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Thread: Meal Planning

  1. Sometimes the best gifts come in the smallest packages.
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    #1

    Hungry Meal Planning

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    I think this is the right place to put this!

    Recently, Ive been trying to start planning our meals out for two weeks at a time. Im not a very organized person, so I struggled quite a bit the first week. I had four meals planned (two were crock pot and one was meatloaf, all three very large meals) for a seven day span.

    Needless to say, that was a little bit of overkill. And I noticed lately several threads started about meal planning. Ive been creeping all over those threads and trying to get this together so that I dont spend two hours doing it every week. Today, I was Pinning and have been working on cleaning up my Pinterest boards, and I stumbled on this blog: My Frugal Adventures and I wanted to share it. The link takes you to a page where she talks about her meal planning and it really gave me some useful information, along with a worksheet, and Im definitely a worksheet kind of girl.

    So, meal planners, Ill ask you again to answer some questions:
    1)How many people are you planning to feed each day?
    2) How does that affect what recipes you choose/how much will be leftover?
    3) How many meals are in your weekly/monthly/etc rotation? (I think this was answered in some other threads but Im hoping to put a lot of information into one thread)
    4) How do you work around picky eaters if you have them?
    And last, 5) How do you organize all of your plans? A notebook? Worksheet? With a fancy Excel spreadsheet? Share with me your ways!

    And, if you have a favorite recipe, Im sure we would all love to have it.



    Edit: I wanted to share this recipe. Make ahead and freeze breakfast sandwiches. I bought everything in bulk at Sams and doubled the recipe. It took two hours, but it was SOOOOO worth it. My hubby loves them, and they are very flexible. Be forewarned, the lady some how manages to get perfect bacon, well mine was either burnt to a crisp or barely done, so it takes a little practice. Also, I found that I only need 4 or 5 eggs for 6 sandwiches, making all 6 is just too much. Ive found this recipe to be great when DH leaves in the mornings, I just throw it in his lunch pail, and then by the time breakfast rolls around after pt, he has a good meal and it only takes 45 seconds to heat up. If its still solidly frozen, takes about a minute and 15 seconds. Super fast.
    Last edited by Phoenixx.; 06-17-2013 at 11:35 AM. Reason: added recipe



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    #2
    1)How many people are you planning to feed each day?
    2) How does that affect what recipes you choose/how much will be leftover?
    3) How many meals are in your weekly/monthly/etc rotation? (I think this was answered in some other threads but Im hoping to put a lot of information into one thread)
    4) How do you work around picky eaters if you have them?
    And last, 5) How do you organize all of your plans? A notebook? Worksheet? With a fancy Excel spreadsheet? Share with me your ways!

    1. 2
    2. We generally do not eat leftovers, we only eat leftovers of certain recipes. So if we want something we know we won't eat the next day I cut it down.
    3. 4-5 a week
    4. My husband is the worst. It's like feeding a child. Often I just have to make two meals Tonight we had quesadillas, I put chicken in the crock pot, shredded it, and divided it. Half got BBQ sauce, and was put in quesadilla with cheese, the other half made regular quesadillas, with chicken, bell pepper, onion and cheese for me. That's how I usually work it.
    5...... my head I have some recipes written down. I also coupon so I buy what's cheap for us, and organize it in my head. I've been meal planning long enough that I know if I buy certain things I can make a couple different meals out of those ingredients. So I just do it all in my head.


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    #3
    1)How many people are you planning to feed each day? 2
    2) How does that affect what recipes you choose/how much will be leftover? It doesn't really. If we have leftovers then I take them to work, if not then it doesn't really matter.
    3) How many meals are in your weekly/monthly/etc rotation? We don't have a rotation since I'm finding and adapting new recipes all the time. We do have some tried-and-true favorites that get thrown in the mix a lot, but DH and I get bored easily so we try to change those up.
    4) How do you work around picky eaters if you have them? DH is pretty picky about certain things because he has preconceived notions about food, for example he supposedly doesn't like fajitas because of how his dad made them, etc. I get around it by not telling him the name of what I'm making until after he eats it and likes it.
    5) How do you organize all of your plans? A notebook? Worksheet? With a fancy Excel spreadsheet? I'm not very formal about recipes, especially because the Internet is my best friend and I find recipes all over the place. The most organized that I get is Pinterest and bookmarks for the week's meals.

    My favorite recipe right now is this asian salad dressing, it's so good and really easy: Homemade Asian Sesame Salad Dressing

    "The purpose of life is not to simply be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well."
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    #4
    We usually have the breakfast sandwiches in the freezer also for DH. I make them with the sausage patties for him though instead of bacon.

    1)How many people are you planning to feed each day? Typically, 2 people
    2) How does that affect what recipes you choose/how much will be leftover? I usually plan enough for a meal and then leftovers for lunch the next day. If we are eating steak for dinner then the next day for lunch we use the steak to make a quesadilla or a steak sandwich or a salad with steak.
    3) How many meals are in your weekly/monthly/etc rotation? We usually plan 4-5 meals a week. Between lunches and then the other 2 nights of dinner we usually finish off all of the leftovers.
    4) How do you work around picky eaters if you have them? I am the pickiest eater in the house, so it's easy for me to plan since I know DH will like anything.
    5) How do you organize all of your plans? A notebook? Worksheet? With a fancy Excel spreadsheet? We have a notepad that we hot glued a magnet to and it is on the side of our fridge, in between the fridge and the wall (DH doesn't like stuff on the front of the fridge). We usually just draw a table on it to list meals


    We ALWAYS plan from what we have first. I look at what veggies and meat we already have and we see what we can make from those. Usually we can get a couple more meals out of it before we have to go shopping and then stuff doesn't go to waste.
    ~Sara~
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    #5
    1)How many people are you planning to feed each day? 2.5

    2) How does that affect what recipes you choose/how much will be leftover? I only pick small portion recipes or ones that can be easily reduced because leftovers never get eaten at my house.

    3) How many meals are in your weekly/monthly/etc rotation? (I think this was answered in some other threads but Im hoping to put a lot of information into one thread) I really have no clue. With my being pregnant we've had to go down to what's quick and easy because by the time I get off work I really dont have the energy to cook dinner.

    4) How do you work around picky eaters if you have them? This is our main problem. I won't eat fish. He won't eat pork. I'm lactose intolerant. Ketchup makes DH throw up. That's why I creep recipe and meal planning threads.

    And last, 5) How do you organize all of your plans? A notebook? Worksheet? With a fancy Excel spreadsheet? Share with me your ways! I just write it out on a piece of paper or a note card. I started making one of the pretty organizing boards like on pinterest but I can't find my clothes pins.

    “It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”
    ― Rose Kennedy
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    #6
    1)How many people are you planning to feed each day?
    2.5 as well
    2) How does that affect what recipes you choose/how much will be leftover?
    It really doesn't...if it's something I know we won't eat the leftovers of then I'll cut the recipe down to be just enough for one night. I really don't eat leftovers, so that all depends on if it's something DH really likes.
    3) How many meals are in your weekly/monthly/etc rotation? (I think this was answered in some other threads but Im hoping to put a lot of information into one thread)
    I try to plan for at LEAST 4 meals/week with a few leftover or fend-for-yourself nights thrown in there. I've been terrible about having more fend-for-yourself nights than usual lately.
    4) How do you work around picky eaters if you have them?
    No picky eaters thankfully. Though there are some things I like that DH doesn't, and vice versa. But that's usually things like mushrooms that I can add just to mine or whatever.
    5) How do you organize all of your plans? A notebook? Worksheet? With a fancy Excel spreadsheet?
    I look at the local grocery store ad each week and take stock of what I have in the cabinets. Then I make a list of meals that I could make incorporating those things. For DD I've been getting produce on sale (pears, sweet potatoes, etc...she just started solids). When I round out my list of dinners, I add things I need to get for breakfast/lunch/snacks. Then I compile it into a shopping list according to the layout of the grocery store.

    A few of our stand-by meals are grilled steak, burgers, chicken & dumplings, chicken & steak fajitas, tacos, shrimp fried rice. I tend to make mine a little different than DH's especially since going gluten-free. For example taco meat I'll eat a little of over a salad while DH eats his on a tortilla with a salad on the side. Just little stuff like that.
  7. Sometimes the best gifts come in the smallest packages.
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by november View Post
    4. My husband is the worst. It's like feeding a child. Often I just have to make two meals Tonight we had quesadillas, I put chicken in the crock pot, shredded it, and divided it. Half got BBQ sauce, and was put in quesadilla with cheese, the other half made regular quesadillas, with chicken, bell pepper, onion and cheese for me. That's how I usually work it.
    5...... my head I have some recipes written down. I also coupon so I buy what's cheap for us, and organize it in my head. I've been meal planning long enough that I know if I buy certain things I can make a couple different meals out of those ingredients. So I just do it all in my head.
    I feel your pain. DH is a butt about a lot of things that he just refuses to eat! lol.
    I cannot imagine trying to keep it all straight in my head, yet. But maybe if I do it for a few years! And that recipe for the quesadillas sounds delicious...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenni Penni View Post
    3) We don't have a rotation since I'm finding and adapting new recipes all the time. We do have some tried-and-true favorites that get thrown in the mix a lot, but DH and I get bored easily so we try to change those up.
    4) DH is pretty picky about certain things because he has preconceived notions about food, for example he supposedly doesn't like fajitas because of how his dad made them, etc. I get around it by not telling him the name of what I'm making until after he eats it and likes it.
    5) I'm not very formal about recipes, especially because the Internet is my best friend and I find recipes all over the place. The most organized that I get is Pinterest and bookmarks for the week's meals.
    3) I feel like I dont really have a "rotation" either, because Im still developing a list of recipes that both DH and I like, and I keep finding new ones (Pinterest is my friend lol)
    4)DH is just like that. I made alfredo the other day. Heavy cream, cheese, and butter. Its alfredo. He is still denying that it is alfredo because "It doesnt taste like the alfredo he has had before"
    5) I just made a folder in my bookmarks for each week's meals, thats an awesome idea!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sara View Post
    We usually have the breakfast sandwiches in the freezer also for DH. I make them with the sausage patties for him though instead of bacon.

    2) I usually plan enough for a meal and then leftovers for lunch the next day. If we are eating steak for dinner then the next day for lunch we use the steak to make a quesadilla or a steak sandwich or a salad with steak.
    We ALWAYS plan from what we have first. I look at what veggies and meat we already have and we see what we can make from those. Usually we can get a couple more meals out of it before we have to go shopping and then stuff doesn't go to waste.
    Thats a great idea with the steak, Ill have to file that away in my brain to remember for future use
    At first I was REALLY bad at cooking with what we already had, but just the other day it dawned on me that I have a house full of food that I dont cook because I feel like I need to buy more food. So this week I am planning Crockpot Chicken Parmesan and I realized I literally had every single thing on the list of ingredients. It shocked me to realize that I had a delicious, easy meal right under my nose the entire time. So now Im hunting through my cabinets searching for recipes on seasonings and soups to see what I can make.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lost&faraway View Post
    3) I really have no clue. With my being pregnant we've had to go down to what's quick and easy because by the time I get off work I really dont have the energy to cook dinner.[/COLOR]

    4) This is our main problem. I won't eat fish. He won't eat pork. I'm lactose intolerant. Ketchup makes DH throw up. That's why I creep recipe and meal planning threads.
    5) I just write it out on a piece of paper or a note card. I started making one of the pretty organizing boards like on pinterest but I can't find my clothes pins.
    3) Even when Im not working, my anemia and (as of late) high blood pressure keep me from cooking for more than about 30 minutes, so I am all about fast and easy. Thats why I love my crock pot.

    4) That sounds complicated!! It sounds like you guys might be a beef a chicken family like me and DH. Its rare that we eat pork, and he REFUSES to eat fish (Were in Alaska. Come on DH ) (not that there is anything wrong with fish, but I like it and he doesnt. I try so hard to get him to try it, but he wont. ) Hopefully you can get some good recipes off of here! And, I dont know what I have on there that might work for your family, but I have a boatload of recipes on my pinterest site: Megan's Pinterest



  8. Pour a little salt, we were never here
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    #8

    1)How many people are you planning to feed each day?
    It's either me and dh, or just me. When dh is gone, I can live off mac and cheese and tuna casserole, and I basically did. I'm hoping though to change that habit and still cook when he's on trips.

    2) How does that affect what recipes you choose/how much will be leftover? I don't love leftovers, especially if I am in a cooking phase, I want to be able to make some fresh the next night so I try to make either just enough for dinner, or a small portion of leftovers for lunch the next day but if a recipe looks like I'll have any more than that, I cut it down or it will get trashed.

    3) How many meals are in your weekly/monthly/etc rotation? I'm working on figuring this out right now. I have a list of 26 recipes that we recently tried, or want to try that are healthier than our normal ones that we're trying to replace. Realistically I would like to have about 15-20 go to recipes that I know by heart, can whip up if I haven't planned and can remember all the ingredients for while I'm at the store without having to check the recipe again. Right now though, we're in the trying new recipes phase, and so I have no idea how many we'll end up with like that. I think I already found two that are for sure stuck in my head as easy to remember, and tasty.

    4) How do you work around picky eaters if you have them? I am pickier than DH, so it works that I make the food how I like it DH can be infuriatingly unpicky, but I would rather have him and his apathetic attitude than a picky eater so if you are trying to work around someone picky. Dh has things he doesn't like, but if they are healthy, he will eat them because it's good for him. I try to make things he actually likes, but he's just never enthusiastic about food.

    And last, 5) How do you organize all of your plans? A notebook? Worksheet? With a fancy Excel spreadsheet? Share with me your ways! right now I have a large day planner, and it has a column on the side of each week. I've been writing what I am going to make, then doing a grocery list, then picking from the list depending on what I feel like having that day or what needs to be cooked because it's fresh. Last night we had balsamic salmon and asparagus because the salmon was fresh and the asparagus needed to be eaten. Tonight we're having some chicken chili with a salad, because I had some frozen chicken breasts I wanted to get out of the freezer.

    I'm still trying to get the hang of it. I used to meal plan really well a few years back, but now I'm trying to add in tons of fresh fruits and veggies, and fresh meats, so I find I have to really watch what is in the fridge, needs to be used, and plan around that.
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by megan_laine View Post
    3) Even when Im not working, my anemia and (as of late) high blood pressure keep me from cooking for more than about 30 minutes, so I am all about fast and easy. Thats why I love my crock pot.

    4) That sounds complicated!! It sounds like you guys might be a beef a chicken family like me and DH. Its rare that we eat pork, and he REFUSES to eat fish (Were in Alaska. Come on DH ) (not that there is anything wrong with fish, but I like it and he doesnt. I try so hard to get him to try it, but he wont. ) Hopefully you can get some good recipes off of here! And, I dont know what I have on there that might work for your family, but I have a boatload of recipes on my pinterest site: Megan's Pinterest
    I'd so love to use my crock pot more but I pull 9 hour shifts and every single crock pot recipe I find is less than 8. Usually closer to 5 or 6. DH's hours aren't much better so I really cant count on him to just put it on the warmer when its done. I love Pinterest so much. I try to find less than 30 min recipes but I have this horrid luck to find ones that need to cook for 30 minutes but with prep its closer to an hour. I will definitely your Pinterest. Here's mine if youre interested. http://pinterest.com/lostandfaraway/boards/

    “It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”
    ― Rose Kennedy
  10. Sometimes the best gifts come in the smallest packages.
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Lost&faraway View Post
    I'd so love to use my crock pot more but I pull 9 hour shifts and every single crock pot recipe I find is less than 8. Usually closer to 5 or 6. DH's hours aren't much better so I really cant count on him to just put it on the warmer when its done. I love Pinterest so much. I try to find less than 30 min recipes but I have this horrid luck to find ones that need to cook for 30 minutes but with prep its closer to an hour. I will definitely your Pinterest. Here's mine if youre interested. http://pinterest.com/lostandfaraway/boards/
    Creep away!! Im all for getting more people to follow and more recipes lol. Yeah, I find a lot of 5-6 hour recipes as well, that does make it harder. Thats why I never did them when I was working.
    I read a story online one time about a lady who would bring the stuff to work for her crock pot recipe, and then start it at work, take it home, and finish it at home. lol. Craziness!



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