Advice, Being a mama, Organize, Recipes

What you need to know about monthly meal planning

Last month I sat down and planned out our dinners for the entire month of January. It felt good to be THAT prepared early in the month. Planning that early also helped me prepare our grocery list.

The past few weeks have been a little different for my family. I’ve still been meal planning and preparing snacks, lunches, etc. but not as much as normal because I’ve had more time to cook. I have been going to the grocery store 3-4 times a week. Sometimes for one or two things and sometimes for a LOT of stuff that I thought I forgot.

Well, today I was sitting down to do my weekly meal planning and I realized … if I sit down and plan out everything – for the rest of the month – I can pre-plan grocery lists.


  • Avoid the grocery store 3-4 times a week
  • Save money!
  • Be prepared
  • Meal plan while everything is in front of me

So, when I was going through some of my favorite cook books (Meat Eater, Fixate, No Excuses Detox, Beachbody Blog, Venison Cookbook – to name a few) there were a ton of recipes I wanted to try but there is only so much time in the week. AND I know if I set out to make something different every single day that I will end up having leftovers and waste the food.

So, instead I decided to use my planner and meal plan the next two weeks. Including grocery lists. Being this organized with food is going to be a game changer for me. I think I will end up saving over $500 on our grocery bill. We spend a lot of money on food – because… we put a high value on our food – what we eat, the quality of the food we eat and we always cook our 3 meals a day.

Side note: We do normally go out to breakfast once a week and sometimes dinner once a week too. We also normally have dinner with our family once a week – either we cook or go to someone’s house.

So, you’ve gotten this far and you’re wondering probably – how did you do this, Emily?


  • got out my cookbooks that I know and love
  • had my planner right next to me
  • as I went through the cookbooks I wrote down 2-3 snacks, lunches and breakfasts for this week and next week
  • as I was going through I also wrote down a dinner a day for the days I knew we didn’t have plans yet
  • when I came across a meal that I don’t normally have ingredients for (like Fixate Granola or Venison Stew) I wrote down what I knew I’d need for the pantry or for the refrigerator

RESULT: 2 full weeks of 3 meals a day + 2 snacks and 2 weeks of grocery lists

If you have more questions – leave a comment below or ask me @emilyrose_parkins on IG or!

If you try out meal planning like this too – LET ME KNOW! I want to know what tips and tricks you come up with to help you save money + time too! You can use the hashtag #ERPmealprep !

Happy meal planning!


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