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Old 01-02-2014, 06:08 PM   #21
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When we shop we buy meat and fish, with some ideas in mind of what we might do with them, and when, but we don't keep to a specific schedule. Tonight Gail made some chili and I decided I'd like it over rice. Ingredients could have been turned into hamburger *shrug* . Never know what's going to sound good until it's time...
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Old 01-02-2014, 06:21 PM   #22
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Never.

Sometimes I stop at the food store on my way back home (my fridge is often empty) and I am not sure what I am going to get. I decide what I will eat while in the store.
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Old 01-02-2014, 06:44 PM   #23
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I have a running mental inventory of food on hand, and available from garden/market...
I sort of plan. Often will make big pots of soup in growing season and freeze in meal size containers.
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Old 01-02-2014, 06:52 PM   #24
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I simply as DW "what's for dinner". No matter what she says, I'm pleased because I didn't have to do any grocery shopping, hehe. Then, after the things she planned and cooked are gone, there's always Refrigerator deals, Fridge
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Old 01-03-2014, 06:00 AM   #25
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We (mostly my DW) loosely plan our meals. We usually don't know which day we'll have which meal but have a general idea of the next few days outlined. Gives us a chance to change at the last minute which we (I) do fairly often depending on the days activities.

DW is more uncomfortable with not having a plan but has loosened up a bit in that area since she has been retired over 6 months. We usually have most of the basic ingredients on hand but once a week or so, we like to try a new recipe from a cooking magazine and sometimes have to shop for something specific.

We have a post office box so have to ride in to town two or three times a week so not a big deal to stop by the local grocery store.
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:30 AM   #26
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I usually plan about three or four meals a week usually while grocery shopping . We always have boneless chicken,salmon & ground turkey as back ups in the freezer.
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Old 01-04-2014, 04:43 PM   #27
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We always planned when we first got married and meals were planned for the week. We ate what was on sale that week. Then as our chilfren got older and busier, planning came to a halt.

Now we're ret'd and are back to square one since I have more time. Buy what is on sale for the week, have meals with leftovers(chicken pot pie is in oven now!), plus we go out to eat once a week. Lately we've been getting coupons from Smokey Bones, $10 off of of $20. So we've been going there once a week.
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Old 01-04-2014, 05:25 PM   #28
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I call it both (Home Ec and Proj Mgmt), and I also call it indispensable if you're trying to stay roughly within a grocery budget. You don't quite need MS Project to do a monthly meal/shopping plan - just a calendar will do.

Besides, it's fun. Everybody has favorite suppers, so everyone gets in on the meal-planning act. It's less fun when you're only cooking for yourself, although I was a pretty mean grocery-shopping planner when I was single. Sales, coupons, make-ahead-and-freeze, the whole 9 yards.

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IThere's a reason they used to call this Home Economics. Project management skills come in handy too.
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Old 01-04-2014, 06:45 PM   #29
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We plan, but not strictly. We make one pot of soup a week to eat mostly for lunches although sometimes we may have it for dinner with bread and salad. We trade off, this week we had some duck stock left over from roasting a duck on NYE, so DH made a great minestrone out of that.

I usually plan 2 dinners per week that there is enough for leftovers. For example tonight I made a crockpot of ham and beans - will get two dinners at least, maybe a couple lunches from that. Earlier in the week I made a tray of enchiladas - good for two dinners and some extra. Plus we keep veggies and salad stuff in the house, and frozen fish and chicken in the freezer. So that fills out six dinners and I really only feel like I need to plan for two, which is way more fun than planning for six.

Also, sometimes we have free night, no one cooks. We just eat whatever we want, sometimes together, sometimes not.

For me the key is to scan some websites and pick out a couple new recipes that look interesting. I keep the links to these in a folder in my browser so if I am feeling uninspired, I just pick one of the links and make it.
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Old 01-04-2014, 06:47 PM   #30
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I looked at this website today and picked off 4 recipes that both of us thought sounded good, so I am going to make two of them this week.

51 Healthy Weeknight Dinners That'll Make You Feel Great
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:08 AM   #31
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I may fall into the middle ground here. Every week or three, I sort through my fridge and pantry shelves and see what is there. I make a tentative list of menus built around that. Some are pretty simple - such as grilled salmon and sweet potatoes. I especially focus on using up anything that might go bad.

We keep a running grocery list as we run out of things but I add to it using the weekly dinner plan based on the menu options and foods needed for our breakfasts and lunches (oatmeal, cereal, eggs, cheese, peanut butter).

At the store, I buy from the list but also look for sales on things that can keep either by freezing or because they are dried or canned. These impromptu sale buys are only for things that I use regularly or can see a specific use for.

We veer from the menu plan all the time and keep a few frozen convenience foods for those times when everything goes in different directions and we'd rather go for a hike than cook.

This all sounds more organized than it is. The plan is always fluid and my husband never plans. We live 3 blocks from a grocery store and if he wants something that we don't have he bikes, walks, or occasionally drives down to get it.
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:21 AM   #32
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You've hit on one of our planning incentives - the commute. We live about 4 miles from a full-price grocery store, so we go there for the specials, and perishable items which must be bought each week (e.g. yogurt, salad greens). However, we're almost 15 miles from the club store, which is in an overcrowded area with inadequate roads, so we try to limit our trips there to once every 2 weeks. Using a meal planning calendar allows us to keep an accurate running list of what we'll need to buy during that fortnightly trip.

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I We live 3 blocks from a grocery store and if he wants something that we don't have he bikes, walks, or occasionally drives down to get it.
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