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OLDTYKE SparkPoints: (0)
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7/4/11 11:30 A

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I'm like Jane, I have chicken breasts and beef mince in the freezer, bought when on special offer. I know vaguely what I'll be making over the week, but keep enough basics eg tinned tomatoes in winter, and lots of Indian and Chinese spices, then decide on the main ingredient for supper and look through my cook books. Luckily being retired time is rarely an issue.

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LUNAESOL's Photo LUNAESOL Posts: 11
6/26/11 12:42 A

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I've tried to plan meals. I just can't seem to 'get it'. I find that if I keep foods on hand for a week worth of meals and snacks that I just can't keep myself out of the fridge/pantry. I can control my snacking by keeping the basic staples on hand while shopping 3-5 times a week picking up different things as I need them. Since the store is near by this ends up being a part of my exercise. I'm willing to give it a shot, maybe I've been doing it wrong all this time. emoticon

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CD10327180 SparkPoints: (0)
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6/6/11 11:11 P

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I find it difficult to make weekly menus as well. I live alone and walk to and from the grocery store. Because of this, I find it easier to pick up one or two large or heavy items which when combined with a small, rotating stock of fresh produce and staples will last me the rest of the week. This week I made a pork roast and cabbage for dinner Sunday. With the leftover pork, I can make sandwiches, tacos, "fried" rice, bbq pork or any number of things. It seems to work very well for me, especially on busy days when I might have to adjust my meal plan unexpectedly. For example, today I was going to make butter beans but they didn't turn out well, so instead I had pork and cheese tacos with tomato slices. I think the trick to it is to pick healthy foods that go together well each week, and to keep certain foods (such as wheat tortillas or pita bread) which can go well with almost anything on hand.

GMAHOSS1 SparkPoints: (0)
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5/25/11 12:57 A

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i guess its like a journal which i just can not do for myself. when i had the kids and a husband i always knew what was for dinner now i do not as it is just me,but i have been buying healthy so i guess its ok. just plan one day at a time and wright it down then the next thing you know you will have a week worth of meals for another week or start fresh again it will build to a month. so good luck as i know you will succeed emoticon

i started this at 248.8 pounds and am hoping i can lose at least 50 in one year.


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PAULADAWN4's Photo PAULADAWN4 SparkPoints: (0)
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5/24/11 1:34 P

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I am planning on using a notebook to keep my meal plans in. I have problems with dinners as I never know what to make. It usually ends up spur of the moment ideas. So I am going to plan dinners for the week and keep a note of what I am going to make. I may change the days I do things depending on what I doing that day but I will work within the meals I have written down.
Life happens and I know that sometimes I will stray from the plan but within reason it should work out.
It will also help me plan what I buy as well so will help with the budget. Having a low budget to work with means being creative. I am getting books from the library on Vegetarian meals as I can use these for variety I can add some meat for DH, he thinks he has not had a proper dinner without some meat in it.



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GRANDMASHOUSE's Photo GRANDMASHOUSE SparkPoints: (0)
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5/24/11 10:31 A

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Meal planning is not my forte, either. But I sort of do it the same way as ELIZ181 does it.

Plus, we go to Sam's Club once a month to stock up on our bulk items and our meats for the week. These items are usually the same month after month. The challenge is to make each meal different, tasty, and healthy with the foods that we have.

We shop weekly for milk and produce.

So, yeah - we kind of do it backwards, too. We know what should be on the grocery list, and we purchase it when it runs out. Then I sit down once a week on Thursday to plan out the next week's menu.
emoticon

~~~~~~~~~~~
Grandma C.
"Every day can be Day One."
GMAHOSS1 SparkPoints: (0)
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5/17/11 9:42 P

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i too can not plan dinner because by the time it comes i usually want something else also.i just make sure that what i buy is all healthy and good so for me i just grab and fix i am by myself so it doesn't matter what i fix. emoticon

i started this at 248.8 pounds and am hoping i can lose at least 50 in one year.


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CD8433963 SparkPoints: (0)
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5/17/11 8:48 P

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I too have problems with the meal planner. I am fine with breakfast and lunch because I tend to eat the same things, but dinner. If I plan it, I find that I don't want it. It becomes as though it is law once it is in the meal planner and that leaves me wanting to eat something else.



GMAHOSS1 SparkPoints: (0)
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4/26/11 4:34 P

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i use coupons every chance i can it helps a lot and like you i use the extra saving to buy thing i normally could not. i check news papers and i have coupons on my computer that i print out. here to helping us to do a great job of healthy eating emoticon emoticon

i started this at 248.8 pounds and am hoping i can lose at least 50 in one year.


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HEATHERNCHEVY's Photo HEATHERNCHEVY Posts: 359
4/26/11 4:07 P

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@gmahoss1- I'm on SSDI as well. If you haven't tried it already, I find that combining coupons with store sales really helps me stretch my food budget the farthest. I end up saving 33-45% off every shopping trip that way, which frees me up a little more money for buying a few more pricey specialty foods that I may want for recipes but can't find on sale. I do wish I had an extra freezer so I could buy more things in greater quantity when on sale and store them for use later.

I tried every diet in the book. I tried some that weren't in the book. I tried eating the book. It tasted better than most of the diets.
~Dolly Parton



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GMAHOSS1 SparkPoints: (0)
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4/25/11 8:38 P

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i am on ssd and get paid only once a month. i try to buy what i can to last all month and have fun every day making meals. plans only begin for me with what is on sale that month or day. the food tracker keeps me straight on what i need.

i started this at 248.8 pounds and am hoping i can lose at least 50 in one year.


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HEATHERNCHEVY's Photo HEATHERNCHEVY Posts: 359
4/25/11 7:59 P

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If you get any of the Hungry Girl cookbooks (she has a website if you want to get an idea of what her recipes are like ... they're diet and she does provide the weight watchers points for her recipes on the website for anyone on WW), she gives suggestions after a lot of her recipes of which other recipes in the cookbook you can make that week to use up the rest of that can of X or bag of Y that you bought for the recipe before it goes bad so you don't end up wasting anything. I like it because it helps make meal planning a little easier, especially when you're trying to figure out what to buy at the store so you don't get too much or too little of an ingredient.

I tried every diet in the book. I tried some that weren't in the book. I tried eating the book. It tasted better than most of the diets.
~Dolly Parton



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ALYSSINABUBBLE's Photo ALYSSINABUBBLE Posts: 210
4/4/11 3:28 P

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I don't use the SparkPeople meal planner, but I've tried to start planning meals in advance. That way I can buy my groceries and stuff for the week and have a response to "What do you want for dinner?" which is the most annoying question of the day. So far, it's worked pretty well. :)

Happiness and disappointment live in the gap between expectations and reality. Don't give up, but don't beat yourself up either.


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GMAHOSS1 SparkPoints: (0)
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3/31/11 2:40 A

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i agree alot of my meals do come from left overs so planning sometimes is rough and shopping even rougher.

i started this at 248.8 pounds and am hoping i can lose at least 50 in one year.


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DPOETAK's Photo DPOETAK SparkPoints: (0)
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3/30/11 11:45 P

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Things happen...what I have found works for us us planning 3 meals, no particular order. Then once I cook those I plan 3 more and shop for those meals. Leftover supplies tend to inspire other meals and use up odds and ends. Any more than 3 at a time and I'm just waisting $$ hubby is vegetarian so a lot of our groceries are fruit & veggy.

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3/27/11 2:31 P

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never heard of mr. food .com but will try

i started this at 248.8 pounds and am hoping i can lose at least 50 in one year.


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PATJOHNS1's Photo PATJOHNS1 Posts: 6,226
3/27/11 2:28 P

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For the grits, go to Allrecipes.com and type in grits. Then modify the recipe to make it healthy. Also, try Mr.Food.com and modify again. These are not healthy food sights, but have a lot of good recipes. I do have to substitute, or modify to make them healthy.

The first step in getting somewhere is by deciding not to stay where you're at.


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GMAHOSS1 SparkPoints: (0)
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3/26/11 4:21 P

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try readers recipes for both the grits and oat meal. i know oats can be made into energy bars. grits can be used in place of rice or potatoes. thats all i have but i too do not like grits. emoticon

i started this at 248.8 pounds and am hoping i can lose at least 50 in one year.


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MOODYMOLLYR Posts: 203
3/26/11 4:12 P

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Meal planning is difficult for me because I get most of my food from church food pantries and I don't know until I go and pick it up just what they are going to give me. I've got a slab of ribs in the fridge that I need to stick in the oven and cook then cut into single serve portions and freeze. I've got chicken breast halves and a few other things in the freezer and a package of chicken thighs for fajitas that I need to portion out, wrap and freeze. I've also got lots of pasta and canned goods. Week before last I got -5# bags of grits at one church and at the second one I got a 5# bag of quick oats, which I don't like for breakfast. I'm set for at least a year with the grits so I'll be looking for different ways to use them, any suggestions will be sincerely appreciated. Most of my veggies are canned so I drain them, rinse until the water runs clear then drain again before using. I also have lots of canned fruit, especially unsweetened applesauce that I'm going to use for muffins. I drain the fruit before eating it if it's in light syrup or water and if it's in heavy syrup I give it away as it's too sweet for me. I've also got lots of powdered milk so I'm going to try mixing it with oatmeal, putting it in the fridge overnight, and then adding some frozen blueberries before eating it for breakfast.

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CD9232742 SparkPoints: (0)
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3/26/11 2:09 P

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Don't think the meal planner will work for me. After 40 years together, we know what like to eat - and it has to be easy! We keep ground turkey and ground beef frozen in one pound packages, buying when on special. Also, we keep frozen chicken breast. The basics. Pantry is kept full of canned vegetables. So, weekly trips to Walmart is mainly for fresh bread, fruit, veggies and dairy. I do not come home for lunch as I only have 30 minutes. I keep Lean Cuisine in the freezer at work to pop into the microwave. Leftovers are usually my husband's lunch for the next day.

RUNNINSTRONG's Photo RUNNINSTRONG Posts: 1,914
3/26/11 11:06 A

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I've been using my meal planner as a guide. It's a list of the recipes/meals I'd like to make based on how the schedules of my fiance and I blend together.

I went to AC Moore with one of their 50% coupons and bought a magnetic plastic frame. It hangs on the fridge and I put an 8x11 piece of paper with a blank calendar inside. I use a wipeoff marker to keep track of our work obligation, social events, and my fiance's travel schedule. I can write in the "anticipated" meals for the week as well.

A couple weeks ago a friend came over and looked at my calendar and said, "You do this every month?" with a tone of shock. I explained that I put the "events" on every month and will take the 10 minutes to rewrite it every few weeks so we're never surprised with what happens in the 1st week of a month... and I'll jot down meals for a week. It basically serves as a reminder to take the meat out of the freezer to unthaw in the fridge over night. If I end up changing my mind about the meal at that point, it's no big deal.

I also keep at least 1 of everything I need for my most common meals in the house at all times. My mom used to shop every 2 weeks when my dad got paid and would complain that the bill was too high. But when I set out my own, I noticed planning for a few meals each week by figuring out what to do with leftover servings in a can, box, frozen bag, etc. was MUCH cheaper than buying EVERYTHING every 2 weeks.

Life is very interesting... in the end, some of your greatest pains, become your greatest strengths.
-- Drew Barrymore

Fairy tales do come true... one mile at a time.
--- Disney


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GMAHOSS1 SparkPoints: (0)
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3/25/11 11:59 A

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when my kids were younger and money was tight i made a menu with a 30 day calendar. i put in each day what i wanted to.then i made a shopping list to fit what i put on the calendar. you do not have to stick with the daily plan cause now you have a month worth of food to change your mind with. this being to much you can do it by the week it makes a great chalenge, really you can do it day by day as long as you buy what is good and healthy for you. this way you do get out of the house and move around more thus gettting excrise emoticon

i started this at 248.8 pounds and am hoping i can lose at least 50 in one year.


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BECKY2129's Photo BECKY2129 SparkPoints: (18,889)
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3/25/11 10:46 A

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Keep trying. I think it takes practice.

On the other hand, if you can wait to the last minute and still make healthy meals, is there any reason to make a menu?

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ELIZ181's Photo ELIZ181 Posts: 5,127
3/25/11 8:37 A

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This is what I do. I make a menu for the month. At the beginning of the week before I do my grocery shopping I decide what meals I am going to make for that week and purchase what I need. I then decide each day what I want to have off of the weeks menu. This way I am not tied down to having to eat something specific on a certain day and i can adjust to a schedule change as well.

Hope this helps

Lizzy

Motivation comes from within

A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he gives up
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3/25/11 8:22 A

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I try to do a meal planner but I don't follow it when I start the week. But I can do a grocery list with items I prefer. I don't know what I'm eating at the last moment I prepare the meal. emoticon

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