Something so simple I find so hard. Is there a website that you can download meal plans or hit me with yours.
My husband, nearly 3 year old and 7 month old eat anything we are not fussy.
I find it a real struggle to meal plan and finding new ideas!
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21-07-2013 21:51 #1Senior Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2011
Meal Planning - is there an easier way?
21-07-2013 21:58 #2
Subbing cause I need help too
21-07-2013 22:00 #3
I'm the same, I'm rarely 'inspired' & hate experimenting after work, so subbing for ideas.
I do use the Taste app 'favorites' function though, that can be helpful as there is an 'add all/some ingredients to shopping list' function so shopping list on your phone. But you would till need to do some thinking to maximize your ingredients. I also started a spreadsheet with recipes & ingredient lists. You could spend a bit of time creating plans for 4weeks or so, then just rotate each month? That was my intention, but ummm... yeah, it's never happened!
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21-07-2013 22:15 #4
Simple. Don't experiment so much. Choose one night a week (probably on a weekend when you're more relaxed) to experiment. Over time add those meals into your week.
We made a list of dinners that we like and then we stuck that list on the pantry door. It includes variations like tuna pasta, chicken pasta, pasta bolanaise ... cause sometimes we need to be that specific if we're uninspired.
Then, at when we plan to do our grocery shopping for the week we consult the list and write a list of meals for that week (preferably using up stuff we have in the fridge/cupboard as well & combining nights were possible ... eg. having salad on Monday & Tuesday as part of the meal). Then we shop.
I've never meal planned for more than a week as it's just too hard for me. But if you want to meal plan for longer periods of time the advice I've heard is that you do 1 week first and get good at it, then 2 weeks and eventually work up to 4 weeks at a time.
There's nothing wrong with your easy to cook favourite meals being part of a meal plan. Once you write a list you'll probably remind yourself of lots of meals you feel confident making that you haven't had for a while. Enjoy!
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22-07-2013 00:20 #5
I have a list of ALL the meals I like to prepare.
Every monday I choose the meals I would like to make for the week so I can buy the fresh ingredients in my shopping (I shop Wednesday's).
I try to make it a variety of chicken, beef, pasta,pizza dishes.
Some are simple "one pot" + rice/pasta meals, others are more complex.
22-07-2013 01:25 #6
Not a meal plan as such but here is how it works here:
We head to the farmers market on Sunday mornings and pick up three meat 'meals' (lamb chops/chicken breast etc.), a whole bunch of veggies, bread, fresh pasta, eggs, raw milk and butter. Then we go to the supermarket and get cleaning supplies, wine etc. This way we eat a variety of meat and veggies depending on the season.
I then come home and sort it in to meals, including what I will have for lunch. We eat out two to three times a week so don't buy too much so it won't go to waste. I find that buying what we will actually eat in a week so much easier than having a pantry full of food - we literally have about seven things in our pantry (beans, pasta sauce and dry pasta as a back up, biscuits for when people visit).
22-07-2013 02:30 #7
Like mim, I only experiment one night a week (or fortnight). The rest of the week is tried and tested. I don't have time to shop more than once a week so have to plan (plus nearest supermarket is 18km away!)
I also have a list (a notebook) of 'meal ideas' to refer to when uninspired.
I make a huge batch of bolognese in the slow cooker and freeze that. It gets reheated + boil pasta once every week on the night when after school commitments run latest. Sunday night is always roast or steak or bbq. From there I try to make sure the nights vary between red/white meat/fish and pasta/rice/potato. Eg. I wouldn't have tuna pasta the night after spag bol, or if I'd had beef tacos the night before I'd use chicken in the stir fry that night.
A typical week looks something like this. Chicken Stir fry, spag bol, Chicken burritos,'Thai beef salad w rice, Soup and toasties, Indian chicken curry (jar sauce) w rice and veg, roast beef.
Other frequent meals include gnocchi w chicken and seasonal veg (pan fried or with cream sauce), pumpkin and asparagus risotto (made in rice cooker), tuna pasta, Jacket potatoes.
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Last edited by Stretched; 22-07-2013 at 09:06.
22-07-2013 03:48 #8
I think about what fruit and veg are in season and work around that. Also DS is on a strict elimination diet so at the moment we repeat pretty much the same meals fortnightly.
I've also found it helpful to group meals together in terms of the type of veg. So all Asian meals the first few days then all salad or steamed veg meals. If we have a stir fry I do fried rice the next day with the leftover rice.
Perhaps make a list of all meals you can cook as a starting point.
On the plan this fortnight is -
- steak and mash and veg
- salmon and prawn cakes, miso soup and rice
- pea and ham soup
- roast beef
- chicken wings and veg
- Japanese curry
- chicken stir-fry
- fried rice
- shepherd's pie
- fish fingers
Last edited by duckduckgoose; 22-07-2013 at 03:59.
22-07-2013 05:07 #9
I have an app called MealBoard and you can input all your recipes or just the ingredients if you don't need the recipe, then on Sunday night I pick what I want to cook for the week and put it in the calendar in the app. You can then form a shopping list from this which you can add other things to like cleaning supplies etc.
I find that I know roughly what meals I can share ingredients for so try and choose them on the same week but most meals I make use up most of the fresh ingredients so there isn't to much waste.
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22-07-2013 05:25 #10
The taste.com app is quite handy. You can save your favourite recipes, add ingredients to your shopping list from recipes and add your own ingredients to the list as well. You can also strike through the ingredients once you get them (cross them off). I have my favourites saved and alternate them. I like how you can search for particular recipes too (budget friendly, 15 minute meals, low in fat etc)
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