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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Starting August 2 I have to stick to my budget no matter what so i came up with a idea and i need to know if anyone else does this and if it works,.
Monday thru Friday i come up with basic dinners every week same thing example Monday grilled ham and Cheese and soup and Fruit so that will be every Monday Night. Sundays is and always spaghetti night, So on Saturdays i can cook something different That we all would like to try we love Chinese food and we all get in the kitchen together and do that. So basically what i'm asking does anyone have a set meal idea plan and does it really work.
 

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I tried to do a set meal plan.

I could not stick to it cause my tastes or the familys taste would not be what was "on the list" for that night....LOL

90% of the time the meal changed and we wanted something else and then since "I didn't shop" for a different menu at the grocery, I had to run to the store to buy an ingredient or something.

It just didn't work for me.

So now I keep chicken, beef, pork, etc. in the freezer.
I have my usual stockpile of pantry items etc.

And every week I know I will be using those meats and paired up with something to make meals thru the week.

Seems every time I plan out a weeks menu, 6 out of 7 days would change...LOL-LOL----I gave up and just go with the flow on what the family wants that night.

I just couldn't live with Monday night soup, Tues night burgers, etc. etc. The no variety seemed not to work for us. Plus time to cook. Being farmers I never know if I will have an early meal or late meal so time in cooking meant changes in meal times too for me.

I hope it works out for you!!!


By the way how much money are you budgeting each week for meals? You might have more leeway than you think without having to be too strict on exact meals each night?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
For the week about 70 dollars for 4, but i like to do 60 for next 2 months, Lets just say 60 if i can. I like that Idea to keeping chicken and beef and pork in fridge, or the basic meal starters for us, I'm also doing this because hopefully in Sept i'm going back to work full or part time and it's something the hubby or kids can just look and go o yeah that's what we have to eat and not spend 20 on pizza.
 

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My mother did a meal plan like that when we were growing up. I was bored with the meal plan growing up, and even now that I have been married for over 17 years alot of those meals I have issues with serving. Growing up we had tacos every friday night, my family loves tacos but I have a hard time serving them more than a couple times a year.
Over the years I have worked on coming up with atleast 5 different dinners for the varous types/cuts of meat. We may have a meal with groundbeef in it every week, however the groundbeef will be served 5 or more different ways over the next 5 or so weeks.
 

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I do better if I don't have a set meal plan like that -- otherwise I can't utilize the sales as well.

I've also tried the Monday is pasta, Tuesday is chicken, Wednesday is pork, idea -- it didn't work to well either, because of the same reason.

I do better doing a weekly or bi-weekly meal plan after I see the sale ads. I check what I have on hand first, then the ads and plan our meals accordingly.
 

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For the week about 70 dollars for 4, but i like to do 60 for next 2 months, Lets just say 60 if i can. I like that Idea to keeping chicken and beef and pork in fridge, or the basic meal starters for us, I'm also doing this because hopefully in Sept i'm going back to work full or part time and it's something the hubby or kids can just look and go o yeah that's what we have to eat and not spend 20 on pizza.
wow I hear you there on the pizza! Mine is more like $40 the last time. Tony was so hungry he ordered appetizers and all that mess with the pizza....WOOF!!! that never happened again..HA HA HA
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I used the same thing weekly idea as i also ate mac and cheese and fish sticks every friday lol. Probably why after 16 yrs of marriage i'm finally trying to do a meal plan, and stick to it. See where i shop they really don't put out an ad it's a locally run store and he just does in store specials and when he does advertise it's nothing to rock your socks off of. I can go to the major chain stores but i find they are way to expensive compare to him.
I do like having the basic idea of a meal and just wing it that way. That might work better
 

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I know that it helps me to have some sort of plan, but I don't like to plan for more than a week at a time. I do have a well stocked pantry and freezer of foods that we frequently use. I try to plan around what we already have and then shop for the extras needed. (My dh was between jobs for a few months and I pretty much shopped from the pantry/freezer!!!) It also helps that we eat pretty simple meals so I don't need to buy fancy ingredients that we only use once or twice.
 

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~There's a lot of information in the Menu Challenge thread that I think could help you: 2009 Menu Plan Challenge - Frugal Village Forums
My framework for planning my menu is this:
Monday: white meat(chicken,turkey, fish, pork)
Tuesday: soup
Wednesday: dark meat(beef, processed meat)
Thursday: meatless
Friday: pizza night
Saturday: rarely used or new recipes
Sunday: leftovers
And yes, planning and sticking to your plan will save time and money!~
 

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I used the same thing weekly idea as i also ate mac and cheese and fish sticks every friday lol. Probably why after 16 yrs of marriage i'm finally trying to do a meal plan, and stick to it. See where i shop they really don't put out an ad it's a locally run store and he just does in store specials and when he does advertise it's nothing to rock your socks off of. I can go to the major chain stores but i find they are way to expensive compare to him.
I do like having the basic idea of a meal and just wing it that way. That might work better
I am surprised the local store is cheaper...usually the big chain stores are cheaper. Interesting.

Best rule is keep the basic meats needed stocked, then be sure to have spices etc. to make flavor changes.

If you have chicken in the fridge, there are tons of ways to cook that sucker and make so many flavor change meals with little effort. I stock spices. Add italian and it is one taste, add bbq another, cajun another, teriyaki another, oven fry, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I want to stock pile my pantry and freezer that is why i want to save 10. a week from budget to do that. We eat pretty simple normally hot dogs, hamburgers, tacos, sloppy joes, burrito's, ,chicken, spaghetti, Sandwiches and soup, BBQ pork shoulders, and my kids love Fish sticks, so i was setting meal plan that way and then on Saturdays when all together we can cook a different Chinese or special meal together and there is a grocery store here in town that sells spices in bulk so if i need a fancy spice i can just go there and pick up what i need only. My big thing is Hubby he really doesn't care what he eats for dinner but i better have some kind of dessert. usually ice cream or brownies, something of that kind.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I shop at a Food 4 Less it's a chain but locally owned and his main thing is he sells western family brand mainly (store brand) He's a no frills store don't go in there wanting it to look clean and organized just not gonna be. His meat is ok quality If i'm making a Holiday Prime Rib i will not buy his I"ll go the the chain's but if i'm making hamburger i go to him. His produce is acceptable but i usually buy my veggies frozen and my fruit only what's in season. And sometimes he has locally grown stuff really cheap. Last week was the Fair and auction on local pork and beef and lamb, and he will buy alot of them and sell it at a fair price if locally grown is what your into buying.
 

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Ex-MIL did that ALL ex-hubby's life and until the day she died. He said it was horrible and boring.

I stockpile meats and veggies in the freezer, dry goods in the pantry, and a supply of seasonings that I use on a regular basis. I get up every morning, take meat out of the freezer to defrost and decide what I will cook for that day. I also have everything I need to make a quick and easy meal.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you everyone I think your suggestions is what i'm going to do toss out the monday we eat this (except Sunday must be a Pasta dish lol). I think having the general idea and taking it out and prepping that morning or night before (when i go back to work ) will work the best i use to hate knowing every tuesday was fish night since i'm not a fish eater.
 

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Since you said you guys are simple eaters, you will do very well.....

we are too

we are the type of "pice of meat, veggie, tater or rice maybe, piece of crusty bread, basic salad" type meal people also.

I sure don't "cook" complicated dishes ever....LOL---we don't want them


so being a basic cook, you should fair very well and it is best to concentrate on the stocking of your meat freezer, that way you can easily change up your meals and be satisfied.

You will find that best system that works for you...trial and error.




just wondering, why Aug. 2 your budget becomes super strict???
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yeah tonight's dinner is simple i have it cooking now since it's going to be 106 later today but, anyway it's oven fried chicken salad and watermelon they will love that.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
On the budget i have not stuck to it for the last few months with vacation and camping and entertaining and it's way over what it should be. So we took some money to pay peter to pay paul and going to start fresh august 2 new month kind of thing
 

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COOL
you will do fine

I do that after Christmas....each Jan. I say, back on budget right now...LOL--cause I overspend in Nov and Dec definitely by a bit and I need that break to catch back up to reality!!!
 

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I tried to do a set meal plan.

I could not stick to it cause my tastes or the familys taste would not be what was "on the list" for that night....LOL

I just couldn't live with Monday night soup, Tues night burgers, etc. etc. The no variety seemed not to work for us.
I agree. Just the thought of having the same thing on any given night makes me 'not hungry'.........maybe a new diet??

I don't do it now and I didn't do it when I had kids at home. But I had a well enough 'stocked' pantry that I had lots of choices.
 

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I do sorta.. Not the specific meal but a general idea

Monday - Meatless ( this means a soup or bean dish )
Tuesday- ground Turkey or hamburger ( this means something like tacos or a casserole that uses ground meat )
Wednesday- chicken breast ( how it's served and what it was served with was up to my mood )

and so on with the rest of the week. Essentially what this means is that every Wednesday of the month was chicken but it was never prepared in the same way.

I have gotten away from this but it really was easy
 
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