(Closed) Just curious- How do you all Plan Your Weekly Meals, dinners in advance?

posted 4 years ago in Food
Post # 31
96 posts
Worker bee

liverightnow:  same here!! 

I get mine delivered on Saturday. Saturday we usually eat out. Sunday I will cook meal #1. Monday #2, Tuesday #3. We will either eat out, make a pizza, or bake chicken that we buy in bulk and freeze on Wednesday /Thursday. Friday is an eat out night. I guess we eat out a lot ……

Post # 32
220 posts
Helper bee

Both Fiance and I work 10-12+ hrs a day so not a lot of time to cook. I scour the internet & cookbooks for recipes. Sunday we plan, make list, shop, prep and bulk cook pretty much most of the day. We’ve calculated that we spend an average of $3-$4 per meal for each of us. So we save time/stress during the week, money and calories too!

1.) Sunday Cook Breakfast: We cook 8 servings of scramble, frittata, shakshouka, ect. so we have 2 servings on Sunday morning but that gives us 3 breakfasts each for the work week. The other 2 days are a couple of boiled eggs, yogurt, fruit, toast. We’ve also made “summer porridge” for an entire week.

2.) Sunday Cook Lunch & Dinner: I have a casserole of some sort going on in the oven that will cover about 6 total lunches and/or dinners, the crockpot has another dish that will cover between 4-6 lunches and/or dinners. Stovetop we are cooking Sunday’s dinner with at least 2 servings of leftovers. That gives us 3 days worth of lunches and dinners for the week to last us through Wednesday. 

3.) Most weeks we only have to cook once which will provide a couple of dinners & lunches. On Sunday I’ll put chicken in a ziploc bag and add whatever marinade for the end of week dish. So if we want chicken tacos Thursday night, we’ll move frozen chicken to the fridge to defrost on Wednesday. Again portion wise, it is good for Thursday dinner and Friday lunch for both of us. Friday night is date night so we get to go out on Friday night!

It is a lot of planning and work Sunday but worth it for us. Got home a little after 7:00 PM, right now I’m vegging out on WB while my Fiance is heating up the chili I made in the crockpot Sunday night.

Post # 33
367 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

love reading all these ideas! we buy fresh fruit/ vegetables (whatever’s on sale) once a week, eat out that day, and then I plan the rest of the week around what we got. 

breakfast: banana, spinach, almond butter , almond milk smoothie x 7

breakfast Fiance: strawberry/ blackberry, yogurt, milk smoothie (or cereal) x 7

thurs: Thai leftovers since we went ate out and went grocery shopping tonight.

Friday: chicken thighs with roasted broccoli and duck fat potatoes (!!! Duck fat is worth not being healthy)

sat: stir-fry ginger chicken breast with green beans and rice

sun: sleek – kale, bulgar, black eyed peas, and carmelized onions (+ any leftover chicken)

mon: chicken red curry soup with frozen shrimp.

tue: tuna cakes with lettuce wraps. 

My biggest issue is that I don’t like eat to the same thing in a row, and I don’t like the texture of most leftovers. Fiance would happily eat the same pasta with meat sauce and chicken stirfry but since I cook I decide the menu. I try to eat vegetarian dinner  atleast once a week, he’ll throw some protein on his. FI eats lunch at work and I make some form of salad with last night’s protein or take in a PB apple sandwich.

Panty always has starch staples: rice, pasta, quinoa, noodles. And that makes it pretty easy to throw complete meals together.

Costco has been awesome for our meal planning since we don’t have to worry about running out of staples. which for us is pesto, frozen chicken, spinach, almond butter… 

Rotisserie chicken!! (Or I guess you could roast your own) when we get a rotisserie chicken, meal 1-2 is chicken with vegetable starch sides, meal 3-5 is shredded chicken in a grain salad, pasta or chili. Last week I did baked peppers stuffed with a mixture of quinoa, shredded chicken, kale and pine nuts.

Post # 34
1670 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

Unique717:  We just have to cook for the two of us, and considering we both surived on takeaway when we first met, I think we have it pretty down pat now.

On Sun morning Fiance and I discuss what we want to eat for the week.  We have a glass whiteboard in the kitchen that is divided into Sun – Mon and has a section for dinner, my lunch and his lunch.  We write up what we want and who’s cooking what, we loosly take it in turns and the cook cleans, however it’s pretty loose according to who has more on for the week.  

Then we write up a shopping list which is a magnet one and goes on the fridge for things we think of during the week.  Check out Kikki-K for awesome shopping list stationary!  It has everything we need for the week.

I go shopping on a Sun arvo as it’s the quietest for our local shops.  FI sometimes cleans the fridge/pantry out while I’m out if I tell him to – otherwise I do it before I leave.

When I get back, we both bring the shopping in, and put it away.  As we are putting it away we will pack it into containers, divide lunch snacks into zip-lock bags etc.  I usually prepare my lunch, as Fiance takes mainly leftovers, but my go to is either tuna with salad or curried egg and avocado sandwiches.  

We always make large meals for things like spag bol, taco mince, stir fries etc and put the leftovers in the freezer, so if something comes up and we can’t cook, we always have emergency meals avail.  FI also takes these for lunch if we cook something that doesn’t provide leftovers.

My favourite thing?  We have rolls of these labels which completely dissolve in water.  Every single thing that goes in the fridge or freezer gets labelled with what it is and the date it was bought/cooked.  Before we did this, we threw heaps of stuff out, but now we rarely do.


Post # 35
1710 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I’ve been doing our meal prep on the weekends the last few weeks because we’ve been eating out WAY too much these past few months. 

So, I make a menu on Friday/Saturday, usually do grocery shopping on Saturday/Sunday, and meal prep for the week on Sunday afternoon. 

Takes a few hours, but I put together breakfasts (this week, slow cooker steel cut oats, made one big batch and had it for breakfast every morning), other mornings it’s 2 hard boiled eggs, some nuts and fruit, some it’s yogurt parfaits (fruit, yogurt, and granola). Making mini-quiche for next week. 

Also have been making meals we can get several out of, like soups, pasta dishes, etc. I cook up some chicken thighs, roast an assortment of veggies, and chop a lot of vegetables and fruits up for the week, so you can grab an entree, a fruit, and a veggie out of the fridge, then do something similar for dinner. 

This week was lentil quinoa soup (I top mine with fresh avocado after re-heating), turkey tacos, tuna casserole (request from husband), and a thai coconut soup. 

I’ll branch out soon and hopefully be putting together some meals that I can cook up the same night so it’s fresh, but prep most of the ingredients in advance (steak fajitas, for example – cut up the veggies in advance, so the steak and veggies just need to be cooked, and hopefully dinner is done in 30-40 minutes!). 

Post # 36
1670 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

Here’s an example of this week:

Sun – Spag bol

Mon – Satay Chicken and fried rice

Tues – leftovers (I was out that night)

Wed – Tacos

Thurs – Lamb obession

Fri – Was pork ribs, but forgot we were going out, so they have gone to the freezer! 

Sat – Takeaway.

Post # 37
728 posts
Busy bee

For bees that freeze chopped up veggies, do you just freeze them in zip lock bags? How long do they last?

Post # 38
439 posts
Helper bee

We have different schedules so we try to make things that give us variety i.e. make some pasta or rice but 2 different meats and sauces. Keep it all separate instead of mixing it so we can customize to what we want. For example we currently have penne pasta, rice, ground turkey, 2 different sauces, and Italian sausage so we can mix and match for whatever we want at the time. We typically have some grilled chicken too because im picky about meat.

Post # 39
2627 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - Hogarths, Solihull

We have a little planner which has the days on and a separate shopping list.

We sit down the day we go shopping and decide:

1. Is there anything in the Fridge/Freezer we didn’t eat last week? How can we use it?

2. Are there any particular events this week where we won’t eat at home?

3. Is there anything we really fancy?

We then use this info to plan our meals. We don’t eat much in the way of Breakfast, so we don’t plan that unless it’s a weekend. We choose what we want for lunch when we’re at the shop.

We cook everything fresh and planning all our meals like this saves us a ton of money and wasted food 🙂

Post # 40
266 posts
Helper bee

I use Plan to Eat…its 30 days for free and then like $40 for the year. I can add all my favorite recipes there, all I have to do is copy n paste the url and the site imports everything recipe related. They have a calendar function so I just drag and drop the meal I want. Which automatically also creates a grocery list for me and has all the right amounts. Then I just check things off while I’m shopping, and cook everything usually in one night. 

Post # 41
3439 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

My Fiance and I have always been guilty of letting groceries go bad in the fridge while we eat out every night. A little over a month ago we decided to go from vegetarian to plant-based vegan, so I am trying very hard to be on top of everything because going out is no longer an option.

Before we go grocery shopping, I make a list that includes breakfast, lunch, dinner/sides, and snacks. Then I start filling it in based on what we already have that we didn’t eat the previous week. As I plan my meals, I keep a separate list of the ingredients I need to purchase. I have a huge check list on my phone that has basically everything I could need to buy. So what I do is go ahead and check off everything I don’t need for the upcoming week. That way I know that the things that aren’t checked are what I still need to buy. 

And the list is in order of things in the store, which is an amazing time saver.

Post # 42
2186 posts
Buzzing bee

I love all these planner bees!

We meal plan at some point over the weekend so we can grocery shop together. We sit down and figure out what nights we’re home and which we’ll be home but short on time so I don’t plan a complicated meal that night. We use it as a rough guideline because most weeks, Darling Husband will work until 9 or 10 one or two nights a week, so I’ll be less inclined to make a big meal.

The one thing we do that’s different is keep an excel sheet of recipes we like with our own “ratings.” It makes trying new recipes fun because we get to score it and makes it easier to decide what to cook again each week since we have a log of meals we’ve enjoyed. Essentially, it’s like we make our own little cookbook. It’s been great for helping us get out of food ruts because it reminds us of foods we like that we haven’t eaten in weeks/months.

Post # 43
3882 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

 nique717:  I sit down on Saturday and plan meals that fit into my macros, then grocery shop for everything.  On Sunday, I make sure to have a few hours to prepare everything in advance except seafood since I hate reheating it.  I pack everything into tupperware so everything is properly portioned and ready to go – it definitely makes weekdays easier!  I like having everything I’m going to eat for the week decided in advance.  I don’t like having to think about it after a long day at work, a tough gym sesh, and an hour + commute.  Definitely recommend it!

ETA:  I have a bunch of Pinterest boards and go to recipes that I use a lot.  I try to mix it up once or twice a week, but I’m the kind of person who can eat literally the same thing (including snacks) everyday for weeks and it wouldn’t bother me.  Fiance and I have opposite schedules and I’m the one with the food restrictions, so I do almost all of the cooking.  Fiance isn’t picky, so I’ll usually buy stuff for him that I can’t eat (meat, milk, etc.) and make him something he likes for when he gets home.  I’m a lactose intolerant pescatarian with a gluten intolerance so my choices are significantly more limited.  This week my meals look like:

Breakfast: scrambled eggs + black tea with lemon

Morning Snack: protein pancakes with PB

Lunch: light veggie macaroni and cheese (GF quinoa pasta +cheddar cheese + almond milk + broccoli + cauliflower)

Afternoon Snack: Shakeology (protein shake) and a grapefruit

Dinner: seasoned salmon with veggies (whatever is in the fridge), tempeh stir fry, shrimp with veggies and pasta, etc.

I usually mix up my dinner throughout the week, but I make the same lunches. 

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by  missinthecity.
Post # 44
773 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015 - Carmen\'s Lakeview

We also do a lot of casseroles (including breakfast casseroles), soups, stews, etc on top of what others have already said. Makes it easier, plus there’s always leftover food for lunches or even sometimes dinner the next day! I always factor that in when planning for the week. Even if we don’t stick to our meal plan, we are usually pretty close to it, and that way we know what to cook. I find if I’m tired and haven’t planned for a meal, I’ll be more likely to order in or something because I’m too lazy. 
That being said, I’m starting a new job next week so who knows if we keep it up the way we have been. 

Post # 45
2394 posts
Buzzing bee

Unique717:  Cool question! Like many PP’s, I meal plan (though I don’t involve hubby – he doesn’t care what we eat as long as it’s healthy) on Sundays and do my grocery shop for the week either on Sunday if I have time, or Monday after work. 

I usually find recipes online on Sunday and email the links to myself. Then during the week, I pull up that email, follow the link to whichever meal sounds most appetizing, and bingo – recipe right there. 

I usually allow for one night a week eating out, because hubby likes to do a date night – usually Friday. I don’t do a meal for Saturday because we’re usually either grabbing something to go or eating at someone’s house or doing something else, plus it gives us a chance to finish up leftovers if we’re at home, or just have a pizza night. So on Sunday, I usually put together four meal plans for Mon – Thursday. 

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