Wow, it’s time to create another monthly menu plan! Seriously, April almost snuck up on me… then I realized the shelves were looking a little bare and it must be time to make the monthly shopping trip. My older son wants to try living at home and commuting for his new 3-month work term, so I will definitely plan larger meals and buy more fruit and tortilla chips for snacks.
As spring arrives, my family begins to spend some time at our cabin in the woods. Often this means we are stuck eating at McDonald’s during our Friday-night drive. Ick. I have a mini-goal to make a portable dinner so that we can avoid McD’s. Our first trip of the year is not always an overnight event, so I will plan two simple meals that we could eat either at the cabin or here at home.
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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 and only popping into the store once or twice for milk and fruit saves my family at least $75/month compared to previous averages when I have shopped weekly. We’ll have to see how it works out having another adult-size person living with us again.
What do we eat besides dinner?
Breakfast – Not much. Sometimes eggs and bacon on the weekend, maybe once or twice a month.
Lunch – Leftovers, pb&j, lunchmeat sandwiches, crackers & cheese.
Snacks – Fruit, crackers, nuts, tortilla chips.
Once upon a time I used to make muffins, granola bars, cereal bars, lots of snacky-type things that look really cute on a menu. But it was a lot of work, and a lot of extra sugar that none of us needed, so I rarely make anything like that now.
This month I will plan 26 dinners. My husband and the boys will be gone one weekend for fishing, which is two dinners. (I don’t know what they eat up there. Probably McDonald’s.) I will figure another two nights for leftovers.
My new part-time work schedule means some late-afternoon hours. While my husband and sons are perfectly capable of making dinner while I am at work, sometimes it’s nice for all of us to come home to something already finished, so I’m adding a few more crockpot-friendly recipes this month.
Anything that says *new menu item* has not yet been tested by my family, so I will try to come back and add a quick review after we actually try the dish. (You can see my March Menu Plan for an example.) 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.
- Oriental chicken salad (prep everything early & throw together for a fast dinner)
- Smothered b/s chicken thighs, roasted potatoes
- Smothered Baked Chicken Burritos – For my family, this was THE biggest new recipe hit of March. Use her Shredded Chicken recipe and add these refried beans
- *new menu item – did not try in March* Chicken Lazone & pasta, peas
- *new menu item* Sweet Garlic Chicken, rice or roasted vegetables
- *new menu item* Sticky Asian Chicken Bites, fried rice
- *new menu item* Easy Chicken Parmesan Bake, pasta, garlic bread
- *new menu item* *crockpot meal* Crockpot Pizza
- *new menu item* *crockpot meal* Slow Cooker Lasagna
- *new menu item* *crockpot meal* Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken, fried rice
- Campbell’s One-Dish Chicken & Stuffing Bake, green beans (could try in the crockpot)
- Chicken noodle soup (could try in the crockpot)
- *crockpot meal* Red beans & rice
- Roasted pork loin & mushrooms, mashed potatoes
- Sausage gravy & biscuits
- Pasta Carbonara, peas
- *new menu item* Beef Piroshki (plan to make these to eat on the way up north)
- Brats (cabin dinner)
- Grilled BBQ b/s chicken thighs, roasted vegetables
- Homemade pizza
- Fish fry (bluegill & perch from freezer), homemade onion rings
- Cheeseburgers, frozen fries, raw carrots & celery
- Fried cabbage & sausage
- One-pan roasted smoked sausage, chicken & vegetables (we’ll have this twice)
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