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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 (21-30):
Bmat
by Bronze Member on Mar. 23, 2012 at 4:03 PM

I like to try new recipes, but I end up buying some ingredient that is only for that recipe, then I get distracted and when I remember the ingredient I can't remember what it is for. I could solve this, I guess, by writing down my plans.

Quoting copperswifey:

I'm always looking for new recipes so usually I will find about 2 or 3 new things I want to try. We go shopping for 2 weeks so I always do meals for 2 weeks. We always do spaghetti, some kind of taco's, and pork chops. Then I will just decide on what else we're craving or haven't had in awhile to decide on the other meals. We usually grill out a lot so a lot of times it's chicken and steak. :)


millerbunch
by on Mar. 23, 2012 at 8:19 PM

we do not meal plan.. go with the flow here :)

Kainalu55
by Member on Mar. 24, 2012 at 2:47 AM

i don't!  but i really need to start.  Thanks for the ideas...

Kainalu55
by Member on Mar. 24, 2012 at 2:47 AM

this is the reason i want to start.  we spend too much on groceries.

Quoting suziejax:

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


Kainalu55
by Member on Mar. 24, 2012 at 2:48 AM

awesome!

Quoting Kmakksmom:

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


Kainalu55
by Member on Mar. 24, 2012 at 2:50 AM

i hate trying to figure out what to cook for dinner...

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


elijahsmama09
by on Mar. 24, 2012 at 7:44 AM

I pln for 2 weeks. I keep a list of meals we like, and usually try a couple new ones as well. I write down what we need after looking through my pantry, and then plan a few meals that are really easy.

elijahsmama09
by on Mar. 24, 2012 at 7:54 AM


Quoting Bmat:

I like to try new recipes, but I end up buying some ingredient that is only for that recipe, then I get distracted and when I remember the ingredient I can't remember what it is for. I could solve this, I guess, by writing down my plans.

Quoting copperswifey:

I'm always looking for new recipes so usually I will find about 2 or 3 new things I want to try. We go shopping for 2 weeks so I always do meals for 2 weeks. We always do spaghetti, some kind of taco's, and pork chops. Then I will just decide on what else we're craving or haven't had in awhile to decide on the other meals. We usually grill out a lot so a lot of times it's chicken and steak. :)


That was the reason I started to meal plan, because I would buy something and not remember what it went too, lol. Some more exotic items were really expensive, so I learned quickly I needed to write it all out.

elijahsmama09
by on Mar. 24, 2012 at 7:55 AM


Quoting Kmakksmom:

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


That would be really hard for me...what about fresh produce? I eat a lot of salad, and I dont see it lasting a whole month, lol.

Madelaine
by Member on Mar. 24, 2012 at 10:58 AM

I like your method!

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