October 2016 Monthly Menu Plan – Cool Weather Dinners

{FREE printable meal list + links to 16 recipes}

We have finally been blessed with a few days under 80 degrees, which got me all excited to come up with a meal plan for cool weather dinners. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been craving a crisp autumn day and a nice hot bowl of soup!

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 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.

October 2016 Monthly Menu Plan | {FREE printable meal list + links to 16 recipes} It's finally time for a monthly meal plan of cool weather dinners - soups, crockpot meals, hearty dinners! | www.fillingthejars.com

Note: This image links to a printable PDF.

The Plan

No, there aren’t 31 meals listed here. Sometimes we’ll eat a favorite dinner more than once. I’ve also left open nights for leftovers and restaurant dinners. I make the larger, more complicated dinners on weekends.

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 tossed with oil, chopped onion, salt & pepper — roast on a sheet pan (I use this one) 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. Grilled BBQ Chicken Leg Quarters
  2. Grilled Cheeseburgers
  3. Grilled Bratwurst
  4. Outdoor Fish Fry, homemade onion rings
  5. Baked Ham Shank, carrots, potatoes
  6. Homemade Pizza
  7. Canadian Cheese Soup (Yes! It’s been toooooo long!)
  8. Cheeseburger Macaroni Casserole
  9. One-pan roasted smoked sausage, chicken & potatoes
  10. Smothered Baked Chicken Burritos — Be sure to use her Shredded Chicken recipe and add these “refried” beans. (If I’m short on time, I will substitute a bag of thawed frozen burritos baked with a 30-oz can of green enchilada sauce & cheese. Totally processed food, but easy enough for anyone in the family to throw together.)
  11. Tostadas
  12. Nachos
  13. Smothered B/S Chicken Breasts
  14. Roast Turkey Dinner, mashed potatoes
  15. Easy Chicken Parmesan Bake (My very favorite easy dinner!)
  16. Spaghetti
  17. Roast Pork Loin w/Mushrooms, mashed potatoes
  18. Pastor Ryan’s Pasta Carbonara
  19. *crockpot meal* General Tso’s Chicken, fried rice
  20. *crockpot meal* Slow Cooker Lasagna
  21. *crockpot meal* Red Beans & Rice
  22. *crockpot meal* *new recipe* Crock Pot Swedish Meatballs (If I have time to make everything from scratch, I will use this recipe: Swedish Meatballs )
  23. *new recipe* 5 Ingredient Chicken Bake
  24. *new recipe* Pork Chops & Scalloped Potatoes Casserole
  25. *new recipe* One Pot Chili Mac
  26. *new recipe* Cabbage Roll in a Bowl Soup
  27. *new recipe* Baked Chili Dogs (OMG, I kind of can’t believe I even listed this, but it looks like a fun dinner that my family would love.)

Please leave a comment or email me at [email protected] with any questions you might have!

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

October 2016 Monthly Menu Plan | {FREE printable meal list + links to 16 recipes} It's finally time for a monthly meal plan of cool weather dinners - soups, crockpot meals, hearty dinners! | www.fillingthejars.com

October 2016 Monthly Menu Plan | {FREE printable meal list + links to 16 recipes} It's finally time for a monthly meal plan of cool weather dinners - soups, crockpot meals, hearty dinners! | www.fillingthejars.com

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9 thoughts on “October 2016 Monthly Menu Plan – Cool Weather Dinners”

    1. Hi Helen! My 14-year-old loves knowing in advance what we’re having for dinner. 😉 I imagine things will change with the coming years, but for now it works for us. 🙂 Thank you for visiting!

  1. When I was a young mom I used to plan menus out by the month. For a short while I even did once-a-month cooking. Now, I’m more into once-a-week cooking. $400 for 3 adults is a great grocery budget. Applause for training your son to live an independent and empowered life by teaching him to take responsibility for his school lunches. ^_^ As a mom of older sons, I appreciate it now having slacked in this area myself. It’s not all bad, just a little harder.

    1. Hi Sara! The things we learn the longer we are parents, right? 😉 Thanks for saying my grocery budget sounds good… sometimes it seems like we are still spending so much more than we should be. (Hmmmm… maybe a post series idea there…) Thank you for your thoughtful comment!

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