We tried various apps and electronic devices but resorted to a good ole paper calendar that I print each week. It is just a table that is 7 across by 5 down. We plan Breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner, dessert for all seven days. It is nice to have dessert planned so I know there are two-three days I will get some chocolate! The rest of the week we have some sort of fruit salad type dish and it is easier to swallow knowing chocolate is coming.
We leave Friday night and Saturday blank as we often have more leftovers and/or end up eating with family or doing something "unplanned". Lunch is almost always the previous night's leftovers turned into a salad. It is amazing how a yummy pork loin roast and broccoli can be added to a few handfuls of greens and and veggies to make a salad! I would've thought it wouldn't have been very good not warmed up, but not true!
We use various cookbooks, Spark recipes, etc, to create the menu, usually focusing on one source each week so we are not sifting through several places all week long. We also try to find recipes to use the ingredients we have that need to get eaten out of our fridge or things we know we have already to save money. We then take the menu, flip it over and write out whatever ingredients we do need and head to the store on Sunday. It has helped a lot with calories and budgeting plus my stay at home hubby isn't always the one under pressure to come up with something.
current weight: 146.9
Fitness Minutes: (112,816)
2/10/15 2:19 P
Snow and cold lately, I've been making a lot of broth soups with lots of vegetables, including lots of cabbage, broccoli stems (florettes are for eating raw), onions and celery. Very filling and very low in calories.
Write our 7 menus. Go to your grocery list and write down ingredients according to your grocery store.
Keep this menu list and grocery list to make master lists as you continue to do this. Before long you will have a good list of your own (or your family's) favorite meals and planning will take much less time and effort.
Pounds lost: 20.0
Fitness Minutes: (112,816)
8/28/14 6:27 A
I plan my menus based on what meat and vegetables are on sale at the grocery store. I might buy chicken and broccoli planning it with potatoes, but change my mind and make it a broccoli chicken salad when the meal comes.
Buying the sale items helps with cost, gets me trying new produce items and keeps me have having to think what to make.
Fitness Minutes: (2,435)
8/16/14 2:42 A
The SparkPeople nutrition tracker has menu plans that are alright, but a little hard to plan based on personal recipes. I have recently started using Food on the Table, which has a free app on my iPhone. It's pretty versatile/dynamic and works well at tracking sales at local grocery stores. It also has pretty simple, easy family-friendly recipes with nutritional info so you can enter it into the nutrition tracker pretty easily. However, sometimes I find the recipes somewhat limited and haven't messed around with adding in alternative recipes from the internet, so don't know if it works well.
Otherwise, I've just used pen and paper or my calendar to schedule my menus and then create grocery lists. (I use a "menu" Google calendar and docs so I can share with my husband easily)
Here is an example of a monthly menu plan from a blog that helped me when I first started planning menus, which has some links to other good topics on menu planning: http://simplemom.net/a-monthly-menu-plan-for-the-spring/
March Minutes: 0
Fitness Minutes: (9,107)
9/1/13 2:20 A
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