Hello and welcome back to my April 2015 meal planning for the 31st installment of my monthly meal planners. This installment covers all 30 days of the month of April and includes delicious meal and dessert suggestions for the split month of winter and start of spring. This FREE monthly budgeted meal planner covers the whole month at once. With winter coming to a close this meal planner includes some hearty wintery recipes with variety, flavor, and time savings, but they are starting to be replaced with some different spring themed additions. This month continues the introduction of a lot of new recipes with bring a variety to the meals. I am continuing to add recipes I have found linked up to my Monday Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop and my other special places. Can you spot the additions I used this month? Another great place you can find some of these recipes is on my cooking boards on Pinterest too, but remember, if I use the recipe in the meal planner, I give credit back to it because users will need to click the link on the meal planner to get the recipe directly from its source.
As with previous months, the included meals may need to be altered because our fresh veggies and fruits in our area might not match yours and our veggie choices at dinner might not match your choices and I would not want you to be spending budget on fruits and veggies that are out of season for you or that you would (or could) not eat. The list is provided in a format that you can use to check your pantry, cabinets, fridge and freezer to see what you have left over or still have (like spices and dry goods) and then add what you need to your family shopping lists. Shopping lists are provided in a weekly, monthly, and master list formats.
As a side note, please also remember that I strive to include some sort of fruit or vegetable component in all meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even some of the desserts too, so please remember that if no specific one is listed it is because everyone lives in different places and I cannot truly tell what will be available everywhere based on the time of year and I would hate to have you spend more of your budget to get things readily available to me when you could just as easy use your local ones. Fresh fruits and veggies can be a struggle to get into our growing children, but I am finding that as Beck and Elizabeth get older they are trying different fruits and veggies. It helps too that they are both finding new seasonal favorites too. With summer in full swing we are fortunate enough to have a very wide range of squashes from our local farmer. Sometimes I will even post photos of our local farm veggies and produce on my Instagram as well when they are delivered each week.
With Easter early in this month, we will be getting together with family and spending the day with them. I hope your family has a Happy Easter.
Meal Planner Blanks
As with any meal planner, there will be days that you just want to eat something different or do not agree with the day that it was placed on, especially since each family has lots of different activities they participate in. To help accommodate that, please use the included blank meal planner spaces as you need them throughout the meal planning process. Hopefully this component will help those that use the planner but tend to vary days and meals still have a complete meal planner at their disposal.
Flexibility is the key to any meal planner being useful to as many people as possible. All the same meals as in the planner are provided in a second cut and paste format to be used with provided blank weekly calendars. This way, for those that choose to, your family can plan out your meals however you want to. All the meals are provided, you just have to cut them out and plan them how you wish to eat them, and the best part is, you can just skip meals you have other plans for and write in your own favorites too!
With winter here, sometimes the meals planned are rich and other times they are so delicious you want more. Please take a few minutes when you are planning out your meals and adjust up or down the proportions as you need to in meeting your family’s needs. I even up certain recipes to have leftovers for other days of the recipes my family loves. I know that eating the same thing over and over is not fun, but on a budget sometimes we need to eat it twice either two days in a row or for lunch the next day or a few days after the initial cooking.
Because each family has different dietary goals and needs it can be hard to find recipes that meet everyone’s needs. In our family we have started drifting away from beef because of the problems that it causes with my health problems, but we do eat it in a limited capacity. I would also love to include more fish recipes, but my husband is very allergic to fish, so we cannot use fish either. As you can imagine, we have developed a taste for chicken and turkey meat recipes. I have also included my own recipes here and there too.
Budget Note: This meal planner includes all of our family of four’s monthly menus for the next 5 weeks for the month of April 2015. We typically spend $300-$350 (not including sundry items) for one month of food for our family of four plus six dogs, but this will not include the dessert items this month. Since we live very rural, if I do not continue to 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, especially with gas prices seemingly rising all the time around us. When we do our shopping once a month it is a big haul, but we do pick up fresh fruits and vegetables from a local farmers weekly and get milk, select dairy, and bread about every 2 weeks. For the desserts we will be budgeting about $25 – $50 on top of the budget mentioned above.
So, without further ado, please find the following components of this month’s interactive meal planner:
- Meal Planner for 4/1/15 – 4/4/15
- Meal Planner for 4/5/15 – 4/11/15
- Meal Planner for 4/12/15 – 4/18/15
- Meal Planner for 4/19/15 – 4/25/15
- Meal Planner for 4/26/15 – 4/30/15
- April Flexible Meals
- April Flexible Meal Calendars
- April Blank Week
- Dessert Menu for April 2015
- Dessert Calendar for April 2015
- Select E.H.M. Recipes
- Fill In the Blank Ingredients List – Entire Month
- Fill in the Blank Ingredients List – Weekly
- Blank Family Shopping List (Food, Sundries, you name it included)
- Blank Costco Shopping List
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 Resources Page for more tips and recipes for when it comes to monthly shopping from month’s past!
If you use these meal planners, I hope it helps make your planning a little easier, or at the very least, give you some new recipes. I will continue to share my monthly meal planners with you each month as I create them for my family. Also, if you have a good smoothie or dessert recipe please let me know. I am always looking for good recipes that are cost effective to keep the meal planning fun, delicious, and as new as I can.
Click the link below to download a copy of my Monthly Meal Planner for FREE!
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