How to Meal Plan for a whole month

This year, I’m trying to meal plan a month in advance. I love meal planning, but find I often get stuck in a rut. Fajitas and pasta are my go-tos! So this year, I’ve created a template meal plan for a whole month, which I’m then using as the basis for my meal planning. I’m going to share my template with you to help you to meal plan for a whole month.

I’m also linking this post up to our brand new linky, The Meal Planning Linky with Katykicker and me, The Organised Life Project on Fridays.

Here’s how to meal plan for a whole month using a template

Firstly, I made a list of 28 meals that we generally enjoy. Here’s our list:

  1. Roast dinner
  2. Curry
  3. Pasta (cooked on stove)
  4. Baked pasta (cooked in oven)
  5. Mexican
  6. Baked potatoes
  7. Pie made with pastry
  8. Pie made with mashed potato (e.g shepherd’s pie)
  9. Salad
  10. Fishcakes
  11. Meat/fish with herb sauce and potatoes
  12. Pizza
  13. Chinese sauce and rice
  14. Thai sauce and rice
  15. Stir fry
  16. Traybake
  17. Burgers
  18. Stew/casserole
  19. Omelette/frittata
  20. Rice-based dish (e.g. paella)
  21. Baked fish and vegetables
  22. Chilli
  23. Soup
  24. Risotto
  25. Sausages
  26. Chicken with sauce
  27. Meze/Tapas
  28. Grill

Why use a template for meal planning?

Quite simply, I get bored! Here, I’ve got 28 dishes that are generally pretty varied – as long as there’s some planning. Yes, you could theoretically have an Indian curry, a Thai curry and a Chinese curry in one month (my husband wouldn’t complain). But without this, I’d forget about Thai food, or Indian food, and we’d end up with sweet chilli salmon, vegetables and noodles every week.

Meal planning like this also ensures we get a varied diet, but can eat seasonally. For example, one of my favourite recipes is Jamie Oliver’s Fish tray bake with salsa verde. It’s from the 30 minute meals book, but this is the closest I can find on his website: Roasted Salmon Traybake.

This would probably come under 11 (Meat/Fish with herb sauce and potatoes) or 16 (Traybake). However, I can vary the fish (Salmon, White Fish, Trout and Sea Bass would all work well), very the herbs in the sauce (Mint, Basil and Parsley in the Spring and Summer, Coriander for an Asian flavour, Tarragon or Thyme for something different), and vary the kinds of potatoes.

I should add that the template isn’t rigid! The order above is the order I’ve thought of things. I’d always shuffle things around so that we get variety, and so that I have easier meals on my workdays. Equally, if I really want to plan to have, for example, a roast dinner twice in a month, of course I can do that! The template is there to spark inspiration, rather than be a straightjacket.

How to use the monthly meal planning template

Firstly, I made a generic calendar – Monday to Sunday, 4 weeks. You can find it in my Resource Library. Then, working through, I popped the meal titles in. I chose quick and easy meals for my working days, and meals which work well in the slow cooker for days when I’m at home – I can prepare them easily while Samuel naps. I now have a template for every single month.

The best thing is, you can do this too. I’ve put a template in the Resource Library. You just need to pop your email into the pop up box – or in the box below – and you will get the password.

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How to meal plan for a whole month

How I’ve used the template for January

For me, January is a month of simple, warming food, after the excesses of Christmas. As many of us are keeping a closer eye on the pennies, it’s also a month of using up bits and pieces. We have a lot of Christmas cheese still in our fridge! So here are my meal plans for the month:

  1. Roast beef
  2. Cottage pie (using leftover beef)
  3. Spaghetti bolognese (also leftover beef)
  4. Chicken casserole (in the slow cooker)
  5. Chicken and Mushroom pie (use leftover chicken casserole as pie filling)
  6. Malaysian Sweet Potato curry (New recipe)
  7. Warm Tuna, green beans and potato salad
  8. Baked potatoes with cheesy bacon filling (Quick and easy on work night)
  9. Supermarket fishcake (Work night)
  10. Cajun chicken with sweet potatoes and sweetcorn salsa
  11. Marmite chicken ramen
  12. Pizza (Friday night)
  13. Thai prawn and coconut rice (New recipe)
  14. Pork chop, root veg and apple traybake
  15. Portobello mushroom burger (Quick and easy on a work night)
  16. Salmon with salsa verde and potato wedges (Work night)
  17. Stilton mac and cheese
  18. Sausage Potato Bake
  19. Frittata with bits and pieces from the fridge! (Work night)
  20. Prawn and chorizo paella
  21. Chilli with nachos
  22. French onion soup with leftover Christmas cheese (Work night)
  23. Baked fish (whatever is on offer) and vegetables (Work night)
  24. Butternut squash and bacon risotto
  25. Haggis with neeps and tatties (Burns night – although I’ll do sausages for the kids)
  26. Sweet orange chicken with broccoli
  27. Duck with Savoy Cabbage (This is a lovely recipe that I’d totally forgotten about.)
  28. Mediterranean Meze with flatbreads, olives etc.

Find more inspiration on Pinterest

I’ve actually got a whole Pinterest board dedicated to Winter Meal Ideas, so do pop over and follow me there. If you’ve enjoyed learning how to meal plan for a whole month, do Pin this post to your own Pinterest boards too.


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    • I think it’s more labour-intensive at first but it should make meal planning much quicker later on.

  • I’ve managed 21 family favourites but it’s nice to have some inspiration from someone else. I’ll be pinching a few ideas from your list so I can make sure we eat more varied meals from a bigger list! Thank you.

    • I think you’d get enough variety with 21 different meals, especially if you have a few leftovers and things. It definitely does help when you’re stuck in a rut though.

  • Love the monthly meal ideas. We’ve done something similar but mainly using themes like Mexican etc and making sure we have at least one veggie and one fish day. Out of curiosity, what do you do for lunch as I see a lot of meal plans only do dinner?