Those of you who make meal plans...

Are you making dishes with lots of fresh produce? How often do you have to go to the store? Do you feel like you're saving money?


I'm finding meal planning to be SO difficult because 1) I'm usually cooking for 1 (DH is funny about eating dinner) and 2) I like to cook with fresh ingredients (but who's got time to go to the store 3-4 times a week?).


I started planning to save us some money but I'm about to give up and go back to just eating what I have on hand. So any advice on what works for you is appreciated!

Posted on April 19, 2011 at 4:12 am
GatorBride
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msdl
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05/28/2011
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I have to spend about an hour on Saturday and Sunday mornings planning the meals that involve produce/fresh products (I usually shop early Sunday AM, but sometimes on Saturdays). It is a serious chore trying to figure out which days I can cook what, depending on what I buy! But it does help me save money and time later in the week. I just try to make a list of all the ingredients, and then figure out which meals can work on which days. I do my best to divide up the meat as soon as I get home from the store, so that I don't lose track of anything. Sometimes things have to get frozen for only a day or two, but I haven't figured out how else to do it without shopping mid-week! Sometimes I am also cooking for one, so I have a lot of leftovers for lunch. And I try to incorporate any produce/ingredients that I haven't used for dinner into my breakfasts/lunches, so that they don't go to waste :-)


Not sure if this helped, but I know where you are coming from!

Posted on April 19, 2011 at 4:33 am
meanyprice
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08/25/2009
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meanyprice

I usually plan 2 weeks of meals at a time.  I use fresh, canned, and frozen.  I plan the fresh stuff that goes bad quickest for the first few meals.  Some fresh items, like celery, carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, etc last the whole two weeks depending on how you store them.  Other than that I just try to not to plan similar meals back to back.  If I know a meal makes a lot, I might make a couple meals then leave a day open for leftovers.  I usually make a quick trip in the off week for any thing that doesn't last 2 weeks (like milk).


And I do feel like we save money because there's less opportunity to buy extra stuff because we are at the store less.

Posted on April 19, 2011 at 5:21 am
GatorBride
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Thanks, ladies! I guess I never really considered planning to use the more perishable stuff first (doh!)! It's a big pain in the butt so far, but it sounds like you guys are saving $$; so I guess I'll suck it up and keep trying to find a system that works for me.


I wonder if theres a good software program out there that helps organize the recipes and make the shopping lists... Off to search!

Posted on April 19, 2011 at 11:31 am

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