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Dinner Planning

October 26th, 2015 at 04:50 pm

Last November, as a way to reduce holiday stress, I made a dinner meal plan for two weeks, and even went so far in December to meal plan for the entire month! It has made a big difference for our family. Primarily we have more variety in meals. If I plan moments before leaving for the grocery store, I simply think of the basic meals we like. And this is fine, except it gets boring and probably isn't as healthy as it could be.

Today I'm working on a November meal plan. I generally know what activities we have going on, so I can plan ahead for those nights where there is little time to cook. I will also skip planning for days I know we will be out of town. I've also found in the winter months, I can double up a soup at the beginning of the month, freeze the extra and have it again in the second half. Of course, there are many other dishes that can be doubled and frozen besides soups. Those are just the ones I tend to do.

Here is our plan for this week:
Baked chicken, stuffed mushrooms, side salad
Greek Quinoa Salad
Spaghetti, asparagus
Mushroom Risotto, side salad
Chicken Tortilla soup (from the freezer)
Chili (making a double batch and will freeze)

My husband has been dieting the last three weeks. He is eating less food, so I actually expect we will have leftovers of a few of those dishes. It may mean putting off the chili making a day or two until we eat all the leftovers.

I generally still grocery shop every 7-10 days. I've like having the meal plan ready to go when I make my grocery list. I can then consult the list to make my list of needed ingredients. Of course, I make sure to check the pantry, fridge and freezer for things we might have on hand or are about to run out of.

How far ahead do you do your meal planning?

4 Responses to “Dinner Planning”

  1. Livingalmostlarge Says:

    Sounds so yummy! We made furikake salmon saturday with leftovers, tonight smoked chicken quarters, spaghetti thursday, and probably eat a frozen pizza and crab cakes. I want to make a baked ziti and chili sometime next week.

  2. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I made a plan for October ... just didn't stick with it. I need to make one for November, and then figure out how to actually DO it.

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    After you make the plan, make a grocery list for items needed. I usually go a week at a time. I literally follow what I plan for each day. But one could just come up with seven meals to buy for and then make them in any order. I check the night before what the plan is so I know if anything needs to be thawed, or started earlier than usual.

  4. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I stuck with the plan the first week of October, it was after that it fell by the wayside ... I do get the how of how to do it, it's just the part of actually doing it where I get stuck. Like right now I have multiple bags of frozen fruit in my freezer that I need to put into serving sized baggies for my smoothies ... they've been in there for about two weeks ... When I ran out of the baggies I made previously, I just have been doing a double portion of frozen bananas .. not quite the same.

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