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Old 06-29-2011, 02:20 PM   #1
mel j
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Meal plans?

Just wondering if anyone follows a meal plan and how it works out. Been thinking of doing one myself. Thanks for any ideas


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Old 06-29-2011, 02:49 PM   #2
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I do. I use pepper plate on my iPad. I am also using out of milk on my delis to keep my pantry items in check.

I do all meals except for breakfast as I keep most everything on hand for breakfast. Plus some weeks all ds wants is corn bran for breakfast.

I try every week to have 2 seafood/fish 2 veggie, a pasta and then I fill in the 2 days with whatever or left overs. I make sure to use all my fresh stuff up, I hate waste, shown below is 3 different ways to use asparagus without feeling repetitive. (it was on sale 2 bunches for $4)

I keep my freezer and pantry ober organized. We also plan simple meals. Here is is weeks for an example (lunch and dinner )

L- little sammies, chips, apples (left over lunch meat, cheese on Hawaiian rolls warmed in the oven)
D-creole shrimp and rice

Monday -
L- chicken bites, apples, banana, yogurt
D- chicken and cheese quesadilla, broccoli (no chicken for ds)

L- waffles, apples, grapes, jello
D- ds had oatmeal at his request, dh worked late and I had leftover cheese quesadillas, no chicken

L- peanut butter, strawberries, Hawaiian rolls, yogurt, string cheese
D -cocoa and chili pork chops, roasted asparagus, mashed potatoes

L - salmon, yogurt, carrots, grapes
D- pasta with asparagus and cheese

L - ds had party at school do dh and I will take any leftovers
D - talapia, broccoli and carrots, rice.

L - left overs of any of the weeks meals
D - asparagus tart if we have any left, if not then breakfast

I budget $50 a week. I stay under most weeks since I know what I need since I am organized. I have to be I work 40 hours a week with an hour commute each way. Dh works even more.

I use everything I buy, buy things in bulk like spices since I can get a little If it is an odd ingredient or a ton if it is come thing we eat a lot like oatmeal and rice. If I use half an onion I dice it up and freeze it, makes easy prep for another meal, same with fruit, but I use those for smoothies. If I have a ton like strawberries or a million half eaten apples I make muffins and freeze them. I also sometimes double and freeze meals.
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Old 06-29-2011, 02:53 PM   #3
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Re: Meal plans?

In the last year I have used 4 meal plans. Currently I am doing 2 and honestly I think I am happy where I am with this now. I honestly don't think I will go back to not having meal plans. We still use cookbooks from time to time but our meals tend to be meal plans and maybe a take off of a meal plan meal.
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:44 PM   #4
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Re: Meal plans?

I have a meal suggestion. I quit assigning specific meals to a certian day because it never happens. Instead I shop whatevers on sale come home and put together ideas for myself for the week. I prefer to keep a variety of sauces and dressings and spices on hand to keep things interesting.

my loose plan is

terriyaki chicken breast(precooked) rice and frozen veggie stirfry mix. Will also use one for a chinese chicken salad for DH's lunch I have ginger dressing, add cucumer and tomato maybe some crushed wasabi doritos.

24 burgers and buns, went to costco enough for 3 everybody meals. Add chips, dip, carrot sticks or any fruit. For lunch I'll use the handful of frozen fries that are left.

Taco salad if theres enough salad. Add can black beans, shredded cheese, sourcream salas dressing, toasted tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips. Will add meat if we have it. If not enough for dinner DH's lunch.

torellini with pesto, add veggies on hand. this week asparagus, tomato and zuchinni.

tritip, mac cheese, veggie

2 pork roasts, shredded pork for sandwiches and maybe tacos. Will make chile verde over rice as well with the green salsa i have. Both done in crock pot. Another option is cube it and make sweet n sour pork.

4 meals chicken breast, alfredo pasta primavera, cajun pasta, grill plus extra to make bbq chicken pizza.

black bean and lentil chili with corn bread.

Last edited by ittybittycoconuts; 06-29-2011 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 06-30-2011, 10:08 AM   #5
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Re: Meal plans?

I do monthly planning/shopping cycles I'm headed out with the kids, but I'll try to come back here later and post examples and ideas!
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Old 06-30-2011, 11:41 AM   #6
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Re: Meal plans?

I use good ol' paper and pen and write mine. We do a 2 wk meal plan since that falls with when we shop. We plan our meals on what we have on hand first (shop your pantry before the store ) Then I write what else we need for our shopping list. We look at the calendar for the next 2 wks so we know if someone is working late or we need an easy meal. Also the weather if it's hot we plan grilled food instead of using the oven.

It works for us. And it avoids all the last minute trips to the store.
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Old 06-30-2011, 01:22 PM   #7
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Re: Meal plans?

I do weekly meal plans - and really don't assign meals for exact days... That just NEVER works for me...

I usually have 1 day as leftover day.. But - gonna change that up now... My mom is back living with us - and now we have a 'stricter' diet... UGH... My mom is renal, cardiac, diabetic diet.. And then add in my DD is dairy intolerant!! Yep - makes it soo much fun planning meals now...

We used to do this:
2 days of chicken
2 days of red meat
2 days of pasta, soup or salad
1 leftover day or breakfast (if no leftovers)

I'll probably keep that - but change it a little.. Hard to find a pasta or soup that my mom can have and that is dairy-free... And my mom can't eat salad..
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:04 PM   #8
mel j
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Re: Meal plans?

Great ideas

Yeah, planning out exact meals for each day just wouldn't work for us. I know we just won't feel like certain things some days - esp. when we visit my MIL and end up having leftovers from her place, then we won't feel like chicken for a few days b/c she made chicken, or whatever. So I was thinking of doing the weekly thing and then having a variety of meals for the week, then having a menu that we could check quickly each day.

I think this will definitely help with groceries too and we'll get mostly just what we actually need rather than whatever comes into our head when we need to get groceries, and avoid extra trips to the store. We used to do lists but stopped awhile ago - but just started doing lists again.

I think maybe we'll have one or two free meals per week where it doesn't have to be anything on the menu for the week b/c sometimes we do feel like cooking on a whim or just feel like something in particular and we do really enjoy trying new recipes, or when we're visiting my MIL, she really likes to eat out sometimes.
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:07 PM   #9
mel j
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Re: Meal plans?

Originally Posted by ArronDalesMama View Post
If I have a ton like strawberries or a million half eaten apples I make muffins and freeze them. I also sometimes double and freeze meals.
Yeah, I just froze some soup b/c I accidentally made way too much and knew we weren't going to eat it all but didn't want to waste it, so this way we have something on hand in the freezer. Lately my LO's aren't too crazy about bananas unless they're really hungry and will only eat half so if I don't eat the other half, I'll freeze it for smoothies/banana "ice cream" or so they just can eat it later frozen (they really like frozen banana!)
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Old 07-02-2011, 08:54 PM   #10
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Re: Meal plans?

I have gone back and forth a lot with menu planning and feel so much better when I at least have a plan! Something that has been fun for us is assigning Wednesdays as "noodle night" and Fridays as "Fiesta Friday" So we have some sort of noodle dish on Wednesdays and something Mexican or tex-mex on Fridays. We don't stick to it all the time, but it makes it easy to plan. Then we have at least one night with fish and one night with some sort of meat or tofu. The rest depends a lot on what fresh produce is available as we try to eat local and organic produce as much as possible and plan meals around that!
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