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meal planning "skeletons"?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Can anyone share their meal planning skeletons? For example, my current dinner planning skeleton is:
Monday: seafood [cuz trash is picked up on Tuesday]
Tuesday: pasta
Wednesday: red meat
Thursday: bean dish, usually meat free
Friday: something in the crockpot, usually meat or poultry
Saturday: out?
Sunday: leftovers

This is very flexible, but gives me a starting point. Now that I'm homeschooling, I want to start being more intentional with breakfast and lunch, and eventually snacks. The other morning, DS didn't finish breakfast until 10 because he couldn't figure out what he wanted to eat. I want to include him in meal planning, but I feel like I need a scaffold.

Anyone care to share theirs?

TIA
post #2 of 15
Sure! I used mine to make a month worth of meals. I need to do it again since I am back to making a weekly menu.

Monday: Mexican
Tuesday: Favorite day (meatloaf, pizza, hamburgers etc)
Wednesday: Breakfast
Thursday: Pasta
Friday: Crockpot (bible study night so nice to have supper done for me)
Sat: Usually leftovers
Sunday: Another crockpot night as we have church in the morning.

I do make up breakfast and lunch menus as I make the supper one and it helps a ton when it comes to feeing my 3. I can make up what needs to be made and not have 3 kids whining they are hungry and it keeps me sane!!
post #3 of 15
I dont have a skeleton for my dinners- I usually just come up with 8-10 meal ideas for the 2wk pay period and then buy groceries accordingly.

HOWEVER, for breakfast I just keep the same ol' staples on hand and we choose from the same 3-4 things every day. Our all-time standbys are:
1) Oatmeal (can have raisins, craisins, pecans, almonds, almost anything you can imagine would be good in it-- I really like adding cooked, mashed sweet potato!)
2) Eggs- Fried or scrambled, occasionally with bacon
3) Cold cereal with milk (we don't have this as much, but is very convenient on busy days)
4) Granola with yogurt - can add frozen or fresh berries, honey
5) Waffles- Usually a special treat on weekends
6) Smoothies- I almost forgot this one! I like to make them with frozen mixed fruit, a frozen ripe banana (for sweetness), and yogurt. I really like adding fresh spinach, too! You don't taste the spinach but it really helps my iron levels. I usually have these 1-2 times a week with something else light like toast of some sort.

If my husband is off, we may mix it up a little bit, but still using just regular staple items. For example, instead of JUST eggs, we could sautee some onions and peppers, put a little browned sausage or bacon with it, scramble it together with the eggs, sprinkle with cheese, and wrap it up in tortillas for breakfast burritos. Or make egg sandwiches. Or cheese toast. Or toast with peanut butter.

So I usually just keep my "basics" on hand all the time and automatically replace each item when it runs out, which just consists of oats, eggs, granola, yogurt, bread, milk, etc...
Rather than planning it, I just tell the kids what I'm thinking about fixing that morning (usually just what sounds best to me), and unless they greatly protest that they'd rather have something else, I go ahead and fix what I decided on, rather than waiting for them to decide for themselves.

I hope this is helpful and what kind of answer you were looking for.
post #4 of 15
I do this, too, but not for every meal. I started doing it because we ate out too much on weekends. To get my budget under control, I started working on it. The weeks aren't hard for me, but the weekends still are, so I kept doing it.

Fri: kid-favorites (hamburgers, sloppy joes, pizza, etc)
Sat: lunch is something fast, like quesadillas or tomato sandwiches. Supper is at-home date night, so kids eat pb&j or the like, and grownups eat either something really good (we love seafood or steaks or the like) or take-out
Sun: lunch is soup (winter) or main dish salad (summer)--something with leftovers for the week of lunches. Supper is breakfast for supper

Mon-Thurs rotate, but I try for one Mexican something every week, one low meat/heavy bean meal, one pasta, and 1-2 rice
post #5 of 15
I have several "skeletons" this is one example which is actually for 2 weeks and what I am more likely to use for or monthly meal plan:


Monday- Mexican or use up leftover roast
Tuesday- Soup & Salad or Rice & Beans based
Wednesday- Breakfast or Salad
Thursday- Sandwiches or Fish
Friday- Bulk* or Pizza
Saturday- Roast or Italian
Sunday- Casserole or Slow Cooker

*anything that will feed a lot of people, we host a game night every 2 weeks

or I've also followed this weekly skeleton but it isn't for specific days:

Kids- something they can help make (pizza, wraps, etc.) (and also are more inclined to eat all of!)
Special- has a dessert planned to go with it, for our company night (whenever that ends up being)
Freezer- anything I can double up on and freeze half (or more)
New Other meals may be new also, but I try & make sure to make one new meal a week. Usually something from a blog or a new cookbook
Comfort shepherd's pie, roast chicken and potatoes, usually heartier foods
Fast things like breakfast for dinner, main course salads, hot sandwiches, or something I've previously frozen
Pantry/Garden reminder to use up produce or anything else beginning to age in the pantry
post #6 of 15
No skeletons here.

But I have just started planning several weeks' worth of meals at a time, with each weekly menu having a shopping list attached. I make the meals as time and energy allows (some recipes are time-consuming, some are simple).
post #7 of 15
I have done this off and on. I find its easier to follow in the winter. Summertime is much more flexible. Here my new one.

Wed- (my shopping day) Fish
Th- Tacos
Fr- Homemade Pizza
Sat- Steak/homemade fries/veg
Sun- Roast (chicken, or meat in crockpot)
Mon- Cassarole (to use up sunday meat)
Tue- Porkchops
post #8 of 15
M- quick to cook meat like steaks
T- No meat, varies
W- Braised food, usually with baked goods in the morning
Th- No meat, varies
F- Pasta or Homemade Pizza
S- Almost always fresh fish, shopping day
S- Something fancier that makes for good leftovers
post #9 of 15
Thanks so much! I've been struggling with meals for so long now but now you've all given me some great ideas.
post #10 of 15
Food is my arch nemesis so I don't have a meal plan at all. my friend is making me one actually hahaha! However, I'm taking note so I can eventually create my own once I get used to following one at all
post #11 of 15
Sorry in advance for the length.

We're vegetarian.

DH works out of the home, but we cook together in the evenings, and on weekends. I try to prep for the next day, or if we are going to put something in the crock pot to "feed the freezer" with, while he makes dinner. I've been TRYING to have something in the crock pot, something in the bread machine, something in the rice cooker, and something on the stove all at once. The only one I really need to watch is the stove.

I found we were falling into a rut, so this is the structure we are now working in. Some ideas for each day are in parentheses. Soups for lunch are pre-made either with the crock pot, or on the stove, and stored in individual portions in the freezer. They are remade as we run out. We also premake or own tomato sauce and freeze it as well. It's very easy, and doesn't take too long
Dinner always includes veggies and fruit as well.

Mon - Breakfast - Rice/grits/quinoa/barley/multi-grain cereal and nuts and fruit
Mon - Lunch - Soup (Vegetable, Lentil, Split pea, Black bean, Minestrone, Chili, French Onion, Potato, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato & Squash) and fruit
Mon - Dinner - Pasta Night (Pirogi, Veggie or cheese Lasagna, Ravioli with various fillings, Spaetzle, Mac and cheese, baked ziti, Spaghetti and sauce, Pasta primavera)
Tues - Breakfast - Yogurt or kefir and fruit
Tues - Lunch - Salad and fruit
Tues - Dinner - Potato Night (Shepherd's Pie, Baked potatoes with toppings, mashed potatoes roasted potatoes or french fries and veggies
Wed - Breakfast Oats (oatmeal, granola, granola bars, muffins) and fruit
Wed - Lunch - Veggies and dip (hummus, bean dip, peanut butter dip, cream cheese dip)
Wed - Dinner - Quinoa Night (Stir fries on top of Quinoa)
Thurs - Breakfast Eggs or cheese and hashbrowns or toast and fruit (French Toast, breakfast casserole, toast and cream cheese)
Thurs - Lunch- Soup and Fruit
Thurs - Dinner - Tortilla/ Taco Night (Enchiladas, Quesadillas, Tortilla pizzas, Burritos, tacos, veggie wraps)
Fri - Breakfast Cold cereal with milk or muffins and fruit
Fri - Lunch - Salad and fruit
Fri - Dinner - Bread/ Dough Night (grilled sandwiches, pizza, veggie braids)
Sat - Breakfast Veggie products (bacon, links, patties) and toast and fruit
Sat - Lunch - Veggies and dip
Sat - Dinner - Potato night
Sun - Breakfast Pancakes or waffles or muffins or crepes and nuts and fruit
Sun - Lunch - Salad and fruit
Sun - Dinner - Rice Night (Lentils and rice, burritos, tofu and rice, fried rice, stir fry and rice)
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Breathless Wonder View Post
Sorry in advance for the length.

We're vegetarian.

DH works out of the home, but we cook together in the evenings, and on weekends. I try to prep for the next day, or if we are going to put something in the crock pot to "feed the freezer" with, while he makes dinner. I've been TRYING to have something in the crock pot, something in the bread machine, something in the rice cooker, and something on the stove all at once. The only one I really need to watch is the stove.

I found we were falling into a rut, so this is the structure we are now working in. Some ideas for each day are in parentheses. Soups for lunch are pre-made either with the crock pot, or on the stove, and stored in individual portions in the freezer. They are remade as we run out. We also premake or own tomato sauce and freeze it as well. It's very easy, and doesn't take too long
Dinner always includes veggies and fruit as well.

Mon - Breakfast - Rice/grits/quinoa/barley/multi-grain cereal and nuts and fruit
Mon - Lunch - Soup (Vegetable, Lentil, Split pea, Black bean, Minestrone, Chili, French Onion, Potato, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato & Squash) and fruit
Mon - Dinner - Pasta Night (Pirogi, Veggie or cheese Lasagna, Ravioli with various fillings, Spaetzle, Mac and cheese, baked ziti, Spaghetti and sauce, Pasta primavera)
Tues - Breakfast - Yogurt or kefir and fruit
Tues - Lunch - Salad and fruit
Tues - Dinner - Potato Night (Shepherd's Pie, Baked potatoes with toppings, mashed potatoes roasted potatoes or french fries and veggies
Wed - Breakfast Oats (oatmeal, granola, granola bars, muffins) and fruit
Wed - Lunch - Veggies and dip (hummus, bean dip, peanut butter dip, cream cheese dip)
Wed - Dinner - Quinoa Night (Stir fries on top of Quinoa)
Thurs - Breakfast Eggs or cheese and hashbrowns or toast and fruit (French Toast, breakfast casserole, toast and cream cheese)
Thurs - Lunch- Soup and Fruit
Thurs - Dinner - Tortilla/ Taco Night (Enchiladas, Quesadillas, Tortilla pizzas, Burritos, tacos, veggie wraps)
Fri - Breakfast Cold cereal with milk or muffins and fruit
Fri - Lunch - Salad and fruit
Fri - Dinner - Bread/ Dough Night (grilled sandwiches, pizza, veggie braids)
Sat - Breakfast Veggie products (bacon, links, patties) and toast and fruit
Sat - Lunch - Veggies and dip
Sat - Dinner - Potato night
Sun - Breakfast Pancakes or waffles or muffins or crepes and nuts and fruit
Sun - Lunch - Salad and fruit
Sun - Dinner - Rice Night (Lentils and rice, burritos, tofu and rice, fried rice, stir fry and rice)
OMG this is awesome, thanks!
post #13 of 15
I'm trying a skeleton for the first time. I've really been struggling with this, since there seems to be so much crossover with a lot of my "go to" recipes, but I'm going to try this out i October and see how it works out:

Sunday- Roast Chicken or Meat roast
Monday - Meatless (Pasta or Bean)
Tuesday - Casserole with leftover roast meat
Wed - Crockpot (kids are in swim lessons and we get home close to 6!)
Thurs - New Recipe
Fri - Kid's Choice (typically Pizza Roll, but I'm going to open it up to them for the first time)
Sat - leftovers
post #14 of 15
Sundays: roast beast of some sort, with a nice dessert

Mondays: ground meat meal

Tuesdays: pasta and salad or soup and salad dep on weather

Wednesdays: Bean dish

Thursdays: Breakfast for dinner

Fridays: Fish

Saturdays: Pizza
post #15 of 15
I'll post mine as it's a bit different b/c we live in Japan. I've been struggling to get the right balance (for the past five years!), so the plan is constantly evolving. At the moment it looks like this:

Mon: Beans or Lentils with rice

Tues: Japanese (meat, vegetable side dishes, rice)

Wed: Pasta & salad

Thurs: Japanese (fish, vegetable side dishes, rice)

Fri: "Ethnic" (usually Indian-style curry with rice or naan)

Sat: Fun meal (homemade pizza, hamburgers, sushi hand rolls, yakiniku [grilled meat wrapped in lettuce leaves], gyoza ...)

Sun: Soup & sourdough bread
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