Meals for the Month - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 01-26-2003, 01:30 AM - Thread Starter
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A while ago, in some other thread, someone mentioned (as an aside) that she grocery shops only once a month. I thought maybe someone here could tell me -- How In The World Is That Possible?!? And how can I sign up? We are vegetarian, so we eat lots of fresh produce. We also drink a lot -- organic milk, juice, lemonade, things that need to be refrigerated, not sodas and powders that can be stored on a shelf. Even tips that would cut me back to twice a month, or that would have most everything taken care of with weekly "quick stops" for milk, bagels, etc.

For quite a while I have been wanting to make a monthly (or several month) menu plan (just so I don't have to think about it every blessed week), but I don't know where to start. My kids don't eat, they just complain about the food. My husband is rarely home at dinner time and eats everything leftover, and I could live on peanutbutter sandwiches and cold cereal. don't get me wrong, I do like food and I love to cook, but with three little ones and the circumstances mentioned above, the whole thing (planning, shopping, paying, lugging, preparing, throwing on the table always served with "whine," and cleaning up after, only to start again in a few hours) is just starting to get to me. Any ideas?
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#2 of 4 Old 02-21-2003, 05:46 PM
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I somehow carved out the time to do it "once and for all." I ended up with a monthly menu for three meals a day and snacks and planned weekly sessions to cook or chop foods so that everything was really easy to throw together with the kids. I shop once a week and have a set list for each week (corresponding to that week's menu). At the top is a list of bassics that I can leave on or cross out if we are well stocked.

It took quite a while to get the whole thing set up, but now the whole thing is on auto-pilot and it is GREAT. It really works. I used index cards cut into quarters so that I could move around and evenly space grains/veggies/styles so that it feels different every night and that we are getting the right nutrition. It really does take a lot of thought, but then the thinking is over and sometimes I feel like I hired a cook. It's that easy now...

Let me know if you need input on any of the logistics and I can go into greater detail on how I did it.
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#3 of 4 Old 02-21-2003, 11:50 PM
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Cassidy, I am in the same boat... most weeks I can plan ahead for a couple of meals at most, and I really want that to change.

Ackermama, your plan sounds great. Especially about getting the nutrition in. Even when I can make meals ahead of time the veggies always end up being just a salad on the side... boring.

I'd love to hear more about your system!
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#4 of 4 Old 02-22-2003, 12:41 AM
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I shop once a month for my husband since he eats meat and crap, it all stores well. I shop once every 1- 2 weeks for dd and I since we are vegan's and produce doesn't last long.

First thing I did was get Living Cookbook ( and I spend 1 day planning out our dinners by the month. Each dinner lasts 2 nights, and leftovers are frozen (thanks to my new Foodsaver!) for later meals or Weekends are a free-for-all, anyone can eat whatever they want. (I have a special cupboard set aside for "eat whatever you want" stuff. A seperate one for the ingredients for the monthly meals).

I shop mostly at Sam's (even for produce). I try very very hard to avoid grocery stores, the prices compared to bulk at Sam's is out of this world, and I cringe when I have to go to one because they don't have what I need at Sam's.

This coming month I'm really going to make use of the Crock Pot and thanks to my brand new handy-dandy Foodsaver I'm going to make bigger meals and save them. I only plan for dinners. My dd and I eat only raw fruit and veggies during the day then a cooked meal at night with hubby, so I don't need to plan breakfast/lunch, and I make hubby's lunch to take to work with him and its just lunchmeat.

I've been doing this for 3 months now. I was spending almost $800 a month for 3 of us (!!!!). This month I've spent $321. My goal is $240 a month, I really think I can do it!
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