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The Cookbook (Recipes, Cooking, & Food Prep) *Public* You can share recipes here, talk about "what's for dinner," and ask all sorts of questions related to cooking and food preparation.
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Old 11-02-2007, 10:22 PM   #16
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Default Re: Can someone teach me how to meal plan?

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Old 11-03-2007, 10:29 AM   #17
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Default Re: Can someone teach me how to meal plan?

I need serious help in this area, too. Great ideas here!
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Old 11-03-2007, 10:33 AM   #18
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Default Re: Can someone teach me how to meal plan?

Every day of the week we eat lunch and dinner but on Sunday we eat dinner and supper, so ITU, Darci
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Old 11-03-2007, 10:39 AM   #19
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Default Re: Can someone teach me how to meal plan?

Decide what day of the week you want to grocery shop. Make meal plans for every day that you will cook dinner starting the day after you grocery shop. Plan through the next grocery shopping day so that you won't have to buy that day's meal at the store just in case it needs to be prepped ahead of time--crock pot, thawed, etc.

Stick to your menu. If you don't make something that week, put it first on next week's menu.
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Old 11-03-2007, 10:45 AM   #20
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Default Re: Can someone teach me how to meal plan?

I've been meal planning since we seriously overhauled our grocery habits about 5 years ago.

I've always kept my recipes in a database (first in a simple one and now in Mastercook 9). Then I would plan about 1-2 weeks of meals and manually put together the shopping list in excel.

With mastercook the 2nd half of that has changed drastically. I open the calendar, click on each day to add a recipe/meal, then click on "add to shopping list", remove stuff I have already in the house and print. Done.

I've written down all my recipes even the ones that I've cooked without recipes because hubby missed out on getting his granny's recipes and a lot on my side of the fam are lost as well. I want our family recipes to be documented so that hubby and the kids can put together the same meals I do and for our future grandkids too.
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Old 11-03-2007, 10:49 AM   #21
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Default Re: Can someone teach me how to meal plan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchymum
because i STINK at this... like really really. i'm going to check out your calender when i have a minute, allison... i really don't think i have a lot of meals in que that i don't need a recipe for, though...
Yep this is me, too.
Sara, glad you started this discussion!
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Old 11-03-2007, 11:12 AM   #22
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Default Re: Can someone teach me how to meal plan?

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Old 11-03-2007, 12:19 PM   #23
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Default Re: Can someone teach me how to meal plan?

The way I do this is I grocery shop twice a month so I plan for a month because I double dinners and I make soups for lunch {or salde and sandwiches in spring and summer}for breakfast it whatever is cheap and kids can grab themselves.Anyway ,keep your recipes easy ones that you know will double easy and things your family love to eat.If Im making caseroles I just make two instead of one and start putting them in the freezer.You could decied if you want to cook for the first 2 weeks then use whats in the freezer the second 2 or if you want to cook a few days out of the week and eat the spare on the other days of the week.You really dont have to freeze that way just choose leftover days.What ever works best for your family I have been refining my system for years so dont feel bad if it doesnt work out right away.Keep trying
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Old 11-04-2007, 04:50 PM   #24
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Default Re: Can someone teach me how to meal plan?

OK Allison, I'm ready for the next step.

Embarassingly I have 16 meals that I can really think of that I can make from scratch without needing a recipe.

I need to go shopping, like ASAP, so hopefully I can get step 2 going soon!
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Old 11-04-2007, 05:05 PM   #25
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Default Re: Can someone teach me how to meal plan?

Ok, are you going to shop for 1 week of meals at a time, or two?
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Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take a boat in the air that you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turn of the world. Love keeps her in the air when she ought to fall down. Tells you she's hurting before she keens. Makes her a home.
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Old 11-04-2007, 05:37 PM   #26
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Default Re: Can someone teach me how to meal plan?

I am totally relate to this! I have thrown out so, so many wonderful, organically grown, local CSA veggies due to bad meal planning!! Or, due to meal planning that don't include plans for the CSA food. 100 dollars worth at least.
That doesn't include the other grocery store stuff I have thrown out. And we eat sooooo much takeout.
*sigh*
I am going to work on this, too. Thank you for starting this.
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Old 11-04-2007, 05:51 PM   #27
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Default Re: Can someone teach me how to meal plan?

Where did you get that software Marielle? I am always looking for organization stuff

What we do around here is keep a good stock of recipes (that I can do and that I can make without thinking OR that I can follow along and know we'll like OR that I want to try )

I also have 6 months of food in my freezer (well,. down to about 3 now ) and I use that as a base and filled in a calendar to make sure I won't use too much too close together

Then I make my weekly updated list and buy the food I need for that
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Old 11-04-2007, 05:55 PM   #28
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Default Re: Can someone teach me how to meal plan?

ok, we will assume that you are planning for one week.

Look at your calander. Are there any nights when cooking is well nigh impossible? For us Wednesday is hard because we have Violin lessons, Church and JBQ, so that night I plan for eating take-out or making something super easy (like sandwiches or cereal) Next I put each meal I want to make on a day, and then check what ingredients I have in my cupboard for those things I want to make, and make my grocery list to include *every single ingredient* that I need for those recipes so that I don't have to go back to the store.

Now that you've done that, add snacks, and breakfast/lunch foods to your list, and you're ready to go to the store.

Buy all the ingredients. When you get home, put them away in a way that makes sense to you. Do not hide anything from yourself!

The first week, resolve to stick to your meal plan, no matter what. Actually, it's good not to deviate too much from it for the first three months, with exceptions for emergencies, until you get good at it.

At first I would look at the calander and think "I don't really want that tonight " but then I would remember that I would have to think of something else, and have the ingredients OR I would have to swap it with the food from another night. I have the stickie notes so I can swap food nights pretty easily, so I do that occasionally, but generally speaking, I just make the food I have on schedule.
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Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take a boat in the air that you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turn of the world. Love keeps her in the air when she ought to fall down. Tells you she's hurting before she keens. Makes her a home.
. . . . . . .



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Old 11-04-2007, 07:37 PM   #29
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Default Re: Can someone teach me how to meal plan?

Crystal I bought mine at Best Buy (I think it was $19.99) but it's also available online. There are many different types out there including Cook'n (betty crocker) and I forget the other names.

Mine is mastercook 9 and the initial investment is mostly entering the recipes (although there's a neat copy & paste tool as well as a web capture button for importing recipes you see on the web). You can put ratings in for the recipes, make up your own categories and it even has a nutritional breakdown feature.

I agree with Allison that it's important to make sure you have every ingredient. I tend to view my weekly mealplan as a list of meals. Provided stuff is fresh I shift stuff around depending on our needs but the meals get made that week for sure.
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Old 11-05-2007, 06:01 AM   #30
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Default Re: Can someone teach me how to meal plan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allison In TX
At first I would look at the calander and think "I don't really want that tonight " but then I would remember that I would have to think of something else, and have the ingredients OR I would have to swap it with the food from another night. I have the stickie notes so I can swap food nights pretty easily, so I do that occasionally, but generally speaking, I just make the food I have on schedule.
I think this is a common objection--"what if that doesn't sound good when I'm supposed to make it?" FWIW, I've found that if I make a meal plan according to what sounds good at that time, I am then anticipating making those things, so they automatically sound good. I'm making things I *chose* to make because I wanted them in the first place. I find myself going, "oh we're having fish monday and that really sounds good." It's almost like I psych myself up to anticipate the meal because I have planned it. Not always, but most of the time.
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