Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Menu Planning

This week we're tackling Meal Planning... and boy is this one that I've been educated in over the lats year since Weight Loss Surgery!

Growing up - the grocery store was like my very own candy land... I loved it - I mean some people it's a jewelry store that catches their attention (don't get me wrong - diamonds make me act like a moth to a flame too!)... you know the response... OOOOH shiny... yeah that's me on both occasions.

So knowing that - and knowing that my ultimate goal right now is to keep this waist line that I've now earned... and if it becomes more defined in the process - EVEN BETTER!

What I've done, and will be starting to do again now that John will be in the same boat...

I sit down on Saturday mornings and plan out exactly what I'm going to eat during each of my 6 meals throughout the day - it takes planning to figure out what you're going to have each meal and make sure that you don't leave something out.

I have a spreadsheet that works for planning this out, and I use it weekly. I use the spreadsheet to make my grocery list and I head off bright and early each Saturday to the store.

By shopping based on the list - I save myself from some of the impulse buying... now that being sad - I do allow myself the freedom to put in a few new things that I'd like to work in and try - but overall I have a plan and I stick to it.

I'm flexible enough with my plan though that if something doesn't get used - I work it back into the plan for the next week.... so nothing gets wasted. Or at least as much as can be avoided. I still don't understand how I can have so much JUNK in my pantry.

When John started his liquid diet - I literally gave his parents/sister 5 bags full of food that we no longer needed in the house... HOW did that happen? When I've shopped like this for the better part of 5 years?!

Anyway - in recent months I've tried planning our evening meals a month in advance to try to keep the variety up, and work in new recipes... that has worked really well too. Interestingly enough, it's almost easier for me to plan an entire month than it is to plan one week at a time... go figure!

I'm happy to share both spreadsheets with anyone who is interested - just leave me a comment with an email address.

**I'll be back with my regular Q&A Wednesday post in just a bit... I've got to finish writing my answers.