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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 147
Registered: ‎03-21-2010

How do you plan your weekly meals?

I wondering if you plan meals and then do your grocery shopping or do you plan meals around sales? I am trying to get more organized this year around meal planning and would like some suggestions. Thank you!

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,062
Registered: ‎01-27-2014

Re: How do you plan your weekly meals?

I don't plan meals at all. Sometimes I remember before I leave for work to check and see if I have any steaks thawed at in the fridge.
Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,250
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

Re: How do you plan your weekly meals?

I plan suppers for the week and then go shopping. I rarely plan around sale items. I do buy sale items to stock up, like this week ground beef was on sale, so I bought 10 pounds.

I always ask my DH if there is something he would like to eat during the coming week and he usually give me at least one idea. When I was working, I always made Monday's supper and Thursday's supper on Sunday afternoon. Thursday's went into the freezer to be thawed later. I loved coming home on Thursday and having supper ready to go into the oven. We often have breakfast-for-supper once a week or so, and almost always have hamburgers on Friday nights.

I keep basic items on hand for breakfast and lunch. DH usually has cereal for breakfast and makes himself a sandwich. I usually have a slice of cheese for breakfast and a salad for lunch.

Super Contributor
Posts: 281
Registered: ‎10-12-2014

Re: How do you plan your weekly meals?

I look at our activities for the coming week and plan our meals accordingly rather than base them on weekly sales. We are pretty busy with our son's sports activities, so it's easy to fall into the "eating out trap" if I don't plan ahead. I make a lot of things that go in a crock pot or can be made ahead and cooked/heated at the last minute, including breakfast. (I do most of my cooking while my son is at school.) I also keep things like homemade spaghetti sauce, meatballs, and chili in my freezer for when I just don't know what to make.

I receive coupons from various websites and will shop in accordance with my store's weekly specials for my pantry items and things for my deep freeze. I keep a pretty good stock of items so I generally have a lot of what I need for our meals. If necessary, I'll then stop at the store if I need a supplemental item, like a fresh veggie. I keep a soft-sided, insulated bag in my car for these quick, unexpected stops. They really keep things cool, even without an ice pack.

With a little planning and organization, I can save so much money, as well as feed my family healthier meals. I would love to hear others' suggestions!

Honored Contributor
Posts: 25,929
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: How do you plan your weekly meals?

I look at what is on sale and try to plan around those things. For instance Publix has boneless chicken breasts this week on BOGO so I will be making some chicken soup and another chicken meal this week. My DH isn't fond of chicken so I have to really hide it in sauces etc. I may make chicken pot pies one day. Beef has gotten so expensive around here that we are mostly eating sausage and chicken around here.

I have been trying to make more vegetables and not have meat be the focus of our meals but that is difficult when you are married to a butcher's son. My DH expects a slab of meat on his plate.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,389
Registered: ‎09-22-2011

Re: How do you plan your weekly meals?

I always have a running list of things, so as I notice that I need plastic wrap, for example, I write it down as soon as I realize. I check my main grocery's circular to see what's on sale and go through my coupons to see what I can use. At that point, I sit down with my cookbooks and see what recipes I'd like to try. I write it all down, from the entree to the sides (we don't have dessert throughout the week, only on weekends). This way, I know exactly what we will be having for dinner for the week. My weekly menu is inside one of the cabinet doors in the kitchen. I also like to make sure we don't have the same thing over and over again; I try not to make spaghetti or a roast chicken, for example, twice within about 4 months. I love trying new recipes, so this is not a bother.

I may ask DH what he wants from a choice of 2-3 entrees. He tells me what he's hungry for and I make sure we have the ingredients for that dish on hand.

Trying to figure out something for dinner at the last minute makes me spastic. Since I cook every night (I like to cook), it's nice to know what I have to do as soon as I get home from work; there's no "What should I make for dinner? Oh, I don't know what to make! Let's go out!" We do not eat out much at all, maybe for a special occasion, but that's it. It's a waste of money and often, I can make dinners that are just as good, if not better. And I know it's healthier.

We keep a well-stocked pantry and two well-stocked freezers. DH has often said that we could probably eat from the freezers for about six months or so, if we had to.

I also keep extensive lists of items in the freezers in the basement (one freezer is strictly for meats; the other for vegetables from our garden, homemade applesauce and other fruit from our trees and strawberries from the garden, pureed pumpkin, yeast rolls and breads, cookies, cakes, pies, soups, and casseroles and such). As I use something, I cross it off the list. As I buy something, I add it to the list. We won't find 1-year old chicken in our freezer. Everything is clearly marked and dated. I have a similar list of pantry items, too. It was a pain trying to get it all set up in the beginning, but now it's pretty much second nature. And it really does stop foods from getting "lost" in the shuffle.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,381
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

Re: How do you plan your weekly meals?

I always plan meals around sale items.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,578
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: How do you plan your weekly meals?

By where dh wants to stop and pick them up.

You'll find my heart at the Rainbow Bridge. Smiley Sad
Super Contributor
Posts: 3,125
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: How do you plan your weekly meals?

No planning ... grocery store is just down the street. I shop several times a week - depending on what I feel like eating.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,434
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: How do you plan your weekly meals?

I plan around sale items too. I have been trying to cook very simply lately, nothing fancy or too time consuming due to some health issues. Less is more now in my cooking world. I look for recipes with 5 to 6 ingredients or less. I only buy fresh or frozen and no processed junk; unfortunately that stuff seems to be the only things they make coupons for or I would use coupons more. I go to pinterest alot and have found some really great recipes. I would love to do what PamelaSue does with all the lists and such---I know that would make things easier but am not built that way. Have tried but it made me crazy(er)My BFF does that and I marvel every time I talk to her.