"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Menu Planning
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-18-2012, 07:00 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
ThePunkHippie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 38
Menu Planning Made A Little Less Difficult

I came up with this technique for planning my meals about a year ago, & haven't looked back.
I'll just say up front that I have my recipes meticulously organized, & I can easily search by ingredient, or tags that I've put in myself. Organization really is key :)

I used to HATE planning the meals for the week - Iíd just end up BSing my way through, usually having about half of what I needed to make anything (& ending up opening a can of something & throwing it on the stove at the last minute)

Now, however, Iíve found a trick that works for me. I have a general idea of what is in my freezer & cupboards at all times (Iíd love a list, but I never update when I add/remove things, so it just wouldnít work). Every week, whenever I think of something Iíd like to eat, I write it down. & Iím not talking about recipes, Iím talking ďhmmm, Iíd like something with bacon in itĒ or ďI want something MexicanĒ

By the end of the week, the list has 3 or 4 ingredients/themes/flavours listed on it
On Saturday, I poke my nose in the fridge & see what I have on hand that should be used up, usually adding 2 or 3 things to the list
I take a mental inventory of what I have in the freezer (I stock up when I find meat on sale or half off because itís going to expire soon), & throw 4 or 5 more ingredients on the list, so I have about 10 things on my list

Then I go through my recipes & browse through each ingredient, looking for something that sounds good & that I have most of the ingredients for (if you don't have the ability to search your recipes by ingredients, the same thing can be accomplished by going to a recipe site like allrecipes & doing an ingredient search)
I pick a recipe, cross the ingredient(s) that it uses off the list, & continue until I have 5 meals planned out (I donít cook on weekends, thereís usually enough leftovers, or I throw a bunch of stuff in a pot & call it soup) :)
I go through the recipes I picked out, & write down all the ingredients that I donít have. A quick trip to the store & Iíve got everything ready for the week ahead

__________________

__________________
My Cookbook Project - Refried Brains: Recipes For After The Zombie Apocalypse
http://www.facebook.com/RefriedBrainsCookbook
ThePunkHippie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2012, 02:03 AM   #2
Cupcake
 
Kathleen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Mid-Atlantic, USA
Posts: 2,315
I'm impressed at the organization of recipes! Mine are all over the place. That being said, I'm willing to look into weekly/monthly meal planning. I constantly have food that I buy with all good intentions but do not use as intended. I have found that I really need a better system for both sanity and health reasons. I cringe when I know the words, "What should we have for dinner" enter a discussion. There simply has to be a better way.
__________________

__________________
A little bit Ginger. A little bit Mary Ann.
Kathleen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2012, 10:46 AM   #3
Everymom
 
Alix's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 23,184
Sounds like fun PH. I'm glad you have found a way to really enjoy your cooking.

Kathleen, those words make me cringe too! I have a menu planner that I cobbled together after reading several cookbooks that claimed to be "the best organizer you've ever had!" None of them really did it for me. I have a paper template, but darned if I can find the one I created on the computer anywhere. I'd post it for you and you could see if it works out.

The basic premise was that there were seven days to fill, each family member had to pick two entrees and fill them in. You had to make sure you didn't have chicken two days in a row, or ground beef etc. First come, first pick! When they'd each filled in their 2 picks, it left me with just one spot to fill! They were happy because they could look forward to their days, and I was happy because I didn't have to decide on the meal every day!
__________________
You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. Robin Williams
Alix
Alix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2012, 10:49 AM   #4
Master Chef
 
jennyema's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Boston
Posts: 9,255
I menu plan by walking through the farmer's market
__________________
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
jennyema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2012, 10:54 AM   #5
Everymom
 
Alix's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 23,184
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
I menu plan by walking through the farmer's market
Mmmmmmmmmm!!!!
__________________
You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. Robin Williams
Alix
Alix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2012, 11:09 AM   #6
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,344
Sadly our farmers market around here have become ridiculously expensive and now they're gone until next year.

Our menu planning is a combination of recalling meals we haven't had in a while, strolling through the recipes on my computer, buying what's on sale, reading Discuss Cooking and desperation searches through the fridge and freezer.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2012, 05:17 PM   #7
Chef Extraordinaire
 
CWS4322's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Rural Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 12,291
I cook based on what I have available....hmmm...leftover turkey...hmmm...black beans...hmmm...cilantro....turkey stock...onions, corn, jalapeno peppers in the freezer...Masa...BINGO! Turkey tortilla soup! I have so many cookbooks, e-books, etc., that a simple search will give me inspiration for a recipe. I don't have to go to the farmer's market, I am the farmer!
__________________
I've got OCD--Obsessive Chicken Disorder!
http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...les-76125.html
CWS4322 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2012, 10:05 PM   #8
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Kylie1969's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 13,936
We never used to but now we do a weekly menu plan, it is really good as you know what to buy for that week at shopping and what to take out of the freezer the night before each dinner
__________________
All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt
Kylie1969 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2012, 10:26 PM   #9
Executive Chef
 
chopper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 4,345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kylie1969
We never used to but now we do a weekly menu plan, it is really good as you know what to buy for that week at shopping and what to take out of the freezer the night before each dinner
Oh my gosh, I did that when the kids were little and the budget was tight. I should be doing it now, but I don't. I Sometimes have no clue until right before I make dinner. I think when I planned ahead that I made more of a variety of things. Now I just look around and see what I can make with what I have.
__________________
No matter where I serve my guests, it seems they like my kitchen best!
chopper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2012, 11:00 PM   #10
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Kylie1969's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 13,936
Yes, it is a really good way to do it Chopper

It is good to go to the supermarket and know what it is you want...although for me, more always goes in the trolley
__________________

__________________
All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt
Kylie1969 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
menu

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:14 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.