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Old 11-07-2013, 11:55 AM   #71
peekaboomama
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Illinois
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Default Re: Can someone teach me how to meal plan?

My system is far from perfect, but it's working for us.

I write on plain notebook paper, after trying various printables and excel sheets that never worked for me. I start by listing out each day of the week, with activities for the day next to the name. Line 2 is "L" for lunch, line 3 is "D" for dinner. I don't plan specific snacks or breakfasts - I usually list a couple off to the side to pick from as needed.

Then I just fill in. I have a list in my cookbook of our favorite things as a starting point. I'm a big pinterest and food magazine fan so if there's something new I want to try those get plugged in first. I usually cook for dinner and reheat for lunch, with the exception of Tuesday when that's flipped due to evening meetings.

My big tip is I look for things that use the same ingredients to avoid left-overs. So when I have a recipe that calls for a half bunch of kale, I make sure to schedule something else a day or two later that calls for the other half. We go through moods - we'll have a Thai / Mexican kick, since those are both heavy on peppers, lime, and cilantro. Then a soup week with lots of leafy greens. Then vegetarian. Then assorted Asian. Throwing away food makes me literally cringe so I do my best to make sure everything gets used before it goes bad.

Clear as mud?
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