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Old 11-13-2002, 10:50 AM
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dawny75 dawny75 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 210
Oh I like this thread. It's great to see how other people make this work. I plan out a month at a time, but of course we end up with some changes.

I print out a calendar and in pencil I put all of our anticipated activities for the month: cheer practice, pta night, meetings, date night, order pizza night, etc. Also, on weekends and holidays, I mark how many kids might be here for dinner (we're a blended family, so kids may be with their other parents). For example, on Thursdays it's usually just me and DD11, so I fix stuff she likes that the others don't eat - usually involves spinach, her favorite!

After all the calendar info is filled in, I start penciling in entrees. Some nights are really crazy, and have to be crock pot dinners, or really quick recipes. I plan to use whatever we have in the pantry or freezer. Then I add the side dishes, also based on what we have in the house. I try to plan for fresh produce in the beginning of the week, and more canned stuff toward the end of the week. I post the calendar on the fridge, and I mark the changes if we make any.

I'm the really uptight, organized type, so after I have it all arranged, I sit down at the computer and type it in on the calendar! I usually do all this planning during a movie one night. I use previous month's calendars for ideas.

Our breakfast menu is basically the same every month (trying to change that), so I just leave it on the calendar, and make changes if needed. Nobody eats lunch at home on a regular basis, so I don't plan for that except on weekends we have all three kids here.

This allows me to buy ahead, and plan menus based on what we have in the house rather than what's on sale this week. When I shop, the produce and dairy stuff is for the current week, but the pantry and nonfood stuff is usually for the next month.

Dawny
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