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Mom to Mom Mom to Mom

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 (31-40):
Kainalu55
by Member on Mar. 25, 2012 at 2:18 AM

that's great! it's exactly what i need to do!

Quoting elijahsmama09:

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.


Kainalu55
by Member on Mar. 25, 2012 at 2:32 AM

true.  maybe you can make the plan in advance, and run to the grocery store when you'll be needing the fresh produce.  The plan still works becuase you'll know what you're having and what you'll need to get

Quoting elijahsmama09:

 

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.


Bmat
by Bronze Member on Mar. 25, 2012 at 8:59 AM

I should do this also- especially keeping a record of meals that we like.

Quoting Kainalu55:

that's great! it's exactly what i need to do!

Quoting elijahsmama09:

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.



Bmat
by Bronze Member on Mar. 25, 2012 at 9:00 AM

But sometimes produce goes on sale, and by sticking to a strict plan I'd miss out on a really good price- unless the plan was very general- such as for the vegetable "green vegetable."  Instead of "collards."

Quoting Kainalu55:

true.  maybe you can make the plan in advance, and run to the grocery store when you'll be needing the fresh produce.  The plan still works becuase you'll know what you're having and what you'll need to get

Quoting elijahsmama09:


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.



Bmat
by Bronze Member on Mar. 25, 2012 at 9:03 AM

Another problem I have with meal planning is that sometimes we have unexpected leftovers that I don't want to freeze- so this throws any plan off, or sometimes a friend suggests that we get together at a restaurant for dinner, so that planned meal flies out of the window.

Bmat
by Bronze Member on Mar. 25, 2012 at 3:44 PM

I love the idea of using leftovers from the taco meal to make nachos!

MamaMandee
by on Mar. 25, 2012 at 4:34 PM

I agree!! 

Quoting suziejax:

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


MamaMandee
by on Mar. 25, 2012 at 4:38 PM

I also check my kids school menu for a two reasons. One making sure I'm not feeding them the same thing they had for lunch and to get some menu ideas! 

MamaBear2cubs
by Bronze Member on Mar. 25, 2012 at 5:21 PM

I never even thought about that lol.

Quoting MamaMandee:

I also check my kids school menu for a two reasons. One making sure I'm not feeding them the same thing they had for lunch and to get some menu ideas! 


MamaMandee
by on Mar. 25, 2012 at 5:34 PM

I learned the hard way with feeding them dinner they had for lunch when my son pointed out he already had that meal today lol 

Quoting MamaBear2cubs:

I never even thought about that lol.

Quoting MamaMandee:

I also check my kids school menu for a two reasons. One making sure I'm not feeding them the same thing they had for lunch and to get some menu ideas! 



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