We all know how busy our family life gets this time of year as we celebrate with holiday parties, school activities and managing our holiday shopping lists. Keeping up with the day to day home activities can tend to seem overwhelming for some busy families. Wouldn’t you rather have fun baking those homemade Christmas cookies with your kids than doing those tasks like cleaning the house or doing the laundry?
Sometimes even trying to cook a weeknight dinner during the holidays can be stressful. Sometimes creating a meal plan can get overlooked. Too many families tend to rely on the convenience of pizza home delivery, fast food drive thrus or frozen unhealthy tv dinners.
Having a simple meal plan during the holidays can be a great timesaver for busy families! This month, I’m sharing with Noel’s Family Meals Premium Members how you can simply double your recipes for meals in the beginning of this month, so the second half of the month when your busy with familiy activities, all you have to do is thaw your meals, heat, and serve.
I’ve shared with you plenty about meal planning techniques and why you should meal plan– how I plan a month’s worth of meals by freezer cooking, how I write out my monthly meal plans, and how cooking in batches stocks my freezer by cutting my meal prepping in half. Plan now and you’ll be rewarded later by being able to spend that quality time with your family.
For the month of December, I’m incorporating all of these useful meal planning tools that I’ve been sharing with you. Those cozy winter meals can easily be doubled and frozen, so with a basic weekly meal plan, you can have your family’s dinners stocked for the fun-yet-hectic holiday season.
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This week’s task for our meal plan is to make a meal plan for December that incorporates batch and freezer cooking. Plan to cook more in the first half of the month so that you’re free to enjoy the season in the second half.
Our December Plan
Here is the start of the December meal plan. You’ll notice how the weekly meal plan has a different layout to it. I’m hoping this will make it a little easier for you. (Please feel free to leave feedback in the comments section below.)
**You’ll also notice how you will roast two whole chickens this week for future meals. If you don’t have a full chicken or chicken leftovers for Monday night’s meal, you can substitute by using boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Or substitute wih leftover turkey meat you put away in the freezer for later.
Monday, December 5 – white chicken chili
- task:use cooked cubed chicken; double the recipe and freeze the second
- additional day: Monday, December 21
- task:double the seasoned ground beef and freeze the second batch; make beans and freeze half
- additional day: Tuesday, December 22
Wednesday, December 7 — stir fry ( top ramen)
- task: roast a chicken, cube it, and freeze in one cup batches
- additional day: each Wednesday — December 14, 21, and 28
Thursday, December 8 — French market soup
- task:double the recipe and freeze the second batch
- additional day: Thursday, December 22 and 29
Friday, December 9 — homemade pizza and salad
- task: triple my pizza dough and sauce batches, and use it each Friday
- additional days: Friday, December 9, 16, 23 and 30
Saturday, December 10 — shepherd’s pie
- task:double the recipe and freeze the second
- additional day: Saturday, December 24
Sunday, December 11 – grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup
- task: double the soup recipe and freeze the second; roast a chicken, cube it, and freeze in one cup batches
- additional day: future day in January
I don’t want to overwhelm you this month so the plan for lunches this month is leftovers, sandwiches, quesadillas, salads or finger foods. For breakfast, plan to rotate between oatmeal, cold cereals, scones or muffins with fruit, pancakes, waffles, cinnamon rolls and granola. Recipes can be found on the Recipe Index page.
December Shopping List Week 1 and 3
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