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How I do Meal Planning....any tips appreciated!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Basically I started out researching which certain foods I wanted us to be eating regularly, so we get all the vitamins and minerals from them we need. So I had that list of foods.

Then I made a list of all the different meals we like, and most of which could contain 2 or more of those foods from the first list, or contain them as side dishes.

Next I decided which types of meals for different nights. For us personally I chose:

-Fast-Food night (home-made healthier versions not take out! decided to include pizza in this one too)

-Soup meals night

-Rice meals night

-Fish type meals night

-Pasta meals night

-Meat and Vegetable meals night

-Other meals which you can have with potatoes or fries, and baked beans/spaghetti or vegetables.

Then I decided which days for which types of meals.

I also divided up all the meals in the earlier list into those above meal type categories.

I even made a list of side dish options to go with each meal too!


I now have a 12 week plan ready to go, and then be repeated. Ofcourse some of the meals are repeated several times within those 12 weeks, because we enjoy those meals more so we want to have them more often, family favourites etc. It does look very varied, not too repetative hopefully.

I plan to start making some of the meals ahead of time and freezing them for future use to save time in the evenings, Like on days off from work I will cook them and then reheat on certain nights and add the relevent sides.

All I need to do now, is put each meal on it's own sheet, along with the side dish options, a list of all the necessary ingredients, and where needed -the recipe/cooking instructions! Time consuming, but hopefully worth it!

Have I missed anything? Anyone have any other helpful tips they use?
post #2 of 6
I'm thinking that you have made it way too complicated. But that's just me. I start meal planning with what I already have. Write down everything that we are low/out. Then check the store ads for what's on sale. Make my list of main dishes from that. I don't plan side dishes other than having them always on hand. Staples like potatoes, pastas/noodles, rice, vegetables (frozen and fresh), dried and canned beans, fruit are always on the list. Along with milk, eggs, cheese, butter, oatmeal, garlic, herbs and spices. Just about any side dish (or main dish for that matter) can be made from these staples.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sewchris2642 View Post
I'm thinking that you have made it way too complicated. But that's just me. I start meal planning with what I already have. Write down everything that we are low/out. Then check the store ads for what's on sale. Make my list of main dishes from that. I don't plan side dishes other than having them always on hand. Staples like potatoes, pastas/noodles, rice, vegetables (frozen and fresh), dried and canned beans, fruit are always on the list. Along with milk, eggs, cheese, butter, oatmeal, garlic, herbs and spices. Just about any side dish (or main dish for that matter) can be made from these staples.
Haha I know for some my way is over the top, but it suits me, Im into all the planning type stuff. It seems to work better for me if its kinda complicated sounding, because then I have all the information infront of me and it's less confusing when it's thoroughly planned out.
post #4 of 6
I reread your post and then mine. I take back the complicated comment. Upon rereading, I think that we do the same thing. It's just that, after 35 years of doing it, it's all up in my head instead of down on paper. There are some weeks that I don't write anything down and just look at what we have. Then go to the store(s) and buy from memory. We do go to about 5-6 different places for all our grocery shopping. Farmer's market, farm stands, regular grocery store, alternatitive/health food/organic grocery store, over stock stores (Big Lots! and 99 cents stores), Costco.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sewchris2642 View Post
I reread your post and then mine. I take back the complicated comment. Upon rereading, I think that we do the same thing. It's just that, after 35 years of doing it, it's all up in my head instead of down on paper. There are some weeks that I don't write anything down and just look at what we have. Then go to the store(s) and buy from memory. We do go to about 5-6 different places for all our grocery shopping. Farmer's market, farm stands, regular grocery store, alternatitive/health food/organic grocery store, over stock stores (Big Lots! and 99 cents stores), Costco.
Yeah it's probably basically the same. A master list of meals and certain meal types for certain days of the week. Plus side dish options. And im trying to figure out which meals I can make ahead of time and freeze portions of to save being in the kitchen too long in the evenings when I want to be spending time with my dc. Maybe after 35 years it will all be in my head instead of on paper too!
post #6 of 6
I think that is fabulous! Great work!
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