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How Do You Meal Plan?

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Every week I sit down at my kitchen table and with the best of intentions I write out a weekly meal plan. I've never delved deep into learning how to make a meal plan or the best way to do it, all I know is that if I write down six or seven meals for the week that use similar ingredients and double check what I will need against what's in my pantry, the chances of food going to waste or debating what to make for dinner drop dramatically. It's also a good way to use up what I have a lot of and keep dinners from becoming boring and repetitive (spaghetti again?)

Ever since my second baby came a long dinners have become far more simple. I'd rather make sure I get it done and on the table in a decent amount of time than be able to brag that I feed my family from scratch, three course meals every night. I'll always have two or three "pinch hitter" meals on my list. Things I can throw together quickly if time gets away from me or if life is in a general uproar. I usually make at least one dish that can be doubled and freeze half or that can be eaten the next night as leftovers. I haven't been adding many new dishes to our rotation simply for lack of time but every once in awhile something will catch my eye and I'll add it in. Just as an example, here's my meal plan list from last week. (I add in fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables with each meal as well.)

Meal #1 Breakfast for dinner. (This one's always easy and becoming a tradition on Sunday nights.)

Meal #2 - Double batch of spaghetti sauce. (Spaghetti sauce is so easy to make yourself when you have a few simple ingredients.) Freeze half for later.

Meal #3 - Roast chicken breast over vegetables. (double the chicken)

Meal #4 - Leftover chicken over rice.

Meal #5 - Tacos.

Meal #6 - Use random leftovers from taco night to make nachos.

Meal #7 - Bean soup in the crock pot.

Pinch meal #1 - Frozen pizza

Pinch meal #2 - Frozen ravioli with some of the frozen spaghetti sauce.

We're still doing things pretty simple here. What's most important is that we all make time to sit down and eat together.

How do you meal plan?

by on Mar. 22, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (11-20):
by on Mar. 22, 2012 at 1:59 PM

I have relized when you have a meal plan you save money & dont over spend!

by on Mar. 22, 2012 at 2:12 PM
I don't meal plan but really need to.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by on Mar. 22, 2012 at 2:18 PM
I never thought of it helping with not over spending.

Quoting suziejax:

I have relized when you have a meal plan you save money & dont over spend!

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by on Mar. 22, 2012 at 4:03 PM

I look at what we have left in the fridge/freezer and pantry....then look at sales paper, and recipes and plan. I also ask my family if they want something special.

by on Mar. 22, 2012 at 9:49 PM

I typically don't do the grocery shopping so whatever he brings home I sort through and decide from there.

by Bronze Member on Mar. 22, 2012 at 11:25 PM
I don't really plan ahead. I buy what we like or what's on sale and take it day by day.
by on Mar. 23, 2012 at 3:18 AM

We make a meal plan for a whole month in advance and stick to it. 

by Member on Mar. 23, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Quoting KaylaMillar:

I do meal plan. It was the only way I could get my act together! It saves trips to the store and the stress of not knowing what to cook
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by on Mar. 23, 2012 at 2:12 PM

I write out a menu every weekend and then go shopping for the next week.

by on Mar. 23, 2012 at 3:50 PM
I don't , I really want to. I just don't know how to get started and I always get sidetracked.
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