- simmering soups, plenty of pasta... overall family-friendly meals! Beef + chicken recipes + FREE printable! | www.fillingthejars.com

Note: This image links to a PDF file with clickable links to recipes.



The Plan

No, there aren’t 31 meals listed here. Sometimes we’ll eat a favorite dinner more than once. I’ve also left several open nights for leftovers and restaurant dinners. I usually make the larger, more complicated dinners on weekends — but the holiday break means I will have more time to putter in the kitchen. 🙂

Most dinners do not have a side dish listed. This is because it’s either an all-in-one dish, or my plan is to serve raw or roasted vegetables with the main course. Sometimes that’s a couple of bags of green beans or brussels sprouts tossed with oil, chopped onion, salt & pepper — roast on a sheet pan (I use this sheet pan ALL THE TIME) for about 20 minutes at 450F. (See? EASY!)

The highlighted links you see in the menu will take you directly to the website for each recipe. If you want to see photos of the linked recipes in one place, you can visit my Pinterest board for main dish recipes. I’m always pinning new recipes, so following my board is a great idea if you’re looking for dinner inspiration.

  1. Cheeseburgers
  2. Steaks
  3. Homemade Pizza
  4. Canadian Cheese Soup
  5. Oriental Chicken Salad
  6. Bean Soup w/ Ham Bone
  7. Macaroni Cheeseburger Casserole
  8. One-pan Roasted Smoked Sausage, Chicken & Potatoes
  9. Tostadas
  10. Nachos
  11. Roast Turkey Dinner
  12. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches & Tomato Soup
  13. Spaghetti
  14. Pastor Ryan’s Pasta Carbonara
  15. Copycat Zuppa Toscana
  16. Campbell’s One-Dish Chicken & Stuffing Bake
  17. Easy Chicken Parmesan Bake (My very favorite easy dinner!)
  18. Beef Enchiladas (and these “refried” beans)
  19. *new recipe* *crockpot meal* Slow Cooked Balsamic Beef Roast
  20. *new recipe* 30 Minute One Pan Beef Penne
  21. *new recipe* Locke Family Chicken Fried Steak
  22. *new recipe* Best and Easiest Mongolian Beef
  23. *new recipe* Hamburger Sliders in the Oven
  24. *new recipe* Oven Cooked Barbecue Brisket
  25. *new recipe* Burger in a Bowl (I can imagine this as a salad)
  26. *new recipe* Beef and Noodle Casserole

 

If you like this menu, click on one of the sharing buttons below to share on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

December 2016 Monthly Dinner Plan -- Winter Meals | Monthly dinner plan for this wintry December -- simmering soups, plenty of pasta... overall family-friendly meals! Beef + chicken recipes + FREE printable! | www.fillingthejars.com

 

Please leave a comment or email me at julie@fillingthejars.com with any questions you might have!

 


 


December 2016 Monthly Dinner Plan -- Winter Meals | Monthly dinner plan for this wintry December -- simmering soups, plenty of pasta... overall family-friendly meals! Beef + chicken recipes + FREE printable! | www.fillingthejars.com
December 2016 Monthly Dinner Plan -- Winter Meals | Monthly dinner plan for this wintry December -- simmering soups, plenty of pasta... overall family-friendly meals! Beef + chicken recipes + FREE printable! | www.fillingthejars.com

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