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How do you figure out how to meal plan? - Page 8

post #141 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsbrunette View Post
wow you make meal planning so easy! these are all great tips. come to think of it, i think my mom planned her meals almost the same way you did. i know this is a couple years later and all, but do you still stick to the same meal planning routine?

Yes, yes I do! As a matter of fact, I will be sitting down tomorrow morning to plan for the next month or so, and I am really looking forward to it this time around, because my husband, the pickiest eater on the face of the earth, is going to be gone on a business trip and I am going to make allll the stuff we love best (we being the rest of the household) that he eats, but not with relish, while he's gone!

I don't really do much different at all actually. It really works well. And, is pretty easy. As long as I sit down and actually DO the planning when the time comes, we are golden! Every once and a while I get a week behind, and realize how much I have come to depend on it. I get totally lost and we end up eating pizza our soup three days in a row (from the freezer! ).

Actually, I have to say, my kids have always had allergies, but since the first time I posted my how-to, we found out that my husband and son are both celiac. SO, if we had to plan before, we REALLY have to plan now. It makes it hard to run out and get carryout. I DO make gluten free pizza crusts and freeze them for when we come up short, though...
post #142 of 191
: Bump!
post #143 of 191
I personally love to meal plan. I grew up helping my mother plan for the week and now I do the same. I have a word document that has seven columns and two rows. The top row is the seven days of the week. The bottom row is labeled Meat/Dairy/Fruits & Veggies/Grains & Legumes/Other. Being on a budget I also have space for the things we can buy at Costco and TJs.

My biggest problem is that my wife thinks she lives at a restaurant and doesn't like repeats, so I end up having to find new recipes all of the time. Then this week it's been so hot we haven't wanted to cook. We do keep a couple frozens in the freezer for those moments but I mostly don't like packaged, manufactured foods.

I also make my own bread weekly and try to make my own beans to avoid canned.

:
post #144 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disco Infiltrator View Post
Then this week it's been so hot we haven't wanted to cook.
I'm actually thankful it's supposed to cool down and rain next week!!

Anyways, I got lots of good ideas here. Thanks to everyone who contributed! We recently started sticking to a budget - I was completely shocked and embarrassed to see how much we were routinely spending on food. We have easily saved $200+ this month all because of having a plan! (And a limited amt of money in an envelope!)

I use www.allrecipes.com as my most common recipe resource. Love being able to read the reviews. Or use the ingredients search option.
post #145 of 191
What a great thread!! I'm comforted that others have the same issues as I do---like some other posts, I am worried about my ability to actually save $ without wasting the leftover ingredients and not resort to expensive convenience foods (currently in great use) and to stick with my plan. Well, after having read the entire thread this evening, I'm looking forward to giving it a shot!! (Thanks to many but also to cellarstella for the specific examples!).

I realize this is focused on dinners only (with leftovers used as lunches) but wondering if there is a good, simple "rule of thumb" to make sure my family is getting all the "necessary" nutrients (vitamins, protein, enough fiber, etc) for the day/week-- particularly for that very picky toddler. How do you factor this in when you do your meal planning?

(Working on improving my nutrition knowledge and execution-- it is shamefully bad !!! Thanks!)
post #146 of 191
I would suggest getting familiar with whfoods.com. It's gone through some changes and is a little difficult to navigate, but I did a search for "calcium" and came up with this page. So if you want to give your family more calcium, you can look at the foods richest in calcium and either base a recipe on that or incorporate them into recipes you already use (ie. sprinkle sesame seeds on chicken, salads, etc.)

HTH!
post #147 of 191
[QUOTE=cellarstella;12130612]I would suggest getting familiar with whfoods.com. It's gone through some changes and is a little difficult to navigate, but I did a search for "calcium" and came up with this page. So if you want to give your family more calcium, you can look at the foods richest in calcium and either base a recipe on that or incorporate them into recipes you already use (ie. sprinkle sesame seeds on chicken, salads, etc.)


THANK YOU!! This is a very interesting webpage--seems like it will be very useful! Thanks again!
post #148 of 191
awesome info---i got through 2 pages and want to read more later (need sleep)
post #149 of 191
bump. The classic.
post #150 of 191
I thought this would be really hard and now I can't imagine why I ever thought that.

I do my grocery shopping on Wednesday. I fold a paper in half. On one side I come up with a menu for the upcoming week. As I fill in a dinner for each day I write on the other side of the paper what I need to buy for that dinner. Lunch and breakfast foods are out of generally purchased stuff.

We've got another baby so I keep it really simple. Instead of making black bean patty enchiladas, I buy black bean patties, tortillas, salsa and avocado. Heat the black beans in the toaster oven, slice the avocado and make burritos. Every meal has fresh fruit. Frankly we're eating a lot of the same stuff over and over again. It's not necessarily exciting, though usually it's yummy enough. But with a 3 year old and an infant this is a system I can live with for now. When they get older I'll apply the same menu planning routine except more interesting foods.
post #151 of 191
Wow, this thread is awesome! Thank you courtney_e and everyone else for your awesome ideas!
post #152 of 191

I finally did it!

I've been lurking and half heartedly trying to meal plan for a couple of years now. I finally got it right! I think.

* About 3 weeks ago I went to www.cindysporch.com
Thank you to the mommas on here who recommended it.
*I finally took 3 days to go through every single edible thing we have in the pantry, freezer & fridge. And all the stuff stored out back because they didn't fit in the pantry.
*Then I printed up a cute little monthly calendar with my kids pictures on it from HP's website. And I labeled the top of each column: (knowing I always want fruit and meat like bacon etc with breakfast)
Sunday - Breakfast = Cereal
Dinner = Pizza Night
Monday - B = Waffles (could also be pancakes or french toast)
D = Roasts (Could be a variety of things like meat loaf or chicken), 2 or 3 veggies and bread.
Tuesday - B = Eggs & biscuts or toast
D = Soup or stew with salad and bread
Wednesday - B = Homemade fruit bread (including muffins), yogurt
D = Sandwich/leftover night
Thursday - B = Oatmeal
D = Breakfast night
Friday - B = breakfast sandwich
D = International night
Saturday - B = Cereal or breakfast casserole
D = Fish/seafood night

Lunches are pretty much based on left overs and a couple of things I keep on hand.

I went back and wrote complete meals for each day marking things off of my inventory list as I intended to use them. It has been 3 weeks and we've spent less than $15.00 per week on additional items. We bought a bag of potatoes that I didn't even need just 'cause we ran out and it didn't feel right not having some even though I wasn't planning to use them.

Thank you to the ladies who have posted something similar to this. I got my ideas and inspiration from the previous posts on this thread.
post #153 of 191
Thanks so much for all of the wonderful ideas gals!
post #154 of 191
Bumping so I don't have to dig for this again.
post #155 of 191
Can we get this stickied??
post #156 of 191
Wow! This is an awesome thread!! Thanks ladies! :
post #157 of 191
Funny this is bumped- I just made a 6 week menu plan, before I had always done 1 week at a time. However, things have been patchy off and on since going gf/cf nearly a year ago. Finally I sit down and put all our meals in a huge(85) page document and then decided what I wanted to cook each night. We eat a lot of 3 nights of chicken- 1 night breasts- stir fry or curry- one night the dark meat- casserole or such and then 1 night a soup- ground beef one night and a roast one night- fish on fridays and vegetarian wednesdays. Then I just went and started putting chicken meals on Monday- ground beef on tuesdays- etc until I filled up the 6 weeks. I planned for 7 nights and a different meal for every day in the 6 week period.

After I had it all done then I looked through to make sure similiar meals weren't consecutive and to plan to make leftovers of some things to make other easier meals. Most are meals I have made and know we like but some are new ones we are trying to see if we want to add them to the rotation.
post #158 of 191
Without reading what others have said, here is what we do. We have a wipe off calendar on the fridge. Before going grocery shopping, we write down what we want to make for that week, keeping in mind what we already had that month. We rotate what type of meal we have. No chicken 3 nights/days in a row. As a general rule of thumb, we have fish at least 2 dinners a week, red meat once a week, chicken 1-2 x a week, and at least 1-2 vegetarian meals. Dinners need to feed 4-5 adults and 3 kids. Lunches feed 3 kids and 1-4 adults, depending on schedules. Here's some visuals of what portion sizes should be: http://images.google.com/images?q=po...title&resnum=4 And some sites about portion sizes for children: http://www.google.com/search?q=porti...ient=firefox-a
post #159 of 191
bump again (but it's been a while!)
post #160 of 191
Subbing!
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