Planning A Monthly Menu

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Please take this post for what it is intended – ideas to modify for your particular situation.  I don’t expect that everybody who reads this all over the world is able to purchase the items needed for the same prices.

Planning a monthly menu might sound a bit daunting – but really, once you give it a try you’ll have the basis for a much easier life in the kitchen!

To get started you’ll need a few sheets of paper to write down your meal plan.

OK, simply make a list of all the meals that you know your family likes to eat. Then to that list add more meals that are cheap and easy to prepare, meals you know you’ll be able to cook. Make sure you include meals that you can have more than once, that way when you cook them you can freeze half for later on in the month or next month.

Here’s an example list of 32 meals for a family of 4 (If you think I’m a bit stingy on the meat then simply add a little more and factor that in with the total cost)

Chicken yellow curry and rice
Chicken and vegetable soup with toasties
Baked Chicken Thighs and baked vegetables
Chicken pies
Roast Chicken and baked vegetables
Chicken rissoles and vegetables
Chicken Schnitzels and vegetables
Chicken Fajitas
Chicken Wraps
Chicken Stir Fry and rice
Sticky Chicken wings and rice
Chicken sausage curry and rice
Chicken sausages and vegetables

Tacos with beef mince
Hamburgers and chips
Meatballs and spaghetti
Meatloaf and vegetables
Beef casserole and cous cous
Beef kebabs and rice
Beef kofta and salad
Beef Stroganoff with vegetables
Beef stir fry and rice
Beef pasties and salad
Meatballs in gravy and vegetables
Shepherds pie
Lamb Skewers and vegetables
Lamb curry and cous cous

Minestrone and bread
Fish pie and salad
Baked fish and vegetables
Salmon patties and salad
Macaroni cheese and salad


 

Now we need to figure out what we need for each meal.

Chicken yellow curry and rice – 3 chicken thighs, yellow curry paste, rice, potatoes, onion
Chicken and vegetable soup with toasties – left over roast chicken (make stock), onion, celery, carrot and noodles. Cheese toasties.
Baked Chicken Thighs and baked vegetables – 4 chicken thighs, carrot, potato, pumpkin, beans
Chicken pies – 2 chicken breasts, carrot, celery, potato, onion, pastry, chicken stock and cornflour, dried herbs of choice
Roast Chicken and baked vegetables – whole extra large chicken, potato, carrot, pumpkin, celery, onion. If stuffing you’ll need dried herbs, egg, fresh bread crumbs, onion
Chicken rissoles and vegetables – 300gms chicken mince, onion, dried herbs, egg, breadcrumbs, soy sauce. Beans, carrot and potato
Chicken Schnitzels and vegetables – 2 chicken breasts (halved lengthways and flattened) flour, egg, breadcrumbs. Beans, carrot and potato and pumpkin
Chicken Fajitas – 2 chicken thighs, onion, tortillas, fajita mix, lettuce, cheese, tomato
Chicken Wraps – 2 chicken thighs, tortillas, soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic, lettuce, cheese, tomato
Chicken Stir Fry and rice – 2 chicken thighs, soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, onion, capsicum, beans, rice
Sticky Chicken wings and rice – 2 kg chicken wings, soy sauce, honey, garlic, BBQ sauce, rice
Chicken sausage curry and rice – 5 chicken sausages, yellow curry paste, onion, potato, carrot, rice
Chicken sausages and vegetables – 6 – 8 chicken sausages,  potato, carrot, beans, gravy mix

Tacos with beef mince – tortillas, 250 gms beef mince, onion, taco mix, taco sauce, lettuce, tomato, cheese
Hamburgers and chips – hamburger buns, 250gms beef mince, onion, BBQ sauce, soy sauce, dried herbs, bacon, eggs, lettuce, beetroot, tomato, cheese. Potatoes for chips.
Meatballs and spaghetti – 250 gms beef mince, onion, carrot, BBQ sauce, soy sauce, dried herbs, bacon, eggs, breadcrumbs, tomato pasta sauce, spaghetti
Meatloaf and vegetables – 500 gms beef mince, breadcrumbs, egg, bacon, onion, BBQ sauce, soy sauce, tomato sauce, potato, beans, gravy
Beef casserole and couscous – 1/2 rump steak, potato, onion, carrot, zucchini, beef stock, dried herbs, red wine (optional) tomato paste or sauce
Beef kebabs and rice – 1/2 rump steak, onion, zucchini, capsicum, garlic, soy sauce, lemon juice, rice
Beef kofta and salad – 250 gms beef mince, breadcrumbs, egg, dried herbs, onion, lettuce, tomato, cucumber
Beef Stroganoff with pasta – 1/2 rump steak, onion, mushrooms, flour, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, beef stock, pasta
Beef stir fry and rice – 1/2 rump steak, garlic, soy sauce, ginger, lemon juice, capsicum, onion, beans, carrot, rice
Beef pasties and salad  – 250gms beef mince, onion, carrot, potato, Worcestershire sauce, beef stock, gravy mix, dried herbs, lettuce, tomato, capsicum, cucumber
Meatballs in gravy and vegetables – 250 gms beef mince, bacon, onion, dried herbs, egg, breadcrumbs, BBQ sauce, gravy mix, potato, beans, carrots
Shepherds pie and vegetables – 250 gms beef mince, bacon, onion, dried herbs,Worcestershire sauce, beef stock, gravy mix, potato, beans, carrots
Lamb Skewers and vegetables – 1/2 packet lamb steaks, onion, capsicum, zucchini, potato, pumpkin
Lamb curry and couscous – 1/2 packet lamb steaks, onion, potato, zucchini, curry powder, chicken stock, flour, dried or fresh rosemary, couscous

Minestrone and bread – onion, carrot, celery, beef stock, bacon (optional), canned tomatoes, macaroni pasta, cannelloni beans, zucchini, garlic, turkish bread
Fish pie and salad – 4 white fish, prawns (optional), parsley, flour, milk, butter, onion, capers, lemon juice, peas, boiled eggs
Baked fish and vegetables – 4 white fish, onion, dried herbs, beans, carrots, peas, potato
Salmon patties and salad – tinned salmon, onion, parsley, egg, mashed cold potato, lettuce, cucumber, tomato
Macaroni cheese and salad – macaroni pasta, cheese, flour, butter, milk, parsley, bacon, onion, lettuce, cucumber, tomato

 


 

The next step is to work out the shopping list.

13 chicken thighs
4 chicken breasts
1 kg chicken mince
2 kg chicken wings
12 chicken sausages
1 whole large chicken
2 kg beef mince
2 pieces of rump steak
600gms lamb steaks
Packet white frozen fish
1 kg bacon
1 tin pink salmon
500gm macaroni (for minestrone and macaroni cheese)
BBQ sauce
Soy sauce
Honey
Dried herbs
Frozen beans and peas
Turkish bread – soups and perhaps hamburgers
Tortillas
Jar minced garlic
Jar yellow curry paste
Curry powder
Couscous
Sour cream
Tinned champignons
Breadcrumbs
Pastry
Canned tomatoes
Cannelloni beans
Worcestershire sauce
Rice
Noodles
Dried rosemary
Flour
Cornflour
Butter
Milk
Eggs
Lemon Juice
Capers
Minced ginger
Beef stock
Tinned beetroot
Chicken stock (if you haven’t made it)
Gravy mix
Taco mix – mix your own
Fajita mix – mix your own
Cheese

All the products above cost me $253.76 online at Woolworths +$3 delivery – (I could have bought more but for this exercise I stuck to the list precisely.)
The products below cost me $16.70 at the markets

A grand total of $270.46 so far. That leaves $229.54 for extra meat portions if you like, cereals, breads, milk, eggs, lunch fillings etc for the remainder of the month if I was trying to stick to the $500 a month to feed a family of four. Not bad considering all your main meals are taken care of and they are nutritious and tasty. All it takes is a bit of planning and you’ll soon have your very own monthly menus down pat! I know you could get this price down further and that’s something you can work on for next months menu 🙂

Lettuce
Tomatoes
Onions
Potatoes
Capsicum
Cucumber
Pumpkin
Celery
Parsley

 


 

 

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