Meal Planning, in with the new and out with the old!

I like to meal plan. It makes dinner time so much easier. After working all day and coming home the last thing I want to do is to try and think of a good meal to make. If I don’t meal plan I usually end up standing in front of the fridge or freezer or pantry just staring at the food wishing it would magically come together as a meal and then end up eating soup or hotdogs or some other lazy food. So instead I meal plan, it saves me time and money and endless staring.

What I have done in the past to meal plan is get a notebook, pencil, my cookbook and go online to allrecipes.com . I would write down the days of the week on a piece of paper and list the various meats I would like to eat each day (example: pork on Tuesday, beef on Friday, fish on Saturday, etc) I would also make note of anydays we wouldn’t be home to have dinner, such as on Wednesdays we had dinner at church. Then I would also make the last day of my meal planning week leftovers day, any leftovers we still had we would eat them for dinner that night. After all of that I would then go through my recipes and pick out what recipes I wanted to make. I would keep in mind that on certain days little bean has practice so we would need to do a freezer meal that day or cook something thats really quick. This is an example of what one of my meal plans would look like:

Sun.- Crockpot stew, buttered bread and fruit

Mon.- Modenese Pork Chops, mashed potatoes and corn

Tue.-Asian salmon, rice and broccoli

Wed.- Church Dinner

Thur.- Frozen meal chicken and dumplings, fruit

Fri.-Frozen meal pizza casserole, garlic bread and salad

Sat.- Leftovers

After making my meal plan for the week I would then make a grocery list. I would check my cupboards first to see if I already had ingredients that I needed for a recipe and anything I didn’t have I would put it on my list. Then I would go through and add any other groceries I might need for snacks or lunch boxes or breakfast, etc. After that I would grocery shop and cook my meals throughout the week that I had planned out.

That was my old way and still a fine way of doing meal planning. However my meal planning now a days has gone more high tech with the discovery of peppperplate.com. I love this website! It is perfect for meal planning and organizing recipes. Seriously go check this site out http://www.pepperplate.com/

Its very easy to use. You can import recipes from other websites with just a click of a button or manually eneter recipes in a very easy manner. Once you have your recipes on the website you can simply just add a recipe to whatever day of the week you want and make a grocery list from the recipes you added for the week. Whats even better is that there are apps for this on the iphone and ipad (maybe droid and others, I haven’t checked into that), so you can do all your meal planning on your computer and it will put your grocery list and everything right on the app (you can actually do the mealing on the app too with just a couple less features). I love this because I can just take my ipad to the store and grocery shop with this. You can organize the grocery list to follow the aisles in your grocery store and other things. This is a very intuitive website that makes my meal planning soooooooo much easier. I pretty much just meal plan the way I did before but on my computer and now no grocery list to loose or a bunch of papers laying around my house!

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