Menu Planning

Posted by on January 10, 2012 in Budget Ideas, Organization | 0 comments

listWhen we lived in Tucson, my husband took control of the meal planning and grocery shopping, and he really did it right.  He wrote a weekly menu, then made a list and headed to Trader Joe’s.  I only needed to pick up a few bulk items at Whole Foods, and we were set for the week.  After moving to Colorado, my husband lost interest in the meal planning task due to a lack of Trader Joe’s in this state.  The menu planning and shopping fell upon me, and it has been a sad state of affairs ever since.  Zero organization, shopping on the fly, grocery store runs every other day- all resulting in a downward spiral of our squeaky clean budget.  So, one of my goals this year is to get us back on track. Although my hubby is happy with making a weekly list on paper, I want it all on the computer. What could be easier than looking up a week’s worth of menus from a year ago, and using it for this week?  I have found several sites that offer free meal planning, and thought I’d share.

1.  The Dinner Spin– Delivering healthy dinner inspiration- select from healthy recipes and a grocery list is created for you.
2.  Plummelo– Collect recipes from the web with a browser button, choose from recipes on Plummelo’s site, or enter recipes manually, make a weekly menu, and a shopping list is generated.
3.  Food On The Table– Select your grocery store, pick what you’re in the mood to eat, build your meal plan, and get your grocery list.
4.  How Does She Do It– Find, create, share, modify, and save recipes.  Plan a weekly menu and a shopping list is generated.

I think either Plummelo or How Does She Do It seem to be my best options for importing my own recipes into the planner.  Here are some other ideas from some pretty resourceful and organized bloggers:

Tsh from Simple Mom uses her Google calendar to plan her meals for the month.
Laura from Organizing Junkie has a great post on meal planning resources, including recipe sites, menu planning helpers, and coupon help.
Hillbilly Housewife has a detailed post on three different menu planning methods.

*Photo via stockxchng

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