Life Scraps

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Meals Matter

I won't say I made a concrete resolution to eat less fast-food but, I certainly wanted to "try". I am very happy to say I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have had fast food for a meal since January 1st.

Now, don't go thinking I have turned into little Miss Suzy Homemaker! Ha!! Far from it. Far from it. No, I have only replaced fast-food with Special K cereals, Smart Ones frozen entrees, and an (hear me when I say it) occasional, non-microwaved meal. Baby steps folks :)

I have made a decision to bring my dusty crockpot out of hiding and place it back on my counter. In addition, I want to start meal planning Monday-Friday meals. Thanks to the WWWW (yes, I meant to put 4 w's....the first stands for wonderful) I did an online search for meal planning. After looking through several sites I found this one:

www.mealsmatter.org


(Screenshot of home page)

There is a myriad of awesomeness awaiting you when you visit this site! Before I go any further let me tell you the cost. Ready? Sure? Better sit down first........

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FREE!!!

Free is so cool! Some of the tools offered are Personal Nutrition & Fitness Planners. Under the "Meal Planner" tab they offer daily meal planning calendars, shopping lists, & cookbooks. I planned out some meals for next week and what I did was searched for crock pot recipes using their extensive database of recipes. I was able to narrow my search to certain food groups such as "chicken or beef". Then, as I pulled up a recipe to review it I could then decide to ADD it to my personal cookbook. I created a cookbook called "Crock Pot Recipes". Once I added meals to each day I was then able to tell it to create a shopping list for me. It lists EVERYTHING from every meal you are planning to make. You have the ability to delete items such as the salt, pepper & other various staples you may always keep on hand. Once you are done you click a button and voila! you have a shopping list to take to the store. Oh yeah, you can even list the aisles in the store so it prints your list in the order which you walk through to shop. How stinkin' cool is that?

There are other tabs with many other features but I will let you find those yourself. I don't know if I have EVER been so excited about meal planning. But, I am. With the recent income loss I have to start thinking more money-wise and try to stretch the funds out. Hopefully I can accomplish this by planning ahead more....utilizing coupons and sales.

Do you use a meal planner? What is your method? I hope maybe this has inspired a non-planner out there (like me) to get a little more organized in the kitchen! God bless<><

xoxoxoxo


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