October Monthly Meal Plan

With all the chagim and crazy cooking schedules of last month, October is going to be about getting back to basics. Would you believe we have no chag or Shabbat leftovers? We had a pot-luck left-overs meal on Shabbat afternoon and cleaned out our fridge. While not having any leftover meals is a bit of a bummer, the clean fridge is like a clean slate, which I like!

In an effort to curb our food spending and make sure we don’t overspend our $400 budget, we are planning to eat all vegetarian, almost all the time. The meat you see planned for Shabbat is from our freezer and a split order of roaster chickens from the Kansas City Kosher Co-Op (Order deadline: Today!).

Sunday, October 3: Spaghetti squash with chickpea & cauliflower curry

Monday, October 4: Potato and kale gratin with green salad

Tuesday, October 5: Bean & cheese burritos (triple the recipe and freeze the extra for quick-and-easy lunches) with rice and avocado salsa

Wednesday, October 6: Tuna casserole (what can I say? The kids love it, so we eat it a lot. This month I’m trying a freezer recipe experiment.)

Thursday, October 7: Pizza nite & veggie sticks

Friday, October 8: Cheesy cauliflower soup and vegetarian taco salad (this is a fall favorite for family-only Shabbat dinner, as odd as it might sound)

Saturday, October 9 (birthday lunch for my 5 year old, so these are all his choices): Salmon, roasted potatoes, carrot muffins, sliced cucumbers, cake & ice cream

Sunday, October 10: Baked ziti with broccoli, green salad

Monday, October 11: Crustless spinach quiche with quinoa pilaf

Tuesday, October 12: Hearty lentil soup, green salad, crusty bread

Wednesday, October 13: Homemade macaroni-and-cheese, steamed veggies

Thursday, October 14: Pizza night, veggies sticks

Friday, October 15: Carrot soup, spaghetti and meatballs, steamed broccoli

Saturday, October 16 (Shabbat lunch): Rotisserie chicken, p’titim (like orzo, but little balls rather than rice shaped), sauteed vegetables, apple and pumpkin muffins

Sunday, October 17: Baked cauliflower & tofu over quinoa pilaf

Monday, October 18: Crustless broccoli quiche with stir-fried “rice” (from left-over quinoa pilaf the night before)

Tuesday, October 19: Sweet potato and black bean burritos (triple the recipe and freeze the extra for quick-and-easy lunches), rice, avocado salsa

Wednesday, October 20: Tuna casserole, green salad

Thursday, October 21: Pizza night, veggie sticks

Friday, October 22: Falafal night – I’m going to try my hand at making my own pitas

Saturday, October 23: BBQ beef with homemade buns, garlic mashed potatoes, cole slaw and steamed veggies

Sunday, October 24: Spaghetti “pie”, steamed broccoli

Monday, October 25: Crustless spinach quiche, quinoa stuffed peppers

Tuesday, October 26: Black bean soup, crusty bread, green salad

Wednesday, October 27: Homemade mac-and-cheese, roasted veggies

Thursday, October 28: Pizza night, veggie sticks

Friday, October 29: Meat lasagna, steamed brocooli

Saturday, October 30: Cholent (first of the season!), Moroccan carrot salad, avocado and jicama salad with Thai dressing (recipe from Oceans of Joy), and red cabbage salad

Sunday, October 31: Cauliflower and tofu bake over quinoa pilaf

So, what’s on your menu for the night, week or month? If you’re looking for inspiration, check out Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday. And if you want to read about why I try to plan a whole month in advance, check out my How Monthly Menu Planning Saves Me Money post!


  1. Leigh Ann (the Frugal Ima) says

    1. I totally admire you for planning an entire month in advance.
    2. I mmust have your recipe for caulflower and chickpea curry.
    3. My dirty little secret: my recipe for pierogies? “Frozen.”
    4. To comment on my blog, I *think* you click on where it says “0 comments.” Then it lets you choose a profile, (and I think you can use your wordpress profile) which should link your name to your site.

    Happy October!

    • 1. Don’t admire me too much. Tonight was a total fail. Didn’t get home from Target ’til after 4, so scraped the gratin and made bourekas with mushroom sauce from the freezer. Day 2 of the monthly plan and I’m already deviating!

      2. Using the term “recipe” loosely, I sauteed two onions. When clear, I added in spices: coriander, cumin, red curry, and Garam Masala (measurements? a good shaking – more coriander and cumin than curry and GM). Sweated it all a bit, then added cauliflower, cooked a bit more, then added 1 very large can of chicken peas (25 ounces?). Put in one can of tomato paste, a healthy glug of 1/2 and 1/2 (you could use something less fattening) and mixed it all up good. It seemed dry, so I added about 1 cup of stock (pareve chicken soup mix). It was DELIC. All three kids ate (well, N ate like 1/2 a bite, but that’s about all she ever eats).

  2. gladys teitel says

    hey there mara- thank u SOOO much for continuing to inspire me! i read your blog all the time and i find it to be so insightful and helpful. the meal plan is so amazing- do you have all the ingredients for these meals at home already? or are you planning to cook these food based on what is on sale? greg and i are working, alebit very slowly, on implementing the steps we talked about when you were here in stamford. how are you and your beautiful family doing? we think/speak of you guys often- and how happy we were to meet you. looking forward to seeing you again, hopefully not before too long!!!

    • Gladys, I’m so happy to hear from you. Thanks for commenting and for your kind words!

      Slow, baby steps are great progress! I know you guys can do it!

      I hope we’ll be back out east soon as well. Now that we know the kids can tolerate the drive, we’ll be doing it more often!

      As for our menu plan, I’d say I have about a quarter of the ingredients on hand, in my pantry or stockpile (loads of quinoa, for example) and the rest I have to buy. Planning monthly means I can’t always take advantage of the best weekly deals, but I do “shop the circulars” for my produce and dairy. And then I try to do a bit shop (or three) the first week of the month to get most of the non-perishable staples. I’ve hit two stores so far and still have to go to Costco. HTH!

  3. Mmmmm! Falafel sounds delicious. Maybe I’ll give it a try soon.

    Come on over and visit over at Free 2 Be Frugal to check out my menu plan.

  4. I’ve made my own pitas a few times with pretty good sucess. If you don’t already have a recipe your committed too, check out the one on http://www.smittenkitchen.com. I used her recipe and was really happy with the results.

    • Perfect, thanks Danielle for the recommendation. I’ve recently had a few things from her blog, all of which were great (including her honey cake!).

  5. I am sooooooo psyched for Friday night. Cheesy cauliflower soup and vegetarian taco salad!!!

    My Favorite.
    (Really. No sarcasm)

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