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How do you figure out how to meal plan? - Page 5

post #81 of 191
Originally Posted by courtenay_e View Post
wife and mommy, did you look at the first page? I think I'm the fourth or fifth post...somewhere around there. I describe how I keep myself out of that rut. It is sooo nice to come back to a favorite meal, 'cause it's likely that we haven't been there for six to eight weeks, easily, most likely longer.

Yes I did see it! It's a GREAT plan, but my problem lately is nothing is really sounding good and I have a hard time writing anything down! LOL I have a huge master lists of recipes to choose from but nothing sounds good! I think its because I'm in between. We have been eating vegetarian for a while but my body is starting to crave meats (weird?) and so I was going to try doing 1 or 2 meals a week with meat, but then when I think about cooking it I just don't want it mentally but my body is craving it. It's really strange! (we were eating veggie for health reasons)

So I am just wanting new recipes I guess, but it seems like everything that's new doesn't sound good to me for some reason or another. It's also hard to cook food you don't really want to eat. I just don't know what's up with me lately! LOL So I guess I just need to try them weather I want to or not and just come up with some new stuff for my family to eat.

post #82 of 191
I have a busy lifestyle ESPECAILLY once the last little one arrives in the next three weeks.

I decided last summer to make up my own cookbook. My hubby bought me a cookbook software for Mothers day and uploaded all the recipes that we love and have on hand. Then I searched the internet for free recipes that we would love to try.

I got it all typed up and went to Kinkos and had it printed and binded. It stays in my kitchen and we meal plan 6 meals a week out of this book. Some meals are crockpot meals, some meals are simple meals, and some are more complex. Then Saturdays are our days to eat out.

WE try to keep our meals healthy so most of my meals are healthy and well balanced meals that actually do taste good.

Usually on Sunday hubby and I sit down together, make a meal list for the week, mark off what we have on hand then go to Costco to buy most of the items in bulk. It also helps that we have a foodsaver so somethings I do cook ahead and foodsaver and freeze it. Makes for easy nights sometimes.

We plan on getting back into this routine here soon after our baby arrives. Since being on bedrest I just eat what I can get LOL.

post #83 of 191
post #84 of 191
Isn't this a great thread? It changed my WORLD!
post #85 of 191
here you go, hope it helps...
post #86 of 191
Go online for help with meal planning that's my advice. My favorite site is bhg.com. It is a great resource because you can store your favorite recipes or upload your own recipes – it’s fabulous! Saves so much time to be able to have your ‘recipe book’ online, you should check it out! Oh, and as for what you should cook, try this risotto recipe http://recipes.bhg.com/recipes/recip...cipeId=R090645 I would also recommend cooking the rice with a little bit of white wine, in addition to the broth. Good luck!
post #87 of 191
I use kraftfoods.com for a lot of my recipes. I'm on that website for quite some time at work each Friday, looking at and printing out new recipes. Some of the recipes are too processed/packaged, but you can pretty much substitute any of the ingredients, and there are TONS of free recipes there (with pictures! very important to me, as I'm a very visual person). Every Friday evening, I get all my cookbooks and my kraftfoods.com printed recipe folder out and sit in the middle of my living room floor to do my weekly planning. (I go to the grocery store on Saturday.) I was using a notebook to first plan out what we would eat each day, then do my shopping list on a separate page, but now I'm using the meal planning template another mama posted on this board.

We don't have certain days of the week that we eat certain types of food -- I just try to make sure we're not having the same meat two days in a row, or pasta dishes two days in a row, etc. I usually add 1-2 new recipes for the week, and stick with favorites for the other days. I only plan for 5 days of cooking, because I know us, and we will end up eating out at least 2 days a week regardless of whether we have enough groceries for all 7 days. (We are busy people!)

My personal favorite recipes are one-dish type meals; for example, one night this week we're going to have a southwestern chicken & vegetable bake that includes baked chicken, brown rice, cheese, and vegetables. (You cook all this at once in the oven.) That way all you have to add is a salad or some rolls, and it's a full meal. I *hate* having to juggle five different things cooking at once.

Good luck, mama, and have fun with it! Meal planning has become one of my favorite hobbies!
post #88 of 191
Thread Starter 
May I just say, as the OP, that never have I started a thread that lasted this long!: As for my own meal planning, I find it's a bit spotty still. However, I have really enjoyed learning more about cooking techniques and applying those techniques to the food I feed my family. And frankly, for me to look ahead a day or two has been a major victory over the former "OMG! It's 5:30! What's for dinner! Eek! Nothing in the house!" stuff I was into.

post #89 of 191
AmyY, I'm glad you started it...it's been a great discussion. And, hey, ANY time you plan ahead over thinking about it when it should be on the table is a victory!!
post #90 of 191
Agreed planning ahead is key. Bhg.com is helpful here as well because the site has a daily newsletter in the form of an email and each one has a different recipe. This way you are armed with a new meal plan every night! Also check out this Mediterranean-style stuffing I might just have to make this one for dinner
post #91 of 191
I write down what I make every night in my date book. It takes two seconds and now I can look back over a whole year (I started in 2006) and can see what we ate for sides, veggies, etc with which dish. When I'm feeling lazy, I flip through last year's calendar for whole meal ideas.

I'm a magazine junkie and I rip out any recipe I find interesting and put it in a manila folder. When I'm meal planning, I pull that out and flip through for ideas.

I actually only meal plan for about 1/2 a week at a time. I end up with less waste because I know what I'm in the mood for! I make one "bigger" grocery store trip a week, and a second one mid-week to pick up the next batch of stuff.
post #92 of 191
This Thread Is Great. I Just Printed Out My First Meal Plan On Calendarsthatwork.com
post #93 of 191
Yay! Good for you. I'm going to have to plan for a LLL Silent Auction basket...the theme is "Post Partum Support," so one of the things we're going to do is put a crock pot, a meal plan for six weeks, and recipes to go with the plan in it. Then again, we have gift cards for Olive Garden, Quiznos, Subway, Montana's Grill, and Chilis in it...so they don't have to cook a few times...

Anyway, I'm off to plan for somebody I don't know. Wish me luck!
post #94 of 191
post #95 of 191
My dh gets paid twice a month and a day or two before payday I sit down and make a menu (for dinners only) to carry us through to the next paycheque.

Every Friday we make pizza so Fridays are taken care of. Then I look at our calendar and note if there are any evenings out, special celebrations or anything that I should plan for and fill in those days on the meal calendar. the I check my schedule - if I am going to have a full day away from home I plan something for the crock pot for those days. If dh is away over meal time, I plan a totally kid-friendly meal that involves as little prep and cleanup as possible.

Then I fill in from there. We usually have tacos once a week, soup once a week and curry once a week so I fill those in. I look in the freezer and cupboard for ideas. Once the menu is filled in I make a shopping list - we save a lot of money this way. I tend to have a full freezer no matter how often I try to work my way to the bottom and this method helps me a little in that department.

This way I only have to think about what to make twice a month - in the morning I take a peek so I can get things out of the freezer if necessary.
post #96 of 191
Bumping this up, what a great resource thread!
post #97 of 191
wondering when I'd see this around again. It's like an old friend!!
post #98 of 191
Courtenay, have you tried freezing any of the Cook's Illustrated recipes? I found some great recipes in Cover and Bake and The Quick Recipe, and I would like to incorporate feeding the freezer.
post #99 of 191
Not sure if anyone posted this but I LOOOOOOVE food network.com they have soooo many recepies and you can save your faves on the site so when you're out of ideas you just check out what faves you had and or find something new with the ingredients you have (using the search option).
post #100 of 191
Just subscribing and bumping.
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