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Where to start....

Posted by on Feb. 3, 2013 at 10:40 AM
  • 4 Replies

OK I am in need of help...I have been trying to do meal planning on a weekly basis...i have a dry erase board on my fridge that i have been putting the dinners on...I really only need to plan dinners as we are not home durring the day in the week and weekends we use left overs for lunches

In reading on here I can see that I should start with making a list of the meals that we would eat...but do i make this list as meals total ( main dish and sides) or do i make like a spreadsheet with main dishes in one collum and then the sides in another and then work from each collum??

I am hoping to do a major shopping escapade when i get my tax money back and just want to have ideas in place as to being able to pick out meals and plan things better. I am a single mom of a 9 year old and am trying to get it all together....

Thank you in advance for any help and ideas that you guys may have...

by on Feb. 3, 2013 at 10:40 AM
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by Rhonda on Feb. 3, 2013 at 11:13 AM
I separate main entrees from sides and salads. I like to mix & match and not have the same meal routines all the time.
by Silver Member on Feb. 3, 2013 at 12:03 PM

If you are planning on stockpiling, you have to have a storage plan in place. Do not over buy freezer food if you don't have a freezer bigger than the one in your refrigerator. Stockpiling the pantry limits what you want and sometimes the expiration dates are short-term (6mos to 12 mos).

When spreadsheet your meals, one for your meal plans, one for parishables, and one for what you have on hand like dry spices & salt. If you are going to take leftovers for lunch, you should plan that so you have enough leftover dinner to make it.

Make ahead Friday Dinner will save you money because that is when people are looking for a meal in minutes and give in to eating at a restaurant. You might also want to pack a good lunch for Friday - that is when people dine out for lunch.

Weekends tend to be snacks-alot days. Plan a lot of healthy snacks and don't put all your money into a big Sunday Dinner ... Just a normal everyday meal.

Grocery Sale ads come out days in advance. If the sale food is not on your meal plan, you can either not buy it or add a meal plan for it.

We eat the same food year round - just make seasonal changes. Hotdogs for example: Summer - grill/bun/catsup/mustard/relish, Fall - weiner roast/bun/condiments/side of baked beans, Winter - chili dogs/buns/condiments/side of baked potatoes, Spring - hotdogs/buns/condiments/side of spring greens.

by on Feb. 3, 2013 at 3:06 PM

 You can make your lists any you prefer.  If you only eat certain side dishes with certain main courses, then make your list with the whole meal; if you like to switch things up, then make two or three separate lists so that you can pick and choose. 

I take a look through my pantry and freezer to see what I actually have on hand before I pick from my meals list.   I then plan my menu, then I make my grocery list. 

If you want to get super-orgainized, make a list of your usual main staples from your favorite meals and laminate the sheet/sheets.  Every time you use any of the ingredients, just mark it with a dry erase marker, and then you can take that list to the store to use as a grocery list.  It's something I've been meaning to do, but just haven't gotten around to it yet.  Someday:)

by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 2:37 PM

 I like to have a separate list for main dishes and sides.  We don't always eat the same things together.

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