We are terrible with grocery shopping. I rarely do it these days so DH does it and he never plans more than like 5 minutes ahead. So there is rarely a day he doesn't make a stop at the store and does 90% of the shopping at Walmart. We also eat out way too much due to not having the right type of food in the house to put together a decent meal and no plan. I hate our "system" but have never gotten myself together on meal planning so it has just been this way. This is actually one of my big priorities for when I'm on maternity leave. I have got to get some weekly meal plans put together so it's pre-done and I can cycle through them without alot of effort for continued planning.
Anyone have any tips on meal planning that has worked for you? Whenever I try to keep up with doing it I always end up making it too complicated, not with planning fancy meals but just with trying to find more variety and trying different things. So then I just give up. That's why I feel like getting some basic weekly plans, like 4 or 5, done and then maybe changing a meal here and there when I have the energy to come up with something new may work better for me.
We go every Friday! I plan 4-5 meals for the week and do leftovers. This week will be a little crazy so I've got spaghetti/salad/garlic bread, meatball stroganoff and green beans and pot roast with carrots and potatoes. Those should each give us at least two meals! Basically easy meals DH can put together. Two are cp meals!
Lynn, I've got a folder and I printed out some daily charts that have meal planning, chores and misc. things on it. I just put them in individual sheet protectors and use dry erase markers so I can just erase and reuse. I usually rotate our favorite meals! I can look and see where I got them from if you want
Lynn, I just made a list of the meals we do and divided it by type of meat or no meat so I can make our week carried that way. I plan a month in ahead and leave some days empty to go out or fill in. At the end of the calendar I put an 8th column for our weekly shopping list for the meals planned. I did this b4 bed rest and plan on updating it and doing it again
I work in a grocery store so I'm constantly "picking up" something. Then I do my "shopping" on the days I'm off so I'm ALWAYS at work LOL My specific store doubles coupons up to 1.00 everyday and I'm a big couponer (except since the baby has been here I haven't couponed at ALL) so I do atleast plan out what I'm buying with coupons.
I haven't needed diapers or wipes yet, but I'll probably tag along with MIL when she goes to the Wholesale place (which, is called BJ's ...that's a horrible name for a store) when I need some. I do fly through some formula though - good grief!
We are pretty basic with the meal planning. Usually only 2-3 days of the week are really a NICE meal. For example, here's what was on the menu this week:
Sunday - Baked Orange Chicken, rice, stirfried veggies
Monday - Hot dogs on the BBQ, watermelon
Tuesday - Spaghetti with tomato sauce, salad, garlic toast
Wednesday - Leftovers (we'll have leftovers from both Sunday and Tuesday)
Thursday - BBQ baked potatoes, BBQ chicken breast, fresh veggies
Friday - pancakes, fruit smoothies
Saturday - homemade pizza
I am very simple with my cooking - I don't make my own spaghetti sauce, I use Bisquick when I make pancakes, etc. I do make my own pizza dough but it is not that hard. I am loving the BBQ weather now! Baking potatoes on the BBQ is so perfect - pierce, wrap in foil, and stick 'em in. You don't have to heat up the house and you can just leave the potatoes unattended on the BBQ for the hour before supper. I usually pop them in around 4:10 pm, and then around 4:40 I start with the other supper prep (we eat early).
I just recently started meal planning a bit more - I print off the calendar for the month and fill in our favourite go-to meals where I see fit. Usually once a week I will try a new recipe, like the Baked Orange Chicken this week.
I grocery shop on Thursdays. On Wednesday night I sit down, print out coupons, plan out meals, and make my list. I have a binder of recipes and my Pinterest board to give me ideas. I try to not so the same things over and over again. I try to plan ahead for the week and make have something easy or leftovers on nights that will be a little crazy for me. Which I also make lunches too, I really struggle with planning out lunches. Planning out my meals has really helped me so much!
Lynn, as far as meal planning - just start by having a couple recipes for easy meals that you know the family likes. Then as you try more recipes and they are a success, add to it. I always try to stick with pretty basic meals (as far as prep) so they are easy to get done. For us, I might have about 20 main dishes or all in one meals that are our current favorites that I pick from for the week. They are all in a binder, and a keep a list on the fridge that says the title of each meal. I just go to the fridge and read through the meals to figure out what I want. I also might plan to try a "new recipe" for the week as well. Also, I look at the sale ads for Sprouts and Smiths for the week to help me figure out what I might want to do as well (and to add in sides/veggies and fruits as well). I try to keep my folder to only about 3 weeks worth of meals that really "work for us." This makes it much easier to figure out what will actually work for our week, instead of sifting through mountains of meals and recipes. Also we try to keep snacks very basic around here - cheese sticks, fruit, veggies, or nuts. I just make sure I have enough of those for the week and then we are good. Also keep an eye on condiments and such. Also, sometimes I'm not sure how much "left overs" we will have from meals, so I will plan enough meals and one or two "extra" for the week. If the "extra" meals don't get eaten, then they get cycled into the next week.
I watch food network pretty much from 7am to ...whenever Julie goes to sleep for the night. (DH gets a few hours in between)... but I have never tried any of the recipes. I get stuck in a rut sometimes about what to cook. For instance, I haven't *really* grocery shopped so.. the only thing in the freezer is pizza (we had pizza two nights ago), chicken (3 nights ago) and hamburger (last night). Not leftovers - just more of the same meat. I *know* I can do like 1000 things with chicken, but DH doesn't like chicken LOL I LOVE chicken. But I feel like I'm cooking the same basic thing over and over.