Update: Weekly shopping lists are up! Happy Autumn! This is an updated October Menu – a full Trim Healthy Mama meal plan – and this one includes a bonus! I have a shopping list for the whole month included with the menu (you can click on the recipe names on the menu to see the recipes. They aren't underlined, so you'll have to hover over the recipe name with your mouse to see the recipe linked).
You can scroll down to the bottom of this post to get the menu and monthly shopping list, but please read the notes below first! As always, I'll post weekly shopping lists here every Friday if you're a once-a-week shopper instead of once-a-month.
Week 1 Shopping List: October Days 1-7 Shopping List
Week 2 Shopping List: October Days 8-14 Week 2 Shopping List
Week 3 Shopping List: October Days 15-22 Week 3 Shopping List
Week 4 Shopping List: October Days 23-31 Week 4 Shopping List
If your tastes are a little different, or if this menu doesn’t appeal to you, I have months and months of other menus available here.
After many requests, I went back to the way I used to do the menus – 31 meals that you can make when it fits your family. This makes it much more customizable to your eating habits and cooking style – just choose what you want, and go from there! This menu planning style goes really well with a Menu Board – you might want to try that out if you find you have food go bad before you can get to it or if you want to try a really efficient way to meal plan that takes very little time. I worked really hard to put together a clean, easy-to-read and follow menu and shopping list to make your shopping experience even better. I hope it works well for you!
You can get the full menu with the monthly printable shopping list by scrolling to the bottom of the post! But please read the notes, first – they explain how this menu works and answer questions you may have. They also give important tips about the recipes on the menu.
October Menu Notes:
- You'll notice the note “Double and Freeze” next to some recipes. That's because I utilized my favorite method of freezer cooking, which is to double or triple a recipe while I'm cooking it on a weeknight and freeze one or two portions while we eat the other for dinner. If you do this at least once a week you'll have a full freezer sooner than you think. This is why you'll see a few dinners repeated – we are always lower on time and money as the month goes on, so it's great to have these meals frozen and ready to go for later in the month. But just in case you are the once-a-month kind of person, I have several freezer cooking sessions you can use if you'd prefer to get it all done at once.
- If you’re interested in eating a healthy, frugal diet but you don’t know what the “S and E” letters next to the meal names are, don’t worry! Anyone can benefit from this healthy menu. Those letters are for the Trim Healthy Mama diet (which I highly recommend!), and if you’re interested, you can learn more about it in the Trim Healthy Mama book or with one of my free resources.
- MOST IMPORTANT if you follow Trim Healthy Mama: The clickable recipe links in the menu may not be THM-friendly as written. PLEASE make sure that you read the notes next to the recipe link that make each recipe THM-compliant.
- As always, this menu is gluten-free.
- Each week, I’ll put up a new post with the printable shopping lists. You can sign up in the white section at the top of this page to get updates so you don’t miss out!
- If there’s no clickable recipe link, that means it’s super simple and you can make it to your liking. If, for example, you don’t know how long to cook chicken thighs, you can just season them to your liking and cook them the way you normally do, or search for instructions online. But I try to include some instruction with each meal idea to make it simple. Lots of the breakfasts for this month are pretty easy, like scrambled eggs, and don’t include instructions.
- The shopping list for week one is for days 1-7, week 2 is days 8-14, etc. That way you can start your week depending on when you normally do your grocery shopping.
- As always, please note that my menu planning system includes repeating breakfasts, lunches, and snacks throughout the month for simplicity. That means there are lists of breakfasts, lunches, and a handful of snacks included on this menu. My kids and I enjoy the routine of knowing that on Monday we will be eating a certain thing for breakfast and a certain thing for lunch – it definitely saves time in the kitchen!
- Some of the dinners filled us up with just the entree alone, but it just might be us – feel free to add a side salad or round out your meals as desired.
- Remember that THM is SO ADAPTABLE! You may need to swap out E for S, or S for E, or switch things up during the week. Don’t be afraid to mix up your fuel types and keep your body guessing!
- This menu and the shopping lists that go with it feed my family of 7, but my oldest is 12. If you have bigger kids, or big eaters, you may want to add more protein, rice, and veggies to your shopping list. It doesn’t hurt the recipes to add an extra chicken breast or 1/2 lb of ground beef to make a meal stretch, and you can always add extra rice or veggies or salads as side dishes for the kids. When money’s tight, I’ll grab a bag of potatoes and give the kids a baked potato lunch when I’m eating a salad, or serve them as dinner sides that I avoid.
- If you have a smaller family you may want to make the meals as directed but freeze half (if it’s freezable), or just eat the leftovers for lunch.
- If you don't like one of the veggies listed, just swap it with something you like better that works for the plan.
- The Trim Healthy Pancakes recipe can be found in the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook on page 259.
- I multiply the “Just Like Campbell's Tomato Soup” lunch recipe x 6 to make enough for me and the kids. The correct ingredient amounts are on the weekly shopping list.
- For Day 3 – if you brown ALL of the ground beef, you can reserve and use the second half of the meat for a quick dinner on day 5.
- For Day 5 – Roast a spaghetti squash (instructions here), or (my favorite method) cook in an instant pot (instructions here); heat canned or jarred spaghetti sauce and stir in the cooked ground beef until heated through. Serve like spaghetti with meat sauce. If you aren't a fan of spaghetti squash, you could sub zucchini noodles or Dreamfields pasta (if you're not gluten-free).
- For Day 20 – When you double and freeze the Coconut Thai Chicken, please do not add the Not-Naughty or Shirataki Noodles before you freeze it. Save the package and add them when it's time to eat.
- For Day 22 – Use your family's favorite taco recipe, or try Taco Stack Ups.
It seems that it's way easier for you if I email the menu directly to you, instead of dealing with some of the download issues we've had in the past, so you can fill in the fields below and I'll send it right over!
Free October Menu
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