A Wife Loved Like The Church

Monthly Menu Planning for the Lazy Cook

Posted on: January 3, 2011

The idea of a monthly menu makes me giddy with excitement at not being forced to cook every day. To have that bewitching hour, in which my kids always go a little crazy, free to spend time with them instead of cooking. But honestly, the thought of cooking for a day {or two, or even three} makes me less than enthusiastic to try monthly meal planning.

When I was 8 months pregnant with Julia, my mom, Jonathan and I spent an entire day cooking meals to freeze for after Julia was born. By the end of the day, I felt, well like I had spent all day on my feet at 8 months pregnant. And I thought, “Never again”. So, couple that with my nervousness of spending a day cooking with two small children with no back up and you can see why I’ve never attempted it.

Until now.

I found a once a month cook book at Marshall’s. I flipped through it and realized how incredibly easy their menu planning was. And since the book was only $2.99 I figured I had little to loose. The meals I choose were very, very, very simple. Taking chicken, stuffing it in a freezer bag with some oils, juices, spices, ect., and freezing it. Then on the day you plan to use the meal, you take out the chicken, thaw, then bake. I made 8 meals in less than 30 minutes. Seriously. 30 minutes.

I found some amazing deals on meat at my world’s favorite store, HEB. In addition to the meals I made myself, I also scored awesome deals on prepackaged meats. HEB sells prepackaged fajita meats, along with other flavored chicken. They do “quick sales” in an attempt to get nearly expired meat out. It’s totally find, if you use/freeze it within the next day.

Sorry for the bad photo quality! If you can't see it, the meat was originally $6.09 and I got it for $2.43!

I also got some great deals on meatballs {buy the meatballs on sale, get free spaghetti sauce}. By the end, I had my entire month’s meals. I don’t know exactly what I spent on just the meals, since I bought our regular supply of milk, eggs, etc. In total, my bill was $145. Which is wonderful, since it covered all of January’s meals!

Here’s a look at some of the month’s menu:

Beef Stew


Lemon Chicken

Addictive Sweet Potatoes {I made a large batch of potatoes and bean and froze them in separate bags}


There are several other meals, but that’s just a quick overview. I have the schedule made out that we have a certain dish once every other week. I incorporated a one fish and one vegetarian meal a week, because that’s something our family typically strives towards.

Have you ever tried once a month cooking? What did you think?

8 Responses to "Monthly Menu Planning for the Lazy Cook"

Our brains are on the same wavelength today! 😀 I just posted my monthly meal plan…which includes several “throw-meat-in-a-bag-with-sauce-and-freeze” meals! 😀

Bravo! Monthly meal planning intimidates me too, plus I don’t have much (any) freezer space. I’d love to know the name/author of the book you found!

Wow that’s impressive, and I really really really miss that fajita meat from good ole HEB!

I was trying to make our weekly meal plan on Saturday and got all excited then thought, “why haven’t I been doing this more?” and remembered our newest family member who sometimes makes even cooking pasta seem impossible. But, we’re definitely getting there. Thanks for the suggestion of meat in a bag plus spices-brilliant!

Enjoy your newfound evening free time.

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sarah Windham, Sarah Windham. Sarah Windham said: Monthly menu planning for the lazy cook: http://bit.ly/f8nbE7 #fb […]

I can’t wait for this months meals! You’re doing such a great job researching and finding easy ways to server our family. I do have one confession, maybe not suited for your public blog. But since it’s on the top of my mind, I wanted to share. The sweet potatoes aren’t all that addictive. Actually, they’re acting more like lentils everyday. I love you! It’s not you, it’s me! Actually it’s the sweet potatoes. Please don’t be mad that I hate sweet potatoes. Maybe we can thaw them from the freezer and put them in those nice lunch bags that the church gave us. 🙂 I love you!

NO!!! Say it ain’t so. Say it ain’t so. Ok, I’ll just have them during lunch, ok?

Perfect! This is why I love you! You understand.

Oh my goodness! $145 for a MONTH’s worth of food?? That’s incredible! Our bill is usually closer to $250/month and that’s feeding three adults (no kiddos). I’m always trying to figure out ways to cut down the bill. If you have time, I’d love to hear more details on this monthly planning thing!

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