ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Meal Planning Made Simple

Updated on February 14, 2009

Meal Planning Made Simple

The last month I have pre-planned my meals and implemented a grocery list. My first concern wasn’t necessarily saving money, but it was the concern as to where my food came from and what I was putting in my body.

I again pulled out the recipe books from my collection and I went online to search for ideas. It wasn’t that hard. In most cases the online sites even provide you with a printable grocery list. In my family day planner I write in the meal we are having, keeping in mind our schedules for that day. I also add the ingredients to the running post it note grocery list I have on that week’s calendar. This way, I can grab the list and head to the store. I plan week by week because that’s easier for me to fit into my schedule and that’s about the time my fresh fruits and veggies run out. I try my best to stick to the 100 kms rule but the next best I was willing to go was within the Maritime provinces. This morning I purchased peaches from Nova Scotia at a cost of $8 a bag (yikes!) but when I looked at the prices of the bags of potato chips and snack goodies it was just as expensive and definitely not as good for you.

It is tempting to purchase boxed and frozen items at the store. Reading the labels usually discourages me from purchasing an item. One fibre granola bar touted at my weight loss group was absolutely divine! We loved it and bought box after box of it. But the first ingredient? Sugar. In fact, fibre was the fifth ingredient after preservatives. I stopped buying those sugary fruit roll up snacks and replaced them with popcorn and cut up fruit veggies. I bake cakes from scratch rather than eat the cardboard type frozen ones. Sandwich meats are high in sodium and preservatives. The snack lunch packs aimed at the kids? Preservative filled and tasteless. I usually buy a family pack of chicken or a roast and cook it on the weekends. I then portion it and toss it in the freezer for a later date. What a difference when you have precooked meats on hand when you make a meal!

If you take just 30 minutes a week to plan your meals you would be surprised at the speed of organization you can accomplish even after a full day of work. Slow cookers are incredible kitchen appliances. Energy efficient and you come home to an inviting scent of supper being cooked. Some people prepare, cook and freeze meals for the month. I am not that organized :) Yet.

Now I am not saying that we are 100% perfect. My youngest still prefers hot dogs and French fries as staples as most 12 year olds would. We’ve compromised - I will buy him turkey hot dogs if I can make home fries in the oven (not in the deep fryer). My salad dressing now consists of vinegar and a little olive oil rather than from a shelved bottle with preservatives and sugar. I plan on making my own ice cream as soon as I can pick up the electric ice cream maker I scored off Freecycle.

Here are some tips:
~ Start small.
~ Try it for a week and write the meals on your day planner or calendar. This eliminates the question of “What‘s for supper?” My kids can see it on the calendar and the question is no longer asked a million times.
~ Make your grocery list. I tend to go to the same stores so I am familiar with what they have available and the prices.
Compromise where you can in the beginning. Frozen veggies are just as good as fresh. Canned should be the last choice because of sodium or sugar content - still a good choice - but make sure they are packed in water not syrup.
~ Try and stay on the outer edges of the grocery store and avoid the inside aisles. If an item can stay on the shelf for months, or years at a time, what does it do once it’s absorbed by your body?
~ Include take out nights. Because some nights you just don’t want to cook :)

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • DarleneMarie profile image

      DarleneMarie 9 years ago from USA

      Super tips for saving money on groceries Kaylee.

    • Patricia Costanzo profile image

      Patricia Costanzo 9 years ago from Behind the Redwood Curtain

      My sister always made a list of dinners for the week too. I guess I'm just not a ducks in a row kinda girl.

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

      Planning makes good sense and can save time and money

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)