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Meal planner for family

(6 Posts)
Jellycatfox Sat 16-May-20 08:37:52

I really need to start planning meals for the family. Due to allergies and ages /pickiness I need one that allows me to have columns for different people.
I am struggling with mental health and the professionals helping me suggested this to offload my brain a little, so I would want something that looks nice, like my little project, as cooking makes me feel good in this lockdown.

I don’t think I want an app as I have been advised to reduce screen time.

I would like a paper meal planner but it is overwhelming to google and my brain hurts.

Thank you if you have a recommendation

OP’s posts: |
Thelaughinggnome123 Sat 16-May-20 08:56:05

I just write down my weeks in advance, Days down the side, then you do vertical columns for each person.
I always plan, then do one shop a week, I don't want to be popping out for extras.

HappyAsASandboy Sat 16-May-20 09:26:24

I have struggled to meal plan for years, but suddenly cracked it a few weeks ago.

I sat the kids down and got them to help me make a long list of all the meals they could think of, and to speak up if they didn't like it.

I then wrote each meal on a post it note, and added an alternative meal to any that needed one because of a disliker. I kept the alternative meal simple - mainly cheesy pasta for one child and omelette for another child as I refuse to cook several more complicated meals for a single mealtime.

I then use the post it notes to plan out one week's meals on the table, trying to include a variety of meat and to keep at least one night really simple.

I then grouped the remaining post it notes around that single week, putting similar meals together. For me, this puts lasagna/cottage pie/pasta bake together, and pizza/fajitas together etc.

To make subsequent weeks, I swapped out a meal from week one with another from the same group. So if Monday was lasagna in week 1 it became cottage pie in week two, pasta bake in week 3 etc. I then checked through each week to make sure it looked sensible, and made a few changes that would mean leftovers could be offered instead of the cheesy pasta/omelette alternative.

We're on week three of three planned weeks now, so I intend to use the same method to plan another three weeks going forward. I've thought of a few new meals to add in to the mix too.

I haven't perfected the online shopping to support the meal planning, mainly because our online shop is now fortnightly and two weeks seems like ages away when shopping/fresh stuff won't last that long etc. I'll get better at this, or change delivery back to weekly!

Good luck!

Jellycatfox Sat 16-May-20 09:26:29

Thank you @Thelaughinggnome123
I might just use a notebook then and do my lines.

I think planning will help us save time and money and I need a project that is not just baby and child madness

OP’s posts: |
Jellycatfox Sat 16-May-20 09:28:05

Oh 😮 @HappyAsASandboy thank you for that, lots of ideas there! I will have a good look later (baby being cute)

OP’s posts: |
Jellycatfox Sat 16-May-20 14:49:08

Thank you Happy, you are very organised! I like the idea of writing down all of them and not just the ones for that week because we always end up eating the same things for a period of time.
Ok, planning begins today.

OP’s posts: |

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