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Old 11-02-2012, 10:22 AM   #1
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Meal Planning: What is your system?

I need to be more organized and I would love some ideas on how you keep your meals planned and organized.

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Old 11-02-2012, 10:34 AM   #2
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Re: Meal Planning: What is your system?

I actually just sit down before going grocery shopping and write out a menu for the week. Then on the back of that paper I write my grocery shopping list, based on the meal plan, then I add the extra stuff. Then the menu gets put on the fridge.

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Old 11-02-2012, 11:41 AM   #3
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Re: Meal Planning: What is your system?

I start in my pantry, frig, & freezer to see what I have on hand and to make sure I am not wasting anything. I check grocery ads to see what is sale. After doing all that then I plan my menu which is written on a dry erase board calendar that Hans on the side of the frig

This system works for me because otherwise I buy stuff I already have and I do not like to waste food.
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Old 11-02-2012, 01:19 PM   #4
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Re: Meal Planning: What is your system?

I check to see what's on sale, what I have on hand and make a menu for breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks.

I also use this site quite often: http://onceamonthmom.com/
She's become very popular and now charges a small fee for the new menus but you can access the past menus for free

This is a great site too: http://www.foodonthetable.com/ It uses store ads to help you build a menu and list
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:47 AM   #5
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Re: Meal Planning: What is your system?

I keep a list handy to write stuff down as it gets low or we run out- for weekly trip items. I go to Sams once every 2 months and always get the same stuff there (its where I buy my meat and bulk baking stuff). I plan for 2 weeks to a month at a time- depends on my mood. So I keep several lists- one for each week (anything that won't spoil I just buy whenever its on sale). I just write out my menu and fill in my grocery list as needed for the menu.
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:51 PM   #6
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Re: Meal Planning: What is your system?

ive found its easier for me to just have a list of meals, rather than a meal assigned to each day. i try to plan for the month, and then when my food stamps reload i buy as much as i can in one shopping trip- canned goods, meats to be frozen, stuff with a long shelf life, etc, and then ideally only go once more through the month to restock on the perishables
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:05 PM   #7
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Here's my routine, which takes place on the morning of grocery shopping.

1. Make a list of that days between now and the next planned grocery trip. Note anything specific that needs to be planned for. Any nights we know we're eating dinner somewhere else, people are coming over, I'm working late, etc. If I already know what's planned for any specific night, I go ahead and write it in. Then figure out how many meals I need to plan on cooking that week. For example, it might be 2 crockpot meals, 1 quick dinner, 3 regular meals, and a night off (for leftovers, pizza, whatever).

2. Head to the kitchen. By checking out cupboards, fridge and freezer, see how many of those meals I can fill in with what's on hand or buying minimal stuff. Then I fill in the remaining meals as needed. I don't always make the meals on the list on the days they're written down, but I know crockpot meals will be for nights I work late, more labor intensive meals will be my days off, etc.

3. Then I go through and write down all the ingredients I need to buy, organized by departments of the store. That keeps me from missing things or backtracking around the store. I also fill in the basics as needed like milk, bread, cereal, etc.

4. While I'm grocery shopping, I carry my meal list too. If I come across a great sale, I might switch out a meal. I don't buy without a plan, with one exception, meat. If there's sale or clearance meats I know we'll eat, I buy them and stock up the freezer. My goal is to not need to buy a specific meat at the store as inevitably, its the one that's not on sale; I'd rather use the meat from the freezer that I bought on sale.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:27 AM   #8
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Re: Meal Planning: What is your system?

very helpful!
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:36 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Michelle_M
I actually just sit down before going grocery shopping and write out a menu for the week. Then on the back of that paper I write my grocery shopping list, based on the meal plan, then I add the extra stuff. Then the menu gets put on the fridge.

God bless!
This exactly, except for the whole month.

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Old 11-06-2012, 01:28 PM   #10
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Re: Meal Planning: What is your system?

I sit down on Sunday night with my 4 go-to cookbooks and make a meal plan. Then I go through each recipe and write down what I need to get at the store. After that I go through the ad to see what is on sale and might want to stock up on and add that to the list. Lastly I go through the fridge and pantry and add items to the list that I need. I find it helpful to write down things during the week that run out so I don't forget to add them to the list on Sunday. Then I shop on Monday. I go with a calculator because I also have a budget to stay under. I add things I want if there is money left over.

The meal plan goes up on the fridge for the week so dh knows what to expect and doesn't have to ask me.
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