I find it very helpful. Photos of many of the recipes to choose from, and you can plan for weeks ahead, switching out any meal you don't like easily. If you want to have a different kind of spaghetti every Wednesday night for a year, I think there would be enough different versions to meet your request!!
The thumbnails of available switchouts include calorie counts. And you can look at the recipe before you actually add it to your Nutrition Tracker for a certain day.
It took me 10 minutes to plan dinner for the next week. Since most of the dinners I chose were Spark People menus, I will still need to add side dishes, but that will be easy when I see what fruits and veggies are on sale this week.
The recipies on the group are good. What I have done is try one new recipe a week. You have some fruit. So look up a recipe that you can use what fruit you have on hand. Smoothies are good if you like them. But you can use berries or frozen fruit on salads if thawed out. I like fruit on my vegetable salad sometimes. Adds a bit of sweetness to it.
For bits of vegetables I always make soup or stir fry to use them up. A serving here and there tossed into a pan and heated up is good. Add grilled chicken or a little beef if you like a bit of meat with your stir fry. I have used stuff like corn, green beans, green peppers, tomatoes to make pretty good stir fries.
If you have whole wheat bread you can make cheese sandwiches. Any kind of cheese is good for that. And everyone can make what they like. Or use in a casserole with the left over vegetables and meat you have. Just add a whole wheat pasta instead of white pasta.
Almond milk I would just drink, use in your coffee, make smoothies like you said, poor it on your cereal.
Let us know what you came up with! And how your family likes it.
May Minutes: 0
Fitness Minutes: (5,383) Posts: 283 3/27/12 12:34 P
Thanks crafty lady and coach Jen, Some of the things I have: 3 partially used containers of almond milk different varieties(courtesy of my son) some fresh veggies I can use to make a salad(spinach romaine, parsley, cabbage, carrots,onions) about 3 servings of brussel sprouts, 3 servings of asparagus(hubby buys these at costco) cherry tomatoes various cheeses frozen fruits and berries multiple bags(5+) (courtesy of above said son) frozen dolphin fish-7 filets-only I will eat(courtesy of another sons fishing trip) 4 chicken tenders, 1 pound frozen stew beef, 2 beef patties, 4 salmon filets, some boneless buffalo wings, 3 breaded chicken filets,
I think I just need to have a few more days of emptying the fridge....tonight we will do a mixed grill with salad(chicken tenders, salmon, beef patties)
I will try to plan on fruit and almond milk smoothies
Too many shoppers without a plan to use everything bought...
I am just a bit frustrated because I want to make some of the recipes on spark, but hate to buy more and waste what I have. Each day I take inventory and make a plan for the day. Family is under orders to stop buying food until we use what we have.
Use what you have and add healthy options to it. Or find substitutes for the bad stuff. Like use whole wheat flour instead of white. Or yogurt instead of sour cream. Do a little research to see what works for you.
You have a lovely big family so changing all at once might not go well with everyone. You can also try making your self better options also. I do that even though its a little more work. My family do not like the same vegetables I do so I will make what they like and what I like. But there is only 3 of us so its not a big deal all the time.
Also watch your portions.
Oh and the calorie counter on the site is really great! You plug in what you ate during the day and it will tell you all the nutritional information you need to know.
May Minutes: 0
Fitness Minutes: (5,383) Posts: 283 3/26/12 10:09 P
Hi, I joined the team a few days ago, but I am having trouble starting, especially with the menu planning. There are seven in my family, my refrigerator is full of good food, but not enough of anything to make a meal that will feed everyone. I really want to empty, or mostly empty the fridge/freezer before I put more in it! This is one of the reasons I joined this group, to learn how to avoid wasting good food, and serve healthy meals. I think better planning is the key. Maybe I just need a few more days to empty the fridge.
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.