Non Planner’s Guide to Menu Planning


Do you like the idea of planning a regular menu, but have difficulty with actually making plans or sticking with them? Check out this Non Planner’s Guide to Menu Planning over at I Heart Planners.

September Menu Plan Inspiration from Canadian Living

canadian living menu plan

I thought you all would enjoy this menu planning inspiration I found over at Canadian Living!

Canadian Living has created 22 Quick and Easy weeknight dinners to help carry you through dinner time in September!  Each weekly plan even includes a grocery list!

How easy will this make your menu planning?  I’m going to be using this as a guide, but I’ll have to swap out a couple of meals that won’t appeal to the majority of this household.

Free September 2014 Monthly Menu Planner


Download a free Monthly Meal Planner for the entire month of September!  Included in your download you will find all of this:

  • Meal Planner for September
  • Meal Planner Blanks
  • Meal Planner – Blank Week
  • Shopping Lessons for kids
  • Dessert Menu for September 2014
  • Dessert Calendar for September 2014
  • Select E.H.M. Recipes
  • Fill In the Blank Ingredients List – Entire Month
  • Fill in the Blank Ingredients List – Weekly
  • September 2014 Master Monthly Ingredients List
  • Blank Family Shopping List (Food, Sundries, you name it included)
  • Blank Costco Shopping List

Dishing the Deal – Southwestern Stuffed Peppers

This week, Walmart (West) has bags of peppers on sale for $2.00.  (Bags of 3 multicolored peppers)

I thought it would be a fun idea to feature this sale along with a recipe!

I’ve had the Southwestern Stuffed Peppers recipe (pictured above) pinned on Pinterest forever and I thought that would be a great meal to use up the peppers!  You could swap out the ground turkey for ground beef to make it a bit more cost effective.

Head on over to Simply Love Food for the Southwestern Stuffed Pepper recipe.

Menu Plan for the Week of November 11, 2013

delicious puffed wheat squares

Delicious Puffed Wheat Squares

This weekend, in between feeling sorry for myself because I’m sick, I spent a bit of time looking for supplies that I need for some projects that I have in mind.  Thing is, I couldn’t find half of the stuff I needed!  I like to be able to keep my shopping down to one or two stores, when I need crafty stuff, especially when I have a child in tow.  Alas, I’ll have to venture out again to find the remaining items for the projects that I hope will make an appearance on Simply Frugal in the nearish future!

Moving on…you came for the menu. :)

I found a couple of tasty looking recipes that I’m excited to try out this week!  One being a soup that uses tortellini, which is one of Sienna’s favs, so I know it will be a hit with at least one of us!  I’m sure if I add some garlic bread or something I can get my husband on board too!

Have you found any new recipes that you’re excited to try out this week?

Here’s our menu for the week:

French Beef Stew, mashed potatoes

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup, garlic buns

Chicken & Broccoli in the slow cooker, steamed veggies

Peanutty Asian Wraps

This salad will be for a couple of lunches this week, along with the usual leftovers we usually have: Pomegranate, Kale, and Wild Rice Salad.

What’s on your menu this week?

Menu for the Week of October 28, 2013


Delicious Bran Muffins

A while ago I signed up for a year’s worth of menu plans from The Fresh 20.  I don’t use it every week, but the week’s I do use the suggested meals, I’m impressed!  I have to substitute some of the ingredients for someone in our household who is “picky” (and it’s not the toddler!), but they have still tuned out wonderfully.  This week, I’m using a menu from The Fresh 20.  Unfortunately I can’t share the recipes, but I’m sure you could still get some ideas!

Chicken Cacciatore, mashed potatoes

Maple Soy Glazed Salmon (but we’ll have chicken instead), Mushroom & Kale Quinoa

Ham & Potato Galette, salad

Homestyle Chicken Soup

Tortellini with herb & garlic cream cheese  (not Fresh 20)

I want to know, what will you be eating this week?  Leave your menu in the comments!

Menu for the Week of October 21, 2013

easy oven smores

Delicious treat: Easy Oven S’mores

A friend and I were talking, and we decided we could definitely do well with hiring a cook.  While I do enjoy cooking, and especially baking, it would be wonderful to have someone take that task of my list!  Besides, food just tastes better when someone else makes it!

Since there’s no cook on the horizon, here’s what I’ll be making this week:

Chicken & Broccoli Pie

Leftover Lasagna

Honey Sesame Chicken, rice, steamed veggies

Grilled cheese sandwiches and Tomato Soup


I want to know, what will you be eating this week?  Leave your menu in the comments!

Menu Plan for the Week of October 15, 2013


DIY Vanilla Sugar

I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend!  We enjoyed lots of family time and a delicious turkey dinner that my Dad made!  The weather was also beautiful so we took a couple of nice walks.  Although we’re finishing today, we took the opportunity to start fixing our drafty front door.  I’m hoping this will help keep the heat more consistent (and give us a cheaper bill)!

Here’s what I have in mind this week:

Chicken Pot Pie

Tortellini with garlic & herb cream cheese sauce, steamed carrots, salad

Sloppy Joe Calzones (I make pizza dough for the wrapper instead)

Breakfast for Dinner (French Toast, bacon, smoothies)

Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup

What will you have cooking at your home this week?

Menu Plan Monday – Week of October 7, 2013


How to Stock your Pantry on a Budget

Here we are, back to a normal week.  No family visiting anymore, just back to normal.  Not sure if I’m glad or not!  Turns out I love shaking things up from our normal routine.  And of course, catching up with family we don’t see very often.

Here’s what I have in mind for the week:

I’ve been realizing that it’s important that I include leftovers as one of our dinners or else some food gets thrown out.  And that is not good for the grocery budget!

What’s on your menu this week?

Menu Plan Not Coming Together? Try These Tricks

Creating a menu plan will help your grocery dollars stretch.  But on days when you get stuck, here are some menu planning tricks to complete your plan.

As much as I sing the praises of menu planning, there are still times when I’m having a tough time putting together a good selection of meals.  Either I’m tired of planning meals or inspiration just doesn’t want to strike, even though there’s an endless amount of recipes to choose from out there.  Or maybe it’s the fact that I have to execute my plan by actually cooking and buying the groceries I need!

Regardless, I still have to make a menu plan to make my grocery dollars stretch.  But on days when I get stuck, here are the menu planning tricks I use to complete my plan:

Copy an old menu

I have notebooks full of old menu plans and blog posts dating back to 2009 with our menus.  So when I’m in a pinch, I just copy one of those.  Just goes to show, it never hurts to have a notebook especially for menu plans!

Copy someone else’s menu

There are a ton of websites out there that offer free weekly menu plans.  I quite often browse a few, then use a couple of recipes off of each one to create my plan for the week.  Here are some sites I enjoy checking:

Head to Pinterest

Pinterest makes everything seem so deliciously appealing.  So when nothing is sounding good to me, I head to Pinterest to drool, I mean choose a few recipes to try.

Use theme Nights

List five different themes then plug in meals to fit the themes.  Here’s an example:

  • Mexican night
  • Pasta night
  • Sandwich night
  • Soup night
  • Chicken/beef night

Walk away

When all else fails, I walk away for a while.  When I come back, the ideas usually start flowing again!

Do you ever struggle with planning? What are your menu planning tricks?