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How do I plan meals?

I hear it saves on money. Is this true? Do you have any tips or methods you use? Do you also plan breakfast? Can you give me a sample plan of what you are having this week (or this weekend, to keep it short)?


Asked by serioussifL at 7:55 AM on Aug. 27, 2010 in Food & Drink

Level 18 (5,379 Credits)
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Answers (11)
  • Example:

    Monday: French Toast and Bacon. Turkey Sub and Chips. Speghetti w/Meatballs and Garlic Bread.
    Tuesday: Eggs, Waffles, and Sausage. Cold Pasta Salad. Jumbalya with Kilbasa.

    That's an example of a two day meal plan. Just choose three meals for everyday and write it out on a piece of paper. Then when you go grocery shopping only buy the ingredients for those meals. Yes, it does save money.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 11:43 AM on Aug. 27, 2010

  • I plan meals and find it saves me $100 - $150 a month. I don't plan around sales because I tend to shop for store brand items at discount stores like Save A Lot.
    I've made a list of meals that my family likes and make sure I try a couple of new recipes each month so I can build that list. I take inventory of what's in my freezer. Then I sit down with those lists and see what I can make using what I have on hand and adding to that with other ideas that I know I can fit into my budget. I plan a variety of meals then write them down on the calendar so that we're not eating chicken for 3 nights in a row or pasta for more than 2 nights in a row. Then I make a list for the store and calculate what it'll cost me. I keep a price comparison spreadsheet so I know pretty much what groceries will cost me. I adjust the list if I need to.

    Answer by michiganmom116 at 10:13 AM on Aug. 27, 2010

  • Here's this week's menu for us. I feed 7 people regularly and up to 4 extra kids during the day:
    Breakfasts: eggs, chunky monkey pancakes, blueberry waffles, oatmeal, vanilla yogurt with fruit
    Lunches: pigs in a blanket, tuna patties, tuna sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches, pb & banana sandwiches, leftovers
    Dinners, in order: Wild rice/beef casserole in the crock pot, tossed salad; parmesan chicken over spaghetti, garlic bread made from homemade Italian bread, salad; wet burritos, corn & tomato salad, pears; chicken jambalaya; copycat manwich on homemade buns, steamed peas & carrots; roast chicken, stuffing, corn pudding; beef roast, potatoes, carrots
    Desserts: marbled cheesecake brownies, maraschino cherry cake
    Snacks: fresh fruit, s'mores (ha, DD says it's a snack), peanut butter popcorn, lemon muffins, hard boiled eggs, homemade granola bars

    Answer by michiganmom116 at 10:20 AM on Aug. 27, 2010

  • it saves on money because you can buy what's on sale and what's inseason. you have less waste and a lesser chance of impulsively going out to dinner somewhere.
    Mostly I go through the wednesday sale paper and buy meats and produce at the grocery stores on sale.
    One day a week I go to walmart and buy generics like pastas, rice, boxed goods, oatmeals and some seasonings
    We have a farmers co op so i buy things like cornmeal and flour in bulk, and potatoes and sugar by the 50lb bag.
    and then i kinda just make up dishes, like meatloafs or casseroles, or rice dishes.
    the meals are always from scratch and homemade, and simple. We can feed a family of 5 for about 6-7 dollars for dinner.
    Check out the taste of home website for frugal recipes and Tawra Kellam, or send me a message.

    Answer by jewjewbee at 8:09 AM on Aug. 27, 2010

  • Sorry, I don't have a sample plan because I don't do it either. But my mom did... she would sit down on the weekend and write down her menu for the week and then buy only the items needed for the meals. Of course the staples (eggs, bread, butter, milk, etc...) and items needed for lunch and breakfast would be bought as well, if needed. She stuck to it but she also had a list of recipes that she would always use and that is where I have the problem. I always just make what I feel like eating that night and that is a hard habit to break. Good luck:)

    Answer by shanlaree at 8:14 AM on Aug. 27, 2010

  • Yes it really saves me money!! I sit down and make a menu for the weeks/s and then make my grocery list from the menu. No I don't do breakfast but that is because with school the kids grab quick stuff to warm up.

    Here's my menu for a couple days. 1st: I make the menu, then I check the freezer and cupboards for what I already have to make these.

    Friday- Stuffed Chicken Breasts and Mashed Potatoes== I have the chicken breast, and stuffing. I need to get 2 packs of chicken gravy and 10lbs of potatoes and 2 cans of corn.

     Saturday- Enchilada Casserole== I have the hamburger and Chile beans. I need to get 2 cans of refried beans and 2 bricks of cheese

     Sunday-Stuffed Cabbage and Mashed Potatoes=I have the stuffed cabbage frozen from another time I made it and I'm already getting the potatoes for Fridays dinner. So I need to get 2 more cans of corn.


    Answer by Cindy18 at 8:15 AM on Aug. 27, 2010

  • i usally look st the ads then plan my meals from that. and i go to the meat store and buy meat in bulk, that way i have it on hand when i want it. but the weather has a lot to do with what we eat. we eat more fruits and veggies in the summer and stews in the winter.

    Answer by noel1978 at 8:23 AM on Aug. 27, 2010

  • You can plan it yourself with They have samples as well for 1 week 1 bag and you can print a list from it for your shopping. They even have healthy food choices.

    Answer by at 9:04 AM on Aug. 27, 2010

  • It saves you money if you look at what's on sale and already in the house and plan around that. It does not save you money (it actually costs you twice as much) if you sit down and decide what you want for dinner each night, then go to the store and buy all the ingredients for full price to make every recipe you have planned out.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 9:21 AM on Aug. 27, 2010

  • I plan out breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks before I make my grocery list

    Answer by rkoloms at 11:21 AM on Aug. 27, 2010