How to Make a Meal Plan at the Start of Every Month?

Getting organized at the start of the month is one of the best ways to plan ahead and live peacefully. Planning your meals at the start of the month will help in cooking less and saving money. Most of us prefer fresh meals cooked to perfection day and night. But, it can become a mundane task for plenty of us to think about breakfast, lunch, and dinner on all days.

Creating a quick menu chart for the month will save lots of time in deciding what to buy and cook for the month. Every month you can design a simple meal planner by including the budget, seasonal produce, shopping list, and menu for the month to simplify your life.  

Here’s my simple monthly meal planner for the month of November 2021,

Meal Planner Idea for November 2021

When you are planning your meals at the start of the month, try to fix the budget first and browse online shopping sites for coupons and discounts. You can include items on your shopping list and cook recipes to save both money and time. If you love grocery shopping at a physical store, you can still follow this method and add on the discounted products to make some changes later to the menu.

Monthly Meal Planner
Monthly Meal Planner

Budget

For a month, my budget for preparing meals for two is 7500 ($100). You can adjust the budget based on the rates of your city and household members. Try to fix a specific budget first to avoid overspending on groceries. This little tip will help you stick to a budget and a meal planner easily.

Grocery – Rs. 3500

Produce – Rs. 4000

Grocery includes staples such as whole grains, flour, oil, legumes, nuts, and spices.

Produce includes wet items such as vegetables, fruits, dairy, meat, and plant-based proteins.

I will be spending just $100 a month on both staples and produce for two members.

Seasonal Produce

Hit your favorite supermarket to shop for seasonal produce at discount rates. November is the start of winter in many parts of the world. You can shop for these vegetables and fruits online or at a physical store.

Vegetables – Grab brightly-colored veggies such as pumpkin, beetroot, radish, brinjal, spinach, and sweet potato.

Fruits- You can lay your hands on delicious apples, avocados, sweet limes, oranges, guavas, custard apples, pomegranates, papayas, kiwis, and figs.

Shopping List

You can shop for groceries for the month in bulk at the start of the month. Every week you can shop for alternate wet produce with a budget of 1000 rupees. These include,  

Sample Shopping List for a Week

10 vegetables – onion, tomato, green chili, ginger, and garlic (OTGGG) along with seasonal ones such as pumpkin, brinjal, beets, sweet potatoes, and spinach.

3 fruits – Apple, Guava and Sweet Lime (Bananas are staples)

Dairy (2) – Milk and Yogurt (other options are flavored yogurt, paneer, tofu, and lassi)

Meat (2)- Chicken/ Fish, Mutton/Keema, Eggs/ Prawn, Fish/ Crab

Legumes (2) – Chickpeas and mung beans (other options are kidney beans, rajma, black urad dal, white beans, moth beans, green peas)

Staples – Bread, oats, and Idli batter 

Menu for the Month

30 lunch and 20 tiffin recipes for the month of November 2021,

November 2021 Menu Idea
Monthly Lunch Menu Ideas

You can repeat the recipes for alternative weeks to create a rotating menu. This menu is a sample for buying and cooking with seasonal produce on a budget. When you include plenty of seasonal vegetables and fruits in your meal plan, it becomes economical and healthier for your family.

Monthly Breakfast Menu Idea
Monthly Breakfast/Dinner Menu Ideas

Try creating a simple meal plan for the month by following this sample!

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