Do you menu plan - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 03-15-2009, 09:31 PM
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And what tips do you have? Do you sit down on a certain day of the week and go through recipes, check on sales and base it around that, how often you grocery shop, etc?



Well I really try to plan out what I am going to cook and sometimes things come up in the day and it doesn't work out. I usually shop once a week and come up with five or six dinners for the week and make the grocery list from what sounds good from my cookbooks and also I have a huge folder of veggie recipes from the net that I have collected through the years.



I don't really plan like say Friday I eat this or Monday I eat that. I just cook whatever sounds good that day from what I bought.



My goal is to stick to this so I eat healthier and spend less money and be organized!





What works for you?
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#2 Old 03-15-2009, 11:01 PM
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I have my kids write down what THEY want to eat, at least for some of the days - then I try to work with that, depending on what my budget allows, as long as they're getting their fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc....
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#3 Old 03-15-2009, 11:10 PM
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Yep, I try to do the same. My daughter loves Italian food and I told her to go through this cookbook and write down what she likes or sounds good to her. This was a vegan cookbook and the bruscetta(I know way sp) she loved with red peppers.



She keeps asking for it again so that is a keeper. I highlight in my cookbooks what my family likes and the date. I throw away recipes that I printed off the net that they didn't like.
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#4 Old 03-16-2009, 02:33 AM
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I sit down on Saturdays with my recipes. I have them all saved to the computer. I ask my husband if he has any requests and then I pick out 6 meals for the week (we usually eat out/order in once a week.) I try to pick in season recipes. But if something looks especially fresh at the store I will make substitutions. I don't pick what day of the week I'm going to make each one b/c I never know how I'll feel during the week. Then I write a grocery list based on the menus. I also try to do any of the food prep/pre-cooking that I can on Sunday to save me time on weeknight, like making sauces or soups if we're having one.
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#5 Old 03-16-2009, 05:42 AM
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I meal plan for the week. There's only the two of us, and my bf isn't home every night for dinner, so I plan about four meals for the week and then have leftovers the other nights (or I throw things together for myself out of random stuff we have around). I base meals around things I have around the house already that need to be eaten, stuff I'm in the mood for, and recipes I've found that seem interesting. I try to pick things from different categories... like one pasta meal, one soup, one tofu dish, one Mexican dish, etc... I do also plan what meals go on what days because I have different amounts of time to cook depending on how late I get home and what else I have going on that day. Last night we had the vegnews mac & cheeze with broccoli and facon bits. Tonight we're having roasted veggies and rice & beans, tomorrow we're having vegetable korma and brown basmati rice, Wednesday my bf is out, thursday we're having a vegetable strata with pesto and grilled bread. Friday we'll have leftovers and then I'll figure out the weekend when we know what's going on :P The bf is usually out one or both evenings.

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#6 Old 03-16-2009, 06:29 AM
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The guys take care of most of the cooking at our place so I'm not really sure, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of menu planning going on, it's more of a spontaneous thing - whatever we all feel like eating on the day is what ends up getting cooked.

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#7 Old 03-16-2009, 09:55 AM
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every week i go through my recipes and harass my husband to see what he wants for the week. i'll do like 4 nice recipe based dinners and i always have other staples for the easy dinners like tacos, bbq tofu, and spaghetti. also, i choose 3 or 4 sides to make for the week and have general foods for lunch and breakfast or leftovers for lunches. so, its like a loose plan sorta.

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#8 Old 03-16-2009, 10:06 AM
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I was doing my own thing quietly and YOU are the one who created this post trying to make a big deal out of it. Keep flaming the fire. That must be what you want.

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#9 Old 03-16-2009, 12:23 PM
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I don't plan much, but I definitely tend to do more cooking on the weekend, and then eat leftovers all week. Or, I might make something on Sunday specifically for lunches for the week. I buy the produce that is on sale and eat whatever the may be through out the week. I've tried to plan my meals out the day before, and then half the time I don't feel like eating what I had planned anyway.



The only time I really plan, with a grocery list for a specific recipe is if I'm cooking for my bf on the weekend, or going to some event, etc.
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#10 Old 03-16-2009, 12:43 PM
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I sit down about a week before my grocery shopping trip (I do a large trip and then small ones throughout the month for fruits/veggies) and start working on it. I get out my gazillion recipe books lol and try to come up with recipes to make that also have common ingredients. For instance, if I plan to make a yummy pasta with mushrooms in it one night...I also make a recipe for stuffed mushrooms so that I will be sure I use them before they go bad. Or if I have a recipe that calls for some spice I don't typically use, I find some other recipes for it.



That reminds me, time to start working on my grocery list...payday is in a week! WOOT





EDIT:

Slightly off topic but does anyone else LOVE grocery shopping? I could go every day of the week lol
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#11 Old 03-16-2009, 01:04 PM
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I don't plan but I've tried. I spend way too much on groceries. Always seems like there's something I'm missing
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#12 Old 03-16-2009, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrilynhawk View Post

Or if I have a recipe that calls for some spice I don't typically use, I find some other recipes for it.



You need a store with a bulk spice department!! I have a recipe this week that calls for 1/4 tsp garam masala. I bought some in bulk for twelve cents.

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#13 Old 03-16-2009, 01:57 PM
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I never bother with food planning unless there's something new I want to try. Then I pick a day for it.



I generally just go to the grocery, buy whatever looks good and then eat it whenever it sounds good. It's not so great for the budget, but it's fun and keeps things fresh and gives me some variety.

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#14 Old 03-16-2009, 06:36 PM
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I used to absolutely LOVE grocery shopping when I had a rather unlimited budget. I used to adore trying new things and experimenting with stuff...



Now I hate it because my budget is so limited and I'm stressing the whole time whether I'll be able to get enough food to feed my family adequately. I don't make actual "recipes" more than once a week or so - it's usually just staples: rice and beans, soup, pasta, potatoes... Someday that'll change
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#15 Old 03-16-2009, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabid_child View Post

You need a store with a bulk spice department!! I have a recipe this week that calls for 1/4 tsp garam masala. I bought some in bulk for twelve cents.

I do this often, but sometimes none of the stores here have what I'm looking for . The co-op typically has more options but sometimes I don't get there as often as I should.
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#16 Old 03-17-2009, 06:55 AM
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I have kind of a routine that I work with.



I have a 3 ring binder with page protectors. When I spot an online recipe that I think sounds really yum, I will copy it off and place the recipe inside of the page protector.

That way I can see the recipe and the protectors help to keep the recipes clean, while reading them in or around my cooking area. If you drop or splatter anything on them all you need to do is to take a damp sponge and wipe them off.



Now as far as menu planning. I like to have a 2 week rotation. I make sure that I have everything needed for each recipe, except fresh ingredients, I buy those on a weekly basis.

That way I know that I will have everything that I need to make 2 weeks worth of meals, I don't necessarily have a plan as to which recipe that I will be using that night, but I know that I have 14 different recipes to pick from and have an idea of what I'll be making that week.

That way when I make my weekly run to the store I can pick up whatever fresh veggies that I'll need.



So I just figure out what everybody is in the mood for that night and that's what I'll cook.



I know it sounds obsessive but really it's not.

With this system I know that I won't have to run out to the grocery store to pick up one ingredient that I may not have in the pantry.



Chrilynhawk, I, too, love to grocery shop, but I've found over the years that the less amount of trips that I make, the less impulse buying I do.

So for me, I have to keep it down to about once a week or I'll go waaaay over my grocery budget.



Grocery shopping to me, is way funner than clothes shopping.

Yes, I'm weird like that.
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#17 Old 03-17-2009, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixelle View Post

The guys take care of most of the cooking at our place so I'm not really sure, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of menu planning going on, it's more of a spontaneous thing - whatever we all feel like eating on the day is what ends up getting cooked.



No planning at my house either.

We talk about it that day, and then that's what we do.
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#18 Old 03-17-2009, 07:36 AM
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First, I check out what organic produce is on sale. Then I get out my recipes and choose what to make based on the sales. I make a list of everything I need. Anytime staples go on sale, I stock up. I also buy cases of things, to save 10%.
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#19 Old 03-17-2009, 06:10 PM
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No. I want to, but I am sooo terrible at it. And I don't know why.
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#20 Old 03-17-2009, 06:47 PM
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Yeah I'm with brazilnut..... I really want to do menu plans - but I can never seem to get the motivation to sit down and do it all - I used to do with when I was single but now I find it hard with hubby and a housemate......



Urgh..... I think I'll go on a google hunt of r a nice and easy menu plan.....



And I love grocery shopping too
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#21 Old 03-17-2009, 07:57 PM
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I hate grocery shopping. Hate it! I think I do better semi planning so it keeps me out of the stores. That is why I like a few options on hand in case something doesn't sound good that day.



I try to do a few new recipes and then just simple basics. Thanks for all the interesting reply's.
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