That One Mom’s October Menu Plan
Can you believe how fast this year is flying by? It’s October already and time for an October Menu Plan. Meal planning in October is focused on using what I have in the freezer, plus adding in a few extra veggies and trying a couple of new things. Does anyone else like to try new recipes or is that just me?!?
To be honest, soup and chili would suit me just fine for almost every meal in these fall months, but I think my husband would protest. I know my daughter would when she’s home for the weekends. Actually, she wouldn’t protest…she would just eat a peanut butter sandwich!
The October Meal Plan has a few items that I carried forward from September. I think I said this in my September Menu Plan post, but always be flexible with your menus and give yourself some grace.
October Menu Planning Tips:
- Plan your meals around what you already have to avoid overspending at the grocery store. (Take a food inventory.
- Give yourself at least one day a week for leftovers or simple meals like scrambled eggs and toast. Every meal doesn’t have to be a culinary experience!
- If you don’t make a meal on your previous month’s list, carry it forward. (Unless you decide no one is going to eat it. Then just scrap it altogether.)
- Make sure to account for the days you are going to be away from home or have plans. So many times I’ve planned for a meal and then realized I was going to be at the doctor’s office and not be home in time (or too tired) to cook.
- Try something new every now and then. I love to try new recipes and I love to tweak them to make them my own. Be a little adventurous!
October Menu Plan
Saturday/1: Dinner Out. This is a date night and Red Lobster is the destination. I know not everyone likes Red Lobster, but the Super Trooper (should I still call him that if he’s retired?) loves some all-you-can-eat shrimp. I’m after their Brussel Sprouts. I tried to recreate them at home, but it wasn’t the same.
Sunday/2: Breakfast Pizza, Almond Breakfast Pastry. Breakfast pizza actually makes a good supper and leftovers can be heated up the next day for breakfast!
Monday/3: Leftovers. I’m actually going to be out of town visiting Spizzie at college, but there are plenty of leftovers for the guys if they want them.
Tuesday/4: Chicken with Lemon Couscous, Roasted Butternut Squash. This is a simple recipe my mom used to make. Just some olive oil, lemon juice, and a little thyme and rosemary for the chicken. It’s great on the grill or in the oven. Serve it over couscous with a side of butternut squash.
Wednesday/5: Country Fried Steak, Mushroom Gravy, Mashed Potatoes. This is the closest recipe I can find to the way I made country fried steak the last couple of times, although I think I added a dash of garlic to the flour. Cutting the cube steak into strips makes it easier to eat and I also think it creates less waste. Sometimes a whole steak is too much, but cutting it into strips makes for less overeating! Also, I buy my mushroom gravy in a packet at Save a Lot. Just add water and boil and it tastes just like what the steak house that used to be in my hometown always served!
Thursday/6: Leftovers. Thursday night is leftover night at our house. Diner’s choice!
Friday/7: Ranch Pork Chops, Baked Potato, Salad. I’m going on a Girls’ Trip with my mom and sister so Super Trooper and Sunshine (if he’s home this weekend) are on their own. I keep leftovers and ready-made meals in the freezer for occasions like this.
Saturday/8: Scrounge around and Find Out. Again, the guys are on their own, so they scrounge around the kitchen for ingredients and cook what they want, heat up leftovers, or go out for dinner.
Sunday/9: Family dinner. (Sunday dinner at my mother-in-laws).
Monday/10: Saucy Baja Burgers, Elotes, Nacho Fries. We had to move the menu around in September, so we didn’t get to have these burgers. They are my absolute favorite, so it wouldn’t hurt my feelings to eat them every week!
Tuesday/11: Fish Tacos with Cilantro Sauce, Pineapple Slaw, Sazon Rice. Another September menu item that didn’t get used.
Wednesday/12: Grilled Chicken Panzanella Salad. I’m trying to add more recipes that have fresh veggies. Ignore the bread that’s in this salad!
Thursday/13: Leftovers. (Tip: Portion out leftovers and freeze them for a quick lunch later on.)
Friday/14: Pork Dumplings, Sesame Chicken, Fried Rice, Garlic Green Beans, Spare Ribs, and Hot & Sour Soup. There are a ton of pork dumpling recipes on Pinterest, but I’ll be honest…I’ll probably just buy them in the freezer section at Aldi if they have them! I buy the Hot & Sour soup mix at Kroger and add extra ingredients like beef broth, tofu, water chestnuts, vinegar (white or rice wine), and red pepper flakes.
Saturday/15: Pork loin with Jezebel Sauce, Spinach Salad, Homemade Crackers. Jezebel sauce is a southern sauce that is heavy on the horseradish. It’s a sweet sauce with a kick and it’s amazing on pork, although it works for chicken or fish, as well! Spinach salad was something my mom used to make all the time. Spinach, red onion, mushrooms, boiled eggs, bacon, and hot bacon dressing. There’s nothing bad to say about it!
Sunday/16: Family Dinner
Monday/17: BLTs, Tupelo Honey Fried Cauliflower, Ruby Tuesday Pasta Salad. If you ever have the chance to eat at a Tupelo Honey restaurant, I highly recommend the Fried Cauliflower. It has this hot honey sauce that you won’t soon forget!
Wednesday/19: Cream of Veggie Soup, Garlic Cheese Biscuits. If you’ve ever visited Dolly Parton’s Stampede (formerly known as Dixie Stampede) in Pigeon Forge, TN, then there’s a good chance you’ve had this soup. I’ve made it a few times and it’s pretty spot on. I do use salted butter instead of margarine and heavy cream instead of half and half.
Friday/21: Slow Cooker Roast Beef Po Boys, Cornbread Salad, Squash Fritters. Sometimes you just crave certain things and Cornbread Salad was one of those dishes that we had at family gatherings a lot. Now that I’m an adult, I don’t have to wait for a party and can eat it whenever I want. There’s just something about cornbread, bacon, and fresh tomatoes.
Saturday/22: Caprese Chicken pasta, Caesar salad. The Cheesy Caprese Dip from the Gunny Sack is one of our favorite appetizers and I’ve discovered that if you add a pound of roasted chicken (chopped or shredded) and a box of cooked penne pasta, it makes an equally fabulous dinner!
Sunday/23: Family Dinner
Monday/24: Fiery Cajun Shrimp, French bread, Salad. I’ve made this Paula Deen recipe multiple times and it never disappoints. Don’t skimp on the bread, because it is the perfect vehicle to sop up all that butter!
Tuesday/25: Hibachi Chicken and Rice with Veggies, Yum Yum Sauce. We ate a lot of Hibachi during the time that I was going back and forth for doctor visits and chemo treatments. There was a small restaurant that offered drive thru Hibachi during covid and it fit our criteria. It was filling, it was inexpensive, and it was open. We bought a Blackstone Grill and came up with our own recipe. I keep forgetting to share it, but I’ll do that soon!
Wednesday/26: Lemon Herb Chicken Orzo with Honey Mustard/Hot Bacon Dressing. This is a Half-Baked Harvest recipe that was on September’s menu, but didn’t get made. I’m never afraid to change up my menus, but I keep track of recipes I don’t use so that I can include them later!
Friday/28: Jaegersnchnitzel, Spatzle, German Potato Salad, Pumpernickel Bread, Sauerkraut Balls. I’ve wanted to try my hand at some German recipes since my husband visited years ago and talked about all the yummy foods he ate. It will be our own personal Oktoberfest!
Saturday/29: Grilled Steak, Campfire Veggies, Corn on the Cob. You can’t go wrong with a good steak and campfire veggies and homegrown corn from the freezer are the perfect accompaniments.
Sunday/30: Family Dinner
Monday/31: Pinto Beans, Cornbread, Fried Potatoes, Green Onions, and Chow Chow. The pinto beans are leftovers that I put in the freezer. We have a whole bucket of new (or baby, as my daughter calls them) potatoes from the garden that need to be used. I’ll just throw together some buttermilk cornbread and open a jar of chow chow and we’re set!
That’s it for the October Menu. If you saw September’s menu, you’ll notice that I carried a lot of recipes forward. I already have the November menu made, so if I skip anything this month that I really want to try or have ingredients for, I’ll carry it forward to December. Make sure to keep in mind the kinds of ingredients you already have while you’re planning your menus. For menu planning tips, check out 15 Meal Planning Tips for Beginners. And don’t forget to join the That One Mom mailing list to get access to the Subscriber Freebie Library where you can find this month’s menu plan printable!