E.H.M. Monthly Meal Planner – Month 3

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Posted on Dec 9 2012 - 9:09pm by Jill
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Welcome to my third month of my monthly meal planner! Many of you continue to share your stories about how following my monthly meal planner saved your family money and kept a fresh variety of meals flowing through your household. That just warms my heart! I am so glad that I am making your lives easier and pocket books a little heavier (especially during this time of year).


This meal planner includes all of our family’s monthly menus for the next 4 weeks. We typically spend $300-$350 (not including sundry items) for one month of food for our family of four. Since we live very rural, if I do not plan well in advance our family can end up spending more on the gasoline for our trip than we do for the food that we are actually there to purchase. When we do our shopping once a month it is a big haul but we do pick up fresh fruits, vegetables and milk every 2 weeks (but we still budget this cost in our monthly budget).


This month is a little different than a “typical” month since we are in the midst of the holidays. For Christmas I typically cook all of the core meal items and family and friends will bring some of the extra side dishes. These goodies are outside of the standard budgeting. All of the baking is in my hands and I am happy to do so and share some of those recipes with all of you in this month’s meal planner! Our family does not do a big New Year’s shin dig because both my husband and I have had friends injured and killed on New Year’s so our family tends to stay put and make a little party in the comfort of our own home.

Since we had a ham for our Thanksgiving meal my husband and I decided to make a turkey for Christmas (it’s kind of a flip flop year for our holiday menus). I have included our Christmas Day Menu in this month’s meal planner (complete with links or my recipes included) and I have also thrown in some desserts. Please just note that we do not eat all of the desserts in one day but I LOVE to bake so we enjoy them over a or two.  We also share some of these treats with our friends and neighbors. Here is a peek at our Christmas Day Menu and Dessert Menu that you can find in this printable (complete with links):


I had a reader ask me why I do not do more freezer meals (which is a great question by the way!). I have tried freezer meals in the past and run into several problems. The first being that we do not have a second refrigerator/freezer and we often just do not have the space to fit tons of Ziploc bags or Tupperware for frozen meals. The second problem I have always run into with freezer meals is that it tends to be over kill for my family of the same meals. For our family when we get bored with meals I have found that tends to be when we opt to eat out more often or go off of the meal planner which means more money spent and drained out of other budgets just to cover food. I have a friend who freezer meals work perfectly for her and I admire her greatly for it. Freezer meals in general just don’t click with our family (with the exception of freezing my homemade spaghetti sauce) so I have accepted that for the time being. In the future this may change as the kids grow older.


I am happy to continue to share previous month’s meal planners.  I keep all the recipes, planners, and lessons on my blog, so please make sure to check out my Meal Planning Page for more tips and recipes for when it comes to monthly shopping from month’s past!


In this month’s free printable you will find my monthly meal planners complete with links, some of our family recipes that I typed up, a blank Costco shopping list, a shopping lesson form for educational purposes and so on! Many of you also asked for a blank weekly meal planner so you will find this included in the free printable as well. Hopefully this will help make your planning a little easier, more fun or at the very least, give you some new recipes. I will share my monthly meal planners with you each month as I create them for our family. Enjoy!



Click this link to download a copy of my:


 Clip art by: http://www.jessicaweible.com/

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