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  1. #1
    hillview's Avatar
    hillview is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
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    Default Can anyone share their menu plan?

    I am looking to try a menu plan for the week -- anyone do this with success?
    /hillary
    DS #1 Summer 05
    DS #2 Summer 07

  2. #2
    o_mom is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Here is ours:

    S: Baked salmon, fishsticks for kids, brown rice, sugar snap peas
    M: Hamburgers and hotdogs, french fries and tater tots, baked beans
    T: Pork Medallions in Alfredo sauce, noodles, peas
    W: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, carrots
    R: Pasta e ***ioli
    F: Pesto chicken w/ angel hair pasta

    Now, the salmon and meatloaf were from the freezer, so limited prep there. DH grilled chicken when he did the hamburgers to use on Friday. We also ended up with carryout on Tuesday because DH neglected to mention that he couldn't find several items at the store on Sunday so everything got bumped a day. Then the kids are sick and don't want to eat, so they didn't eat the pork medallions.

    Gotta run, HTH!

    ETA: The Thursday recipe is Pasta e F-a-g-ioli - apparently that isn't allowed, lol. I am making a triple batch, putting 3/4 of it into freezer containers before adding the pasta. Then when you defrost, bring to a boil and add the pasta. The pasta won't freeze well, so this keeps it tasty from the freezer.
    Last edited by o_mom; 11-06-2008 at 11:36 AM.
    Mama to three boys ('03, '05, '07)

  3. #3
    SnuggleBuggles is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    You know, I printed out the month of meals from Family Fun for the 1st time and intended to do it. But, I haven't been to the store yet so I have just been cooking w/ what's on hand. I like the idea if the menu though and most things looked good.

    Beth

  4. #4
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    Beth, is there a title to the Family Fun article? I tried to search, but did not find one like you described. Or maybe you know which issue it was in? Thanks!

    I would love to start planning dinner a week or month in advance. It sounds great I have a stocked pantry, but it seems like I always need to run to the store to get something for any new recipe I try.

  5. #5
    fivi2 is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    I won't get into too many specifics, and ours has kind of fallen by the wayside, but this is what I do/did:

    I went through all of our favorite recipes, and the ones I wanted to try out. I divided them into categories (somewhat arbitrary - I mean do fajitas go under chicken night, fast food night, mexican food night, or what). Then I looked at our categories and assigned one to each day of the week. Ours ended up something like:

    Sunday - chicken night
    Monday - pasta
    Tuesday - mexican
    Wednesday- dh out - girls and I do whatever
    Thursday - soup and or salad (or sandwiches)
    Friday - "fast food" night (homemade not take out, but things like tacos, pizza, burgers, etc).
    Saturday - either leftovers or go out.

    Like I said, there was some overlap, and it required some moving around, but that is the general idea. Your favorite recipes may fall under different categories. A lot of people also have a crock pot night.

    I found this slightly more useful than the online ones because we are so picky - this used recipes I know we like, but it is time consuming!

    One other lesson I learned when meal planning... Don't just plan a big meal each nightof the week - you will end up spending more. Look at the things you are using and try to use them again later in the week. So if a recipe one night calls for a certain herb that I will have to buy, I try to plan a recipe or side later in the week to use the rest of it. Or if I will have stock leftover or whatever. Try to use the same ingredients on multiple nights. I am sure that is common sense to many of you, but I am new to this whole cooking thing!

    I have seen meal plans from both saving dinner and six oclock scramble (on-line pay services) and I prefer the six oclock scramble, but we are too picky for it to be worth it for us.

    hth!

    eta: moneypenny made me think of some other comments: I also make big batches of pasta sauce and freeze, as wll as big batches of soups. We do breakfast for dinner pretty often, too! I usually plan out about 4-5 weeks at once, but I shop weekly.
    Last edited by fivi2; 11-06-2008 at 11:36 AM.

  6. #6
    Moneypenny is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    I have a very loose menu plan:

    Saturday and Sunday I cook something more labor intensive (since I am home) that will make leftovers

    Monday and Tuesday, leftovers (usually recreated into something else) from the weekend

    Wednesday - pasta (frozen ravioli, whole wheat spaghetti, penne, etc) with homemade marinara that I make in huge batches and freeze; salad and possibly garlic bread if we're lucky

    Thursday - something from the freezer. I make large batches of chili, barbecues, soups, etc and freeze so I can pull them out in the morning and have them thawed by the time I get home from work. I also keep quick-cooking cuts of meat in the freezer like turkey smoked sausage or kielbasa, ham steaks, etc.

    Friday - homemade pizza (made with Trader Joe's pizza dough or my own from the freezer), frozen fish or frozen breaded and oh-so-bad-for-you chicken

    I also routinely rotate in breakfast for dinner once every few weeks. Tacos are another quick weeknight meal that gets thrown in the mix every month or so.
    Moneypenny
    DD is 13!

  7. #7
    SnuggleBuggles is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    This is the Family Fun link:
    http://familyfun.go.com/recipes/meal-planner/

    It is a bit frustrating because you have to then look up all their recipes. I would love a menu that came complete with a print out of all the recipes and an ingredient list. That would be wonderful. I bet there is a site out there that does this. But, for now, the Family Fun menu is a good starting point.

    Beth

  8. #8
    o_mom is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnuggleBuggles
    This is the Family Fun link:
    http://familyfun.go.com/recipes/meal-planner/

    It is a bit frustrating because you have to then look up all their recipes. I would love a menu that came complete with a print out of all the recipes and an ingredient list. That would be wonderful. I bet there is a site out there that does this. But, for now, the Family Fun menu is a good starting point.

    Beth
    Try menus4moms.com They have a weekly menu with all the recipes printed with it. You can pay for more features, but the weekly menus w/recipes are free.
    Mama to three boys ('03, '05, '07)

  9. #9
    fivi2 is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnuggleBuggles
    This is the Family Fun link:
    http://familyfun.go.com/recipes/meal-planner/

    It is a bit frustrating because you have to then look up all their recipes. I would love a menu that came complete with a print out of all the recipes and an ingredient list. That would be wonderful. I bet there is a site out there that does this. But, for now, the Family Fun menu is a good starting point.

    Beth

    There are quite a few services (that you have to pay for) that will send you a weekly meal plan and a shopping list. They are nice - if you aren't picky!
    saving dinner and six oclock scramble are two of them.

    Thanks for the link!

  10. #10
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    I do a meal plan of dinners for 2 weeks and due to various reasons I can't really have a "beef night", "chicken night", etc, which used to work well long ago. I have a regular spiral notebook that I write in and keep on top of the fridge, which makes it easy if I'm ever at a loss since I can flip back through. I write the days of the week (leave about 3 lines for each) & anything I might need to remember for a particular night (like a night meeting so that I would need a crockpot meal that night, leftovers available, freeze 1/2 of meal, etc.)

    I start by every 3rd day makes a meatless meal (health reasons) and then I go back and fill in the other days with chicken, beef, pork stuff (noting any time consuming stuff like marinades). We try new recipes all the time, but always throw in some old standardds. Doing that every 3rd day thing (whether it's meatless or something else) makes it look less daunting when I'm sitting down to plan 14-15 meals without designated nights. I note (off to the side) any fresh ingredients I'll need to buy later. After 1 week, I'll make a very short and inexpensive trip to the store to buy milk, eggs, fresh fruit/veggies and the occasional odd thing I left out. Did I mention I'm a pretty organized high maintenance kind of person?

    I honestly started doing this when I was working so many hours and loathed going to the grocery story in what little spare time I had. It wasn't until later that I realized it was saving a lot of money as well.

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