Stop Asking, “What’s For Diner?”

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After a long and tiring day at work, you rush home to be with your family. As you get in the door, the first words you hear are, “What’s for dinner? I’m starving!”

Dinner!?!?

No “I love you!”, or “I’m so glad you’re home.”

To make things worse, you have not even thought about diner. You walk into the kitchen and open the cupboards to reveal nothing but a couple cans of re-fried beans and a box of pasta. Then you go to your refrigerator and realize that you are out of milk, eggs and produce.

As you try to get your creative juices pumping to create a quick and tasty dish, you come to the realization that a ketchup over noodles with a side of beans is not going to fly with anyone. So out of desperation, you pick up the phone and order a couple of pizzas.

Sound Familiar?

This is exactly why The Monthly Lineup was started. The most dreaded phrase in our home was, “what’s for dinner?” Every night it was the same routine. Ask the question, rummage through the pantry or fridge and then realize nothing sounds good or anything appetizing would take way to long to make. Then to make things “better” we would once again cook up a box of Mac n Cheese and cut up a hot dog in it to make it more filling.

The MOnthly LineUp

Tired of this routine? Then you have come to the right place. Here at The Monthly Lineup you will find monthly meal plans to help you be prepared ahead of time with all of your ingredients as well as a calendar showing you exactly what you are eating that night.

How it works

We have prepared an entire month of meal plans that will be yours free, forever! Included with the meal plan is a complete shopping list of the ingredients that you will need to make all of the meals listed.

All you have to do visit https://themonthlylineup.com/, print out the shopping list, and do your monthly shopping trip.

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What are the benefits of meal planning?

Once we started meal planning, we noticed a few really big changes. First, dinner-time was not longer a dreaded time in our home. It went smoothly (as smooth as diner can go with little kids) and we knew what we were eating before 5:00 p.m. that night.

We also discovered that we had the ability to change our meal plan on the fly. If something else sounded better that night or fit our schedule better, we could swap the recipes because we already had the ingredients. This was a huge bonus. We were not constrained to only one option!

Third, we were amazed at how much money we were able to save by doing one monthly shopping trip. Prior to meal planning, we would try and get any relevant coupon we could to help save money. After monthly meal planning, we realized that we were going to the store more often when using coupons which resulted in us spending more money. After buying all of our ingredients,  we committed to staying out of the store the rest of the month (other than to buy more produce or perishable items) and very quickly we saw that we started saving over $100 a month on our food budget.

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Are the planned meals allergy friendly?

Ironically, we created the entire year worth of meal plans before discovering that our two boys were both lactose intolerant. After the first year, we had to completely start from scratch with different meals. Then we added in more allergies with our oldest girl and started all over again. It will be our goal to add allergy friendly meals in the future but for now the meal plan is generic. Contact us if you have questions about how to substitute ingredients to make foods allergy friendly.

Is The Monthly LineUp a subscription meal planning service?

No. The Monthly Lineup is not a full meal planning service. Everything included on the site is free to use and will remain free forever. That is our gift to you.

If you have tried out all of our recipes or if you are in need of specialized recipes, we highly recommend emeals. This is an amazing company that allows you to selct meal plans on a weekly basis. They have meal plans for all eating styles and give you access right through your email.

We would love to hear how The Monthly LineUp has saved you both time and money. Please leave a comment to the post or shoot us an email. Have a great day!

Saving Time, Saving Money,  Saving Dinner!

– The Monthly LineUp

Only One Shopping Trip????

Monthly Shopping Trip

If you have not done a monthly shopping trip before, it might sound like a pretty daunting task.

Don’t worry, it is nothing to sweat. Just take your monthly shopping list with you, grab a large cart, and start at one part of the store and work each aisle until you are done.

That’s It! – Okay it is a little more challenging than that, but the more you do it, the easier it will become.

 

How Long Does It Take?

On average, our trip takes about an hour from start to finish. That is if we don’t have all four kids with us running up and down the aisle and grabbing things off the shelves.  :/ If you have the chance to go by yourself, it can sure be nice. It is kind of like taking an hour-long vacation…….to the grocery store. 🙂

If you did not notice, each shopping list is split into categories and so are most grocery stores – They are so kind 🙂

Try to get everything you need from each aisle so you do not have to back-track. If you missed something, just swing back by and grab it when it is convenient. Checking off your shopping list sure helps keep track of what you still need.

**Warning – Doing a monthly shopping trip at a store you are not familiar with will take much longer than expected**

These pictures are from our shopping trip for this month. As you can see, there are more things than what you need for the meals. That is because we also buy our snacks (pretzels, gram crackers, raisins, tortilla chips, apples, etc), food for lunch and breakfast (Deli meat, almond milk, peanut butter, 5 dozen eggs) as well as other necessities for the month (Hygiene, diapers for two- ahh, cleaning supplies, and other household items.)

How much did it cost?

When we first started meal planning and had two children, we could do our entire month’s groceries under $100. Now, this month’s total trip was $207 (for what you see in the pictures). For a family of 6, that is not bad at all! To achieve this we do not buy drinks, junk food, or any other high-cost popular snacks. For many of you, that might be hard, so just do your best and we will be here to encourage you along the way!

There you have it! An entire month’s grocery shopping done and ready to be lined-up for meals throughout the month!

January’s Shopping Trip

June Meal Plan

Woohoo!!! This marks 1 full year of monthly meal plans on this blog! I hope they’ve been useful to you!


Sunday
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
1 Family
Dinner
2 3 Chicken Nuggets 4 Left Overs 5 Black Bean
Sweet Potato Burritos
Pot Roast (SC) 7 Left Overs
8 Family
Dinner
9 Lasagna Soup (SC) 10 Fried Rice 11 Left Overs 12 Creamy Chicken
Taquitos
13 Garlic & Parmesan
Chicken Pasta
14 Left Overs
15 Father’s Day!  16 Lime Chicken &
Broccoli Rice
17 Pizza Stuffed
Chicken
18 Left Overs 19 Cream Cheese
Chicken Chili (SC)
20 Potato Crusted
Veggie Ham Bake
21 Left Overs
22 Family
Dinner
23 Hawaiian
Haystacks
24 Spicy Chicken
Pizza Roll Up
25 Left Overs 26 Chicken Fajitas 27 Ranch Pasta Salad 28 Left Overs
29 Family
Dinner
30 Chili & Corn Bread        

May Meal Plan

This month my family is trying to eat less flour and sugar, so you’ll see a lot less pasta and recipes with bread on here. And I don’t know about where you live, but here in Arizona it is starting to get HOT, so I included several recipes for the slow cooker and the grill so you don’t have to heat up your kitchen. (You can use your oven if you really want.)

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
        1 Loaded Chicken
Potato Skillet 
2 Chips and
Cheese Chili 
3 Left Overs
4 Family
Dinner
5 Beef Tacos (SC)  6 Chicken and Wild
Rice Casserole
7 Left Overs 8 Taco Salad(leftover meat) 9 Pizza 10 Left Overs
11 Mother’s Day 12 Roasted
Veggie Enchiladas
13 Chicken 
White Beans
14 Left Overs 15 Broccoli
Cheddar Quiche
16 Chili 17 Left Overs
18 Family
Dinner
19 Beef Burritos
(leftover meat)
20 Lemon Chicken Skewers 21 Left Overs 22 Spinach Cheese 
Egg Souffle
23 SouthWestern
Chicken Packets
24 Left Overs
25 Family
Dinner
26 Hamburgers 27 Grilled Chicken 
Cordon Bleu
28 Left Overs 29 Garlic Chicken
Broccoli Pasta
30 Black Bean Burger 31 Left Overs
Here’s the May Shopping List
Don’t forget to download your printable calendar!
May Image

April Meal Plan

The post is below the calendar this time 🙂

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
    1 2 3 4 Chicken 
Spaghetti
5
6 7 Creamy Green
Chile Enchilada Soup (SC)
8 Egg & Bacon
 Wreath
9 Left Overs 10 Chicken Parmesan Manicotti 11 Sweet and Sour Chicken 12
13 14 Sour Cream Noodle Bake 15 Chicken Tortilla Stack 16 Left Overs 17 Pot Roast (SC) 18 BBQ Chicken
French bread Pizza
19
20 21 Chicken Pot Pie Crumble (SC) 22 Chicken & Cheese Quesadilla Pie 23 Left Overs 24 Creamy Spinach & Broccoli Lasagna 25 Easy Cheese Steak
Sandwiches
26
27 28 Tuna Casserole 29 Tamale Pie 30 Left Overs    
Here’s the April Shopping List

 It’s late. Again. Sorry guys! Life happens and it seems like it goes in spurts of 2 weeks super stressful, 2 weeks calm. And for some reason I never think to get ahead during the calm period. Maybe I’ll try that this time around 🙂

The quote below by President Uchtdorf, 2nd counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, keeps coming to mind. Click here to read the whole talk. It’s inspiring and uplifting.

So that is what I did. This past week when demands have been high, I’ve tried to slow down and see what matters most. It works wonders.

April Meal Plan

 

March Shopping List

Click Here for the March Meal Plan Calendar

  • 4 hamburger buns, split (I just use bread. It’s cheaper and I always have some on hand)
  • Eggs 5
  • bread, 12 slices of good quality
  • Caesar dressing about ¾ cup
  • chicken bouillon 8 tsp.
  • chicken broth 4 cans (or substitute chicken bouillon)
  • corn tortillas, 12
  • dried split peas, 1 lb
  • French bread 1 loaf
  • Garlic-herb croutons
  • Land O Lakes® Garlic & Herb Sauté Express® square 1(This is a roll-over ingredient from a couple of months ago)
  • Optional –  Almonds ¼ cup slivered
  • Pasta – 3 cups Penne Pasta
  • Pasta – 8 oz, Egg Noodles
  • pie shell (or make your own crust!) 1 9-inch
  • pizza dough  1 can or make your own
  • pizza sauce 1/2 to 3/4 cup (or make your own)

Canned Items

  • cream of chicken soup 2 cans
  • Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles 3 (10-oz) cans
  • evaporated fat-free milk (1½ cups) One 12- oz can
  • red enchilada sauce 1 10-ounce can
  • Tomato Sauce 1 can 15-oz, 1 8 oz can

Common Pantry Items

  • brown sugar
  • Cornstarch ¼ cup
  • flour
  • honey mustard ¼ c
  • Ketchup 1 cuo
  • mayonaise
  • mustard 2 teaspoon
  • Olive Oil 4 TBS
  • sugar
  • Vegetable oil 2 TBS
  • white rice 2 cups
  • white whole wheat flour 4 cups
  • Worcestershire sauce 2 tsb
  • Yeast ¾ TBS

Dairy

  • butter, 9 TBS (1 stick + 1 TBS)
  • Margarine 6 TBS
  • milk 1 ½  c
  • Small Curd Cottage Cheese 1-1/4 cup
  • Sour Cream 16 oz
  • Cheese
    • parmesan cheese, 1 +  cup
    • cheddar cheese, 4 cups shredded
    •  colby-monterey jack cheese, 1.5 cup shredded
    • mozzarella cheese, 12 oz

Deli

  • ham, 1 lb sliced
  • 12 slices of cheddar/swiss/provolone cheese

Meat

  • ham 2 lb. (perfect for left over ham!)
  • ground beef (at least 90% lean) – 2.25 pound
  • chicken breasts 17
  • ground round steak 2 lbs
  • Pepperoni – 4 oz
  • bacon, 6 slices

Produce

  • avocado, ½ (optional)
  • baby spinach leaves ½ cup
  • broccoli florets 11 ½ cups (fresh or frozen. Frozen lasts better throughout the month)
  • carrots 4 medium
  • chives 1 tsp or use onion powder
  • chopped cilantro (optional)
  • garlic, 10 cloves
  • Green Onions OR Onion Powder
  • limes 2
  • Mashed Potatoes (your choice, real or instant)
  • onion, 1 med (or use onion powder)
  • potatoes,  12 oz
  • romain lettuce 2 heads

Spices

  • Bay leaf 1
  • black pepper
  • dried parsley
  • dried rosemary
  • dried rosemary, crushed OR 1/4 tsp ground rosemary
  • dried thyme, crushed
  • garlic powder
  • garlic salt
  • Italian seasoning
  • marjoram
  • onion powder
  • onion salt
  • Paprika
  • poppyseeds, 1 tsp
  • smoked paprika (normal paprika is ok)

March’s Meal Plan

Ok this has been slow in coming but here is the March meal plan. Here is the shopping list that goes with all of these recipes! The optional Saturday meals should be up tomorrow!

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
    4 Sloppy Joes 5 Left Overs 6 Grilled Chicken
Caesar Salad
7 Lime, Chicken
Broccoli with Rice
8 Left Overs
9 10 Garlic Chicken Pizza  11 Sour Cream Bake 12 Left Overs 13 Ham & Potato
Chowder
14 Chicken Cheese
Strata
15 Left Overs
16 17 Ham & Broccoli Noodles 18 Swiss Cream Steak 19 Left Overs 20 Chicken Enchilada  Skillet 21 Savory Ham & Cheese Paninis 22 Left Overs
23 24 Split Pea Soup with Ham 25 Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli, Bacon and Rice 26 Left Overs 27 Savory Chicken Saute 28 Ham & Cheese Quiche 29 Left Overs
30 31 Pizza Pull
Apart Rolls
         
It has been a crazy month! It was my husband’s birthday, my toddler’s 3rd birthday, and my baby started crawling!! That same cute baby hasn’t been sleeping well at all and on average I’m up with him 3 times a night (sometimes 6!). I’m kind of going nuts.  My caramel business that I run with my mom has been booming! If you’re a caramel lover you’ve got to try some 🙂 I also have been taking piano lessons again as something for ME to help keep my sanity but try to fit in 1.5 hours of practicing a day…uh… sorry Jedda! It hasn’t been happening as much as it should! And then of course there is this blog!
I’ve heard some great feedback from some of you. THANK YOU!! It’s working for you! Yay!!! Do you find it’s making your life a little easier? Are you liking the meals? If you’ve made alterations to the recipes, I’d love to hear what you did so leave a comment on the recipe and tell everyone how you made it better.
If you have any questions or feedback, I’d love to hear from you!
Have a great month!
March Meal Plan