I'm amazed at how well meal planning works - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-16-2008, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I came to meal planning as a skeptic. I was worried that I'd feel trapped by a menu, and that we'd plow through the food really fast. I worried that I'd never be able to come up with 10 meals to rotate much less 20-30.

I was so wrong.

It's been fun to sit down with cookbooks and spark my inner chef.

It's been liberating to not have to wonder what's for dinner.

I even made myself a wonderful spinach and turkey omlet topped with feta for breakfast last week. I wouldn't have even thought to do that if I hadn't been surrounding myself with cookbooks.

And most surprising, we have an abundance of food in the freezer and fridge. Leftovers up the wazoo. So far we're really saving a lot of money AND in the two weeks I've been planning, we haven't had a repeat meal even once (well, dh has been taking leftovers to work for lunch).

So far I've only been planning for one week at a time. I think I may try planning for two weeks.

I'm Rigama, and I am a meal planning convert.

addicted, homeschooling, freelancing mama to DS 8. Pet mama to Harvey the Wonder Mutt :, Pnut: and Autumn : Oh, yeah, and
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Old 03-16-2008, 01:51 PM
 
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I don't know how I functioned before I started meal planning! It's been a sanity saver.
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Old 03-16-2008, 02:29 PM
 
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I just started meal planning (dinners) about a month ago. It really it amazing. Before I wouldn't end up fixing dinner at all because nothing sounded good to me. Now, I know that whatever is planned is something I like so I go ahead and fix it and lo and behold it's just fine. My grocery bill has gone done tremendously along with the money saved from not eating out. Plus it's healthier. It's amazing what one little lifestyle change can do.
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Old 03-16-2008, 03:11 PM
 
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Yeah we stopped for a bit and I saw how much of a mess I was without it! It really helps, I love it!

Mama to (DS 7) and (DD 5), wife to DH

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Old 03-16-2008, 03:28 PM
 
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Glad it is working for you

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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Old 03-17-2008, 01:09 PM
 
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It's crazy this meal planning business. It really works!

I started out only planning my breakfast/lunch/snacks. (i work out of the home, and DS's meals are supplied at daycare) And even that little bit was incredibly helpful. Even though i wasn't planning dinners at that time, i felt way less stressed and had much more available to me for dinners it seemed.

Just last week i started dinner meal planning as well and i'm just shocked at the time i actually appear to have to cook! I never knew it before!

Now i just need to find some different dinners for my new crockpot and i'm all set!
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:17 PM
 
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I just started, again. It really cuts down our food spending, eating out and I feel much more in control of things. It's also nice to be able to make some things ahead and use them later in the week. I never thought of how much I could save by doing that!
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:50 PM
 
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Meal planning has definately changed our household for the better too.

I greatly underestimated the amount of time and energy I was wasting by not planning. We went from daily trips to the grocery store to once (maybe twice for a special weekend meal) a week.

We almost never eat out or get take out anymore.

I was also able to break the "every meal must have a meat/starch/veggie" cycle, which resulted in some weight loss for the adults.

Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
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Old 04-01-2008, 03:54 PM
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I was also able to break the "every meal must have a meat/starch/veggie" cycle, which resulted in some weight loss for the adults.
<intrigued!>
Tell me more about this!!

g.

Canadian mama to A (C/S May 2004) and R (induced VBAC Dec 2007) expecting #3 in July.  Currently obsessing over permaculture, photography and beekeeping.

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Old 04-01-2008, 04:07 PM
 
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I was also able to break the "every meal must have a meat/starch/veggie" cycle, which resulted in some weight loss for the adults.
Meal planning helps me with this, too. When I don't plan, I always fall back into my childhood (read--easy for me) meals. They are all meat/starch/veggie. I like the variety that I get with meal planning.
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Old 04-03-2008, 04:23 PM
 
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I was also able to break the "every meal must have a meat/starch/veggie" cycle, which resulted in some weight loss for the adults.

For quite a while, eating was our main source of conflict in the house. Daily, it was "what do you want for dinner?" "Dunno?" "What do you want?" On and on...

At wits end, I signed up for a meal planning service ($7 per month) on the internet. It offers 15 different dinner ideas per week.

ETA - I would say 99% of the stuff is from scratch, i.e. the marinades are homemade, as are the dressings and veggie seasonings.

The weekly menus have only two parts - meat/vegetarian main dish and a side dish which is nearly always fruits and/or vegetables.

I just started cooking off the menu, nothing more and nothing less.*

For example, last night's dinner was a steak salad with a simple homemade dressing, grilled mozz cheese and grilled tomatoes.

In the past, I would have made the steak, a side dish of potato or pasta (and a lot of it), a salad with croutons and bottled (and full of fat) dressing, and bread.

Because I force (most of the time) myself to eat off the menu, I have added more veggie dishes into our diet that I would not have normally tried, which is an added bonus.

I don't do the menu from the meal planning site every week but even the weeks I don't, I have managed not to stray into starch land.

I am not anti-pasta/bread/etc. but we ate way, way, way too much. A 16 oz box of pasta, a pound of meatballs and a loaf of italian bread served the 3 of us (and one is a toddler) for one dinner.

*By this time, DH was willing to eat what ever I put in front of him, as long as it wasn't from a box (like a tv dinner), he didn't dare complain

Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
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Old 04-08-2008, 01:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Caneel View Post
For quite a while, eating was our main source of conflict in the house. Daily, it was "what do you want for dinner?" "Dunno?" "What do you want?" On and on...

At wits end, I signed up for a meal planning service ($7 per month) on the internet. It offers 15 different dinner ideas per week.

ETA - I would say 99% of the stuff is from scratch, i.e. the marinades are homemade, as are the dressings and veggie seasonings.

The weekly menus have only two parts - meat/vegetarian main dish and a side dish which is nearly always fruits and/or vegetables.
what website was it?

Danielle*

Danielle, wife to John, mama to Valley9.24.07
expecting our miracle babies around 5.12.10- praying that baby B grows healthy and strong!
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:04 AM
 
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It is Relish - http://relishrelish.com/main.htm

There is a free trial menu.

At first I did have some mild sticker shock because I started buying more fresh fruits and veggies and more spices. After tracking expenses for a while, I realized we were ordering out less and throwing away less food so at the very least, it evens out.

Tonight's meal (from Relish) is chicken on a salad with mango and homemade dill biscuits. The meal actually calls for shrimp and fresh dill but I am subbing chicken for the shrimp and dried dill for the biscuits. Mangos are on sale this week at my market but if they weren't I would sub some other fruit, like apples.

One nice feature is if a fresh ingredient is called for, it general shows up in several dishes so if a Monday's recipe calls for fresh basil, basil is incorporated into other meals and I end up using the entire package by weeks end.

Once in a while something weird pops up that I won't eat (there was some odd fruit thing with whipped topping) and I just fall back on a fruit plate or chopped salad.

Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
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Old 04-09-2008, 05:24 AM
 
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I am sure this would help us too! I was just reading an article last night about this exact topic. I need to get on this...
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Old 04-14-2008, 01:03 PM
 
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newbie to the meal planning world, I'm trying to read all the success stories so that I can get excited and positive about meal planning. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 04-14-2008, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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newbie to the meal planning world, I'm trying to read all the success stories so that I can get excited and positive about meal planning. Thanks for sharing!
You're welcome!

addicted, homeschooling, freelancing mama to DS 8. Pet mama to Harvey the Wonder Mutt :, Pnut: and Autumn : Oh, yeah, and
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Old 04-14-2008, 02:33 PM
 
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Diddo! This will be my third week of mealplanning and it's a lifesaver! We eat very healthy and were spending 500-600/month on groceries for the 2 of us! Now that I'm going to be a SAHM, we need to cut expenses ALOT and this is one of my proudest accomplishments. Over the last 2 weeks, we have spent less than $200 on food (and that included a brunch for 10 ppl) and my goal is $350/month. I'm positive I can do it!

Horray for mealplanning!
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Old 04-15-2008, 08:56 PM
 
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Diddo! This will be my third week of mealplanning and it's a lifesaver! We eat very healthy and were spending 500-600/month on groceries for the 2 of us! Now that I'm going to be a SAHM, we need to cut expenses ALOT and this is one of my proudest accomplishments. Over the last 2 weeks, we have spent less than $200 on food (and that included a brunch for 10 ppl) and my goal is $350/month. I'm positive I can do it!

Horray for mealplanning!
I'd like to cut back to 350/mo too!! Right now we're at about 450ish. for 2 people also.

Danielle, wife to John, mama to Valley9.24.07
expecting our miracle babies around 5.12.10- praying that baby B grows healthy and strong!
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