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andreusmommy 04-23-2006 10:04 AM

menu planning
Does anyone menu plan and then buy? If so what kind of software or planning page do you use? How far out do you plan your menu?

wbkt8 04-23-2006 10:07 AM

Re: menu planning
i try to do that - make a list of what i'm going to cook for the week and build my grocery list accordingly. it definitely helps me in a couple ways 1)i don't buy stuff and not end up using it and 2)it helps us avoid the - "i don't feel like cooking...let's go out to eat syndrome".

i don't use a software program. i usually go through a cookbook or two or check out a favorite online recipe site for some inspiration (and check the pantry & fridge to see what i already have) and go from there. it does take some extra time on the front end but i'm not very good at planning on the fly in the store - i always forget things.


itsmelanie 04-23-2006 01:13 PM

Re: menu planning
We plan a menu for a week or sometimes two, on paper. I have a few meals frozen in the freezer, which covers 2-3 days per week, and we always have spaghetti once per week (it's the ONE thing that I know my middle child will eat, and I can hide all sorts of veggies in the sauce :p ). It really is way more cost effective, because some things we can buy in bulk, and plus it cuts down on the number of trips we make because I can look and see what we need to make each thing on the list.

If there is a software program that would make this easier, please post it! I would be interested.

andreusmommy 04-23-2006 02:45 PM

Re: menu planning
Thanks for the replies. Here is a website my mom uses to plan her menu for the week. It is a frugal living website she plans the meal, e-mails it to you, and gives a link to the grocery list. I am trying to find a healthier website that does this, but this lady doesn't do to bad. And the homemade pork fried rice is mmmm....:D

4boys4me 04-23-2006 04:49 PM

Re: menu planning
I have all of my recipes printed out and held together with a paper clip. I make dh pick out 7 for the week and then I buy accordingly and best of all I have the recipe right there on the fridge for when I need it. I dont have to go look it up anywhere,lol..

Emma 04-24-2006 06:16 AM

Re: menu planning
I plan for a week b/c any longer and the produce would go bad. :) It helps reduce waste of food and money, and it makes it easier when DH comes home and asks what's for dinner. I don't make set items on specific nights. I have a list of 5-7 meals, and whichever one sounds good that night is the one I make.

I don't use any software, but I do keep a spreadsheet of meals I want to try and which ones DH likes. I have a subscription to Cooking Light and Everyday Food, so each week, I try to incorporate several new meals in so things don't get stale.

mizmerricat 04-26-2006 06:27 AM

Re: menu planning
This lady is a nutritionist who offers weekly menus, recipes and shopping lists. This has been a lifesaver! I used her book for about a year and a half (with printable shopping lists on her website), and a few months ago subscribed to her "menu mailer" service. She offers Regular, Vegetarian, Frugal, Heart Healthy and Crock-Pot options. I use the crockpot menu, and every weekday morning (I WOH) I toss everything into the crockpot and come home to a delicious dinner. :D
Mama to Bridget Ann 3/22/05

MomsHelpingMoms 04-26-2006 01:05 PM

Re: menu planning
I surf the website TVFOODNETWORK.COM and find recipies that I really like and have like ingredients (that way I am not buying 50 ingredients for 4 different dishes). Then I print out the recipe or save it in my recipe box online (you can make one on the website above). I have my grocery list made. It isn't the fastest way, but it gets the job done for us. I started doing this when we really got sick of eating/making the same foods week after week. We enjoy the variety now. Plus, you can get the nutritional facts for some of the meals as well.

hollyhobby30 04-29-2006 10:27 PM

Re: menu planning
Another weekly planner here.

I just get a two pieces of paper. One I mark down the days of the week and start with Sunday. I think of meals for the week. Sometimes we will have leftovers so that will fill in 2 days. Also I put under each day the side dishes to go with it.

Then on the other paper I write down what we need for those meals and side dishes. I fill in the rest of the list with our pantry items or things that need refilled. I buy most of my canned and school snacks at Wally world and the rest at Safeway.

During the week I just look at the day and it's all thought out. I only have to think about it for like 10 minutes once a week on a Saturday afternoon. Great for busy families and saving money.

MamaStace 04-30-2006 05:36 PM

Re: menu planning
What a great thread. I have a month's worth of dinners in the freezer from going to My Delicious Dinners. . .but before I did this, I had a calendar dry erase magneted to the refrigerator. I planned out 1-2 weeks worth of dinners, then shopped 2xs a week accordingly. I also had a list of lunch options, or leftovers. As long as I kept it up, it went great. I just got so tired of going thru cookbooks and for 5 years now that I took a few months off and have been premaking all my dinners at My Delicious Dinners. :)

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