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Old 10-24-2017, 06:46 AM   #1
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Meal Planning-Let's Give This a Go

We kind of know meal planning can save time and money. No more last minute runs to the store or take out. Use up what's in your freezer or get organized enough to rotate new recipes in.

We have some experts here. We have beginners too. Some of us are in the middle somewhere.

What are your goals?

When do you want to start?

What do you hope it helps with?

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Old 10-24-2017, 07:25 AM   #2
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Re: Meal Planning-Let's Give This a Go

my mom was the master at this. She had a desk calendar (book style with a week on 2 facing pages) and she would plan out our meals for the week/s. She kept all the old calendars so if she was having trouble coming up with meals or getting bored she would look back in old calendars to what we ate around the same time in previous years. She would then write out everything we needed to make those meals on the list we had going... in our house the shopping list was always available to add to. If you took a staple out of the cupboard (jelly, peanut butter, ketchup, etc) you wrote it on the list. We always had an extra one in in the cupboard.

Once she had everything down that we needed, she would re-write the shopping list so items were in order by aisle/section and cross off everything as we went.

Master planning when it came to dinner/shopping.
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:45 AM   #3
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Re: Meal Planning-Let's Give This a Go

For me, it helps if I start supper early in the day. By 2:00, if I don't already have a plan, I need to get one then! Evening time is when Morgan is more likely to want to be held and not be content in his bouncy seat. I used to put him in a wrap to cook, but he is heavier now! And I just don't like reaching around a baby to try to cook. I did great with my Instant Pot for a while. I would put the stuff in the pot whenever I could and then turn it on at the right time.

As far as planning, I would like to meal plan for two weeks straight. Since we homeschool, I need to plan all meals. Breakfast is the same rotation over and over so I don't have to plan that. I have a giant glass meal planning calendar that I made. I love it but I haven't used it in a few months. I also would like a hard copy to be able to look back at like Pixi said her mom did.
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:46 AM   #4
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Re: Meal Planning-Let's Give This a Go

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Originally Posted by Pixi6s View Post
my mom was the master at this. She had a desk calendar (book style with a week on 2 facing pages) and she would plan out our meals for the week/s. She kept all the old calendars so if she was having trouble coming up with meals or getting bored she would look back in old calendars to what we ate around the same time in previous years. She would then write out everything we needed to make those meals on the list we had going... in our house the shopping list was always available to add to. If you took a staple out of the cupboard (jelly, peanut butter, ketchup, etc) you wrote it on the list. We always had an extra one in in the cupboard.

Once she had everything down that we needed, she would re-write the shopping list so items were in order by aisle/section and cross off everything as we went.

Master planning when it came to dinner/shopping.
She sounds like an expert at the womanly art of home organization. How do you organize?

My mom was terrible in the kitchen. Sorry Mom! but she knows it's true. She now has two - three recipes she's a master at and she sticks to those and doesn't divulge secrets.

As I was shuffling through my home communication book it dawned on me that we can really improve on it. My dh just recently got on board with it and so we do use it but it could be way better organized.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:05 AM   #5
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Re: Meal Planning-Let's Give This a Go

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She sounds like an expert at the womanly art of home organization. How do you organize?



My mom was terrible in the kitchen. Sorry Mom! but she knows it's true. She now has two - three recipes she's a master at and she sticks to those and doesn't divulge secrets.



As I was shuffling through my home communication book it dawned on me that we can really improve on it. My dh just recently got on board with it and so we do use it but it could be way better organized.


Home communication book???

I am in the process of revamping my homemaking binder and school binders, that was actually the plan today after school.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:10 AM   #6
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Re: Meal Planning-Let's Give This a Go

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Home communication book???

I am in the process of revamping my homemaking binder and school binders, that was actually the plan today after school.
It's just a central notebook where we leave notes for each other. DH leaves really early and sometimes he needs to let us know something. We also keep the shopping list in there and phone messages.

So typical message might be something like:

We are about to be out of chicken feed.
Plumber is coming today-keep basement clear.

Stuff like that.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:17 AM   #7
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Re: Meal Planning-Let's Give This a Go

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Originally Posted by Agla View Post
It's just a central notebook where we leave notes for each other. DH leaves really early and sometimes he needs to let us know something. We also keep the shopping list in there and phone messages.



So typical message might be something like:



We are about to be out of chicken feed.

Plumber is coming today-keep basement clear.



Stuff like that.


Sounds awesome. Except DH wouldn't read it.

I'm working on clearing out the space in my laundry room (by the entry door) that is supposed to be command central for me. That's where the calendar for meals is hanging.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:32 AM   #8
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Re: Meal Planning-Let's Give This a Go

I usually meal plan dinner for a month. I use DHs work schedule. I write down all the nights he will be home for dinner and what we will have that day. Then I go through the freezer and pantry to see what we have and what I will need. If there is a recipe I have nothing at all for I try to replace it with a recipe I already have a few things on hand for if possible.

For the nights DH isn't home for dinner I just make sure to have stuff on hand that I can quickly make for the boys. Usually stuff like chicken nuggets or spaghetti ingredients etc.

I have a big desk calender up on the wall and I use little sticky notes to write each meal on and stick it on the day we are having it. That way if I forget to thaw something or we end up going out or whatever I can just move it to a different day or off to the side for next month but it reminds me I have the ingredients for it. I also usually make a list of "last minute ingredients" like stuff I know I will need to get the week of or something. Such as, I can't buy all produce at the begining of the month and expect it to be good still by the last week so I may need to pick something up for that recipe.

I definitely have my usual meals I make that I know the boys all like but I also try to add two or so new recipes a month.

I love when this all comes together and works out but some months I just can't get it together. Like this month lol.
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Old 10-24-2017, 10:03 AM   #9
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Re: Meal Planning-Let's Give This a Go

When I did this hard core (read: when I worked all day and had to have a plan in place before I left for work) I used this simple rule to help me pick meals: one night each week featuring pork, chicken, beef, fish, and no meat. Sometimes I allowed eggs on the no meat night. It gave me a good starting place and helped get variety. We've since decided we basically hate all pork except sausage, so I leave that one out sometimes. I like to do at least one meal a week in the Crock-Pot so that I know I won't be rushing around at 5:00 that night. In the summer we grill at least one night, usually more. I like to use my daily calendar so I know if I have a busy day, that's a good day to schedule Crock-Pot or frozen pizzas or something fast and easy.
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Old 10-24-2017, 10:26 AM   #10
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Re: Meal Planning-Let's Give This a Go

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Originally Posted by MamaChirpy View Post
Sounds awesome. Except DH wouldn't read it.

I'm working on clearing out the space in my laundry room (by the entry door) that is supposed to be command central for me. That's where the calendar for meals is hanging.
Mine didn't for a long time and then we started leaving funny notes in there specifically for him and he came around.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kmrotski View Post
I usually meal plan dinner for a month. I use DHs work schedule. I write down all the nights he will be home for dinner and what we will have that day. Then I go through the freezer and pantry to see what we have and what I will need. If there is a recipe I have nothing at all for I try to replace it with a recipe I already have a few things on hand for if possible.

For the nights DH isn't home for dinner I just make sure to have stuff on hand that I can quickly make for the boys. Usually stuff like chicken nuggets or spaghetti ingredients etc.

I have a big desk calender up on the wall and I use little sticky notes to write each meal on and stick it on the day we are having it. That way if I forget to thaw something or we end up going out or whatever I can just move it to a different day or off to the side for next month but it reminds me I have the ingredients for it. I also usually make a list of "last minute ingredients" like stuff I know I will need to get the week of or something. Such as, I can't buy all produce at the begining of the month and expect it to be good still by the last week so I may need to pick something up for that recipe.

I definitely have my usual meals I make that I know the boys all like but I also try to add two or so new recipes a month.

I love when this all comes together and works out but some months I just can't get it together. Like this month lol.
I need a list of salty meals for when dh isn't home for dinner. We usually end up wondering what we should have.

I can do last minute fairly well what I want is to try new recipes. Only way that's going to happen is if I organize myself.

I'm trying because November promises to be crazy and I want to be coming into the month with at least things organized.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Elchorrito View Post
When I did this hard core (read: when I worked all day and had to have a plan in place before I left for work) I used this simple rule to help me pick meals: one night each week featuring pork, chicken, beef, fish, and no meat. Sometimes I allowed eggs on the no meat night. It gave me a good starting place and helped get variety. We've since decided we basically hate all pork except sausage, so I leave that one out sometimes. I like to do at least one meal a week in the Crock-Pot so that I know I won't be rushing around at 5:00 that night. In the summer we grill at least one night, usually more. I like to use my daily calendar so I know if I have a busy day, that's a good day to schedule Crock-Pot or frozen pizzas or something fast and easy.
We like the rotating meat. Now that we have the freezer we can have a bit more variety.

I'm going to do a week at a time with one day of a new recipe thrown in for each week ideally.
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