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How to get started?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I've lurking a few threads in the Meal Planning forum lately and am just curious as to how everyone got started with their weekly meal plans? While I some times go to the grocery store once a week maybe every two weeks, I don't go with meal ideas in mind, really, I just buy what we need and go from there. But, then I find myself wasting some of the food that was bought and that drives me crazy.

DH is the cook in the family and more often than not, he'll go out and buy what he's going to cook for dinner that day, which is fine, but then he's constantly asking me daily what I want for dinner. I would just like for something to be laid out for the week and if we need to buy it daily, so be it... just would like to know ahead of time.
post #2 of 6
I'd start by coming up with a list of foods your family likes. Then pick out one for each day of the week.

Mine's evolved from that and now I only plan from what I have in the house. So grocery shopping for me is for anything I've run out of and whatever is on sale.
post #3 of 6
I do monthly meal planning. IMO, the two key items for successful meal planning are: 1). A well-stocked pantry and 2). A master meal list. The former is pretty much self-explanatory. The latter... you need to write down all of the meals that your family likes and eats. If you want to do this week-by-week, then you can use this master list in tandem with your weekly sales flyers from grocery stores and plan out together as a family. I do 99.9% of the cooking (although dh is a FABULOUS cook) and there is no way I could meal plan if he was doing the shopping and making the lists. This may be something that your dh, as the primary cook, needs to take over. Dh will pick up an item here or there, but I do the real shopping and all of the bulk buying.
post #4 of 6
One day, we sat down, racked our brains for some of our favorite meals, and wrote down seven that sounded good for dinner. (welll, actually more like 5, because several of them were big enough for two dinners and we love the leftovers). Then we went to the store once that week and bought everything we needed for them. and made them. and then did it the next week and made it a habit.

What we need to start doing now is planning lunches, because otherwise DP doesn't eat lunch.

we keep and file all of our previous meal plans (we usually write them on the same paper as the grocery list) so now, they act as a master list of our favorite meals. Most of the time, we'll pull out the cookbooks and flip through and pick a new dish or two each week to try.

Sometimes, if something is an amazing sale, we will postpone a meal for a day and make something else, or swap it out. (like, we were planning a pasta and veggies dish but say... corn and tomatoes and avocados are on sale, we might switch to taco salad. the pasta can wait a week because it doesn't go bad)
post #5 of 6
Originally Posted by Magelet View Post

What we need to start doing now is planning lunches, because otherwise DP doesn't eat lunch.

What I do is make a huge vat of bean or pasta salad with lots of vinaigrette dressing on sunday and eat that for lunch everyday along with homemade yogurt and a piece of fruit. Bean salads tend to get yummier throughout the week.
post #6 of 6
I was thinking about making a ton of bean salad. My problem is that DP doesn't eat lunch to save money. Or to save things for me. I've told him over and over again, that he's less grumpy (helpful for me), and less ravenous at dinner if he eats even a light lunch. And he's more efficient and feels better, but he still eats lunch rarely unless we have leftovers (so I try to plan to leave him lunch leftovers). If he's not skipping because he wants to save money (which it doesn't, and we both talk about but he still skips lunch to save money anyways, and then eats more dinner than he would need for lunch and dinner), then he skips to save some delicious treat for me. Which is nice, except we've had a half quart of expensive raw milk go bad 4 weeks in a row because I forgot it was there but he didn't want to drink it so I could have it.

(I guess my big problem with bean salad is the amount of olive oil used for a week's worth. othewise, I'd do it regularly, but olive oil is expensive! . maybe it's really time for huge bulk olive oil (more than three litres...))
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