So I’ve been a bit lazy with my meal planning over the last few months. I used to be great about choosing all the dinners for the month, doing a big grocery trip, and then I’d only have maybe two maintenance store trips later in the month. But for some reason, I just got uninspired to cook and slacked off.
I like using the The Fresh 20 dinner plan that I wrote about a while back. But I don’t like to be forced to make a grocery trip every weekend. I’ve used Dream Dinners and like the meals I make. However the problem is that I’ll spend $200+ on several dinners, but we won’t have any leftovers for lunch. And since Bryan doesn’t buy lunch out, the leftovers are his go-to meal. And since I work at home, if there are no leftovers or salad fixings for lunch, I’m outta luck!
It really hit me that my approach was not working when I added up how much money we spent on groceries over the last few months. I justified it slightly, reasoning that we only ate dinner out once in September. I’m proud of that fact, but I know I can do better with the grocery total if I went back to planning a month’s worth of meals.
So to help me do better with October dinners, I decided to go through my recipe binders, Pinterest cooking boards, this blog, and cookbooks, and write down every dinner we’ll have in October. Then I made my grocery list and headed to Trader Joe’s. Surprisingly I didn’t spend nearly as much as I expected on that grocery trip either.
Several of the recipes I selected for October are from the book 365 Slow Cooker Suppers by Stephanie O’Dea. I’ve been following her blog for a while now since the crockpot is probably my favorite cooking tool. I love being able to cook a lot of food without a lot of work, and have plenty of leftovers.
Here are the meals I’m making this month. I noted the ones from 365 Slow Cooker Suppers.
- Weeknight Bolognese
- Tamale Pie Casserole
- Tomato Basil Soup
- Chili with Cornbread
- Pulled Pork Tacos
- Penne a la Vodka (Don’t have a link for this one — will share it when I make it)
- Chicken Chili with Cream Cheese
- Saucepan Spaghetti
- Toscana Soup
- Lemon Chicken Pitas
- Potato Cauliflower Soup (365 Slow Cooker Suppers)
- Chicken and Dumplings (365 Slow Cooker Suppers)
- Mushroom Beef Stew (365 Slow Cooker Suppers)
- BLT Chicken (365 Slow Cooker Suppers)
- Sticky Chicken (365 Slow Cooker Suppers)
- Korean Beef Tacos (365 Slow Cooker Suppers)
Do you plan your meals out for weeks or a month at a time? What are your favorite recipes?
Other Posts You May Like:
- What’s For Dinner?
- Need Fresh Dinner Ideas? No Problem!
- A Year in Cooking
- Once a Month Cooking Update
DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of 365 Slow Cooker Suppers to review. The love of crockpots, slow cooking, and the dinners are all mine!