Menu Plan Monday ~ Oct 8/12 + Taste of Home giveaway!!

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians!  Today we are thankful my in-laws came to visit and will be spending a week or two with us.  I am cooking up a turkey for dinner and just enjoying fun family time.

For dessert we’ll be having a family favorite around here, Peanut Butter Pie.  This dessert is so delicious and so easy to throw together.  Plus it’s not too heavy after a big meal which is nice (recipe link below) Love it!

We did have a bit of a scare yesterday when my fridge stopped working for about 4-5 hours.  Yikes!  Why do these things always happen on holidays when your fridge is fully loaded?  Luckily my husband was able to work some magic and get it going again but I think it’s on it’s last legs for sure.  Has anyone else had something like that happen on a holiday?

The Big Cook:

Last week I mentioned my daughter and some friends prepared meals for the week using The Big Cook method.  The girls had a great time doing the prep work together and the recipes were really tasty.  Having meals ready to go in your freezer is a terrific menu planning strategy for sure.


So in honor of the holiday and all I thought this would be a fine time to have a little giveaway celebration.  As you know I’m a HUGE Taste of Home fan.  Their recipes are simple to prepare with simple ingredients that don’t ever seem to let me down.  So when the new soft cover Ultimate Slow Cooker Cookbook came out at Walmart recently I made sure to grab two extra copies to giveaway to two lucky readers.  It’s a terrific cookbook and I think you’ll like it and no I’m not a rep for Taste of Home (although you can’t really tell by all the times I link to them this week!)

This giveaway is open to everyone.  Simply leave a comment on this post telling me what you love about menu planning OR if you aren’t a menu planner, tell me what stops you from doing it.  Giveaway ends October 12, 2012 at 4:00 pm PST.  TWO winners will be selected at random.

Our Weekly Menu Plan:

Monday:  Thanksgiving Dinner ~ Turkey with Bacon-Infused Gravy, mashed potatoes, Creamy Broccoli-Bacon Bake, Old-Fashioned Dressing in the slow cooker, buns and Peanut Butter Pie for dessert.

Tuesday:  After Thanksgiving Turkey Soup with Bread Machine Wheat Bread

Wednesday:  Turkey Pot Pie – recipe from the new Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook written by my friend Jessica over at Life as Mom.  It releases tomorrow!  If all goes well I’ll share the recipe with you next week.

Thursday:  Roasted Turkey Enchilada Bake

Friday:  Meatball Hash Brown Bake

Saturday:  Italian Pork & Potato Casserole – this recipe is from the latest Taste of Home Healthy Cooking magazine Oct/Nov 2012 issue and is not yet available online.

Sunday:  Honey Glazed Ham served with scalloped potatoes and corn

No leftover night this week as we’ll be eating those for lunches 🙂


 Menu Plan Guidelines, banner selections and recipe helpers are here.

 More family favorite recipes here.

 One of my favorite menu planning resources:

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

Filed under: Menu Plan Monday


174 Responses to Menu Plan Monday ~ Oct 8/12 + Taste of Home giveaway!!

  1. 1
    Susieqtpies says

    Thanks for hosting! I love menu planning! It saves me a lot of time each week and allows me to cook the best for my family each week. Oh and saves us money from eating out!

  2. 2
    Rita says

    I love menu planning because it saves me time and money. I always know what’s for dinner. Also, it stops the family from asking repeatedly, “What’s for supper?” I too love Taste of Home.

  3. 3
    Susan says

    Neat giveaway – these look like recipes I would love and make often. Additionally, I’ve been wanting more slow cooker recipes. I love menu planning because it removes that 4 p.m. stress: “Ack! What will I make for dinner?!” Thank you for the motivation to menu plan on a regular basis.

  4. 4
    Beth says

    I LOVE meal planning! A little bit of time on the weekend, saves me a ton of time during the week – when I really need it! Plus, I save money at the grocery store by just buying what I need for the meals for the week! Thanks for hosting! 🙂

  5. 5
    Miz Helen says

    Happy Birthday Thanksgiving to all of you, hope you have a wonderful holiday!
    Thanks for hosting!
    Miz Helen

  6. 6
    Robin from Frugal Family Times says

    I love meal planning. It saves us money, but more importantly, it saves me anxiety about what will be for supper tonight. I was so preoccupied with it before. It takes way less time and energy just to plan it for the week! Peace of mind is the best part for me.

  7. 7
    Kelly @ Semi Homemade Mom says

    I love a lot of things about menu planning, but I guess the most is feeling prepared for the entire week. Before I would get stressed at dinner time and I was hungry so that makes for a mommy in a real bad mood! Knowing that I have all the ingredients for several dinners really relieves the stress.

  8. 8
    Jeanette says

    I love meal planning, knowing what to cook without having to think of something at the last minute makes my life so much easier. Also the family can just look at the menu on the fridge and know what we are having without having to ask. Love it!

  9. 9
    Danielle says

    Thank you for posting. I am a wanna be menu planner…I see my friends menus and I know it will be good for my family. Especially since I am due with my 3rd child in 2 weeks! One of these days I will cut ally do it, the cookbook would be a great help lol!!

  10. 10
    melissa says

    With a two year old, nine month old, and a busy hubby we would be lost without our meal plan! I never have to guess at what to make and I am always prepared. this way when life throws us a curve ball we can somehow always manage to still get a meal on the table!

  11. 11
    Tammy @ Skinny Moms Kitchen says

    I think the question for me is what don’t I love about menu planning. Without it my family would be eating cereal 3 times a day 🙂

    Have a great week laura!

  12. 12
    Madridmom says

    With 4 kids in 3 different schools this year I am having to deal with some crazy schedules. Menu planning is one of the ways I am coping with the craziness and doing fairly well at keeping the family together at the dinner table. I am using my crockpot a lot more, especially on the days when I am out of the house running around during the day but still want to have a meal ready at dinner time. The other reason I am pushing to be better at menu planning is to get the food line of our “budget” down. It is about the only area where we can make changes to lower costs and by some creative planning I have still been able to feed the family well and even throw in some special treats each week, albeit homemade treats. Cheaper and probably better for us than prepackaged treats — a win/win. I would LOVE to have some more ideas of ways to use the crockpot and I have always loved Taste Of Home recipes. Haven’t had a look at one of their magazines in a long time.

  13. 13
    Kim says

    I just recently found your site and love all the menus to get ideas from. I just started Meal planning at the beginning of August and I love it! It has helped keep my grocery bill down and I never have to worry about coming up with a last minute dinner after a long day at work.

  14. 14
    Amanda says

    I love to menu plan because it keeps me from the whole wondering what to cook every night. I also love freezer cooking. This week I’ve got everything all made, and could just plop stuff down in my menu! =)

  15. 15
    Jessica N says

    Menu planning makes my weeK SO much easier! Knowing the ingredients are on hand and I don’t have to think or stress! If only I was more consistent.

  16. 16
    Debbie Birch says

    I love menu planning, saves tons of time. I hate trying to figure out what we are having when I come home from school. And it saves so much money, not wasting all those fruits, vegetables and leftovers. I love Taste of home magazines as well, they are awesome.

  17. 17
    April @ Angel's Homestead says

    Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! 🙂

    Great giveaway Laura. I love TOH too, and would enjoy getting my hands on their slow cooker cookbook. I love menu planning. It saves me money because I know exactly what I need to buy when I go to the store. and it saves me time because I can look at my menu, which I keep on the front of the fridge, and know exactly what needs to be done each day, such as pulling a meat from the freezer to defrost, or maybe doing some early prep work of chopping veggies and such. I’d be lost without a menu plan!

    Thanks for hosting Laura and have a great week.

  18. 18
    Pat H says

    I love Menu Plan Monday. I’m not real good at menu planning but do get some great recipe ideas from here each Monday. Thank you.

  19. 19
    Marji says

    Happy Thanksgiving. I don’t menu plan since we don’t eat much these days (seniors), but slow cooking is always good for potlucks.

  20. 20
    Melissa says

    I am not a menu planner. I think my biggest obstacle is that I don’t cook. My husband does most of the cooking. I can follow directions and sometimes a recipe, but its just not in my skillset. I think of taking cooking classes, but I don’t want to be a chef, I just want to be able to cook a meal when the hubs is unavailable. Maybe this slow cooker book would get me started 🙂 What we really need are kid friendly meals for super super picky children. My 5yo hates hamburger. I truly think she hates it, doesn’t like the texture…so she’s a nuggets and spaghetti girl so far, but we need to break her into new foods if she’s going to eat at school next year…gah…

  21. 21
    Lyn says

    I have to meal plan! I work part-time, but my hours are 1;00 – 6:00pm … in other words, dinner has to be cookable or reheatable for my family when they get home. My son gets home from school on the bus at 3:10pm, my daughter works after college classes until 5:30, my husband gets home anywhere from 4;00 to 6:00….. I love the slow cooker and am ALWAYS looking for more simple delicious meals to use in it!!!

  22. 22
    Lee Ann L. @Unfocused! says

    Meal planning saves my life. I don’t know what I would do without my list(s). 🙂

    Thank you for a chance to win.

  23. 23
    Nearly Natural Nicole says

    Meal planning keeps me prepared to better serve my family & keep us fed!

  24. 24
    Gina says

    I struggle with menu planning but it is essential for my family. If I don’t menu plan we don’t eat well. it’s as simple as that. Time is a huge factor that keeps me from menu planning, but I have learned not menu planning only makes things worse. So here I am…planning away. Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂

  25. 25
    Shelly says

    Menu planning saves us from eating out so often. It also helps me stay on track during the day as I have to get dinner going.

  26. 26
    Michelle @ The Willing Cook says

    I love meal planning because I only have to think about “what’s for dinner” once a week 🙂 It also cuts down on the spending. We also have food allergies in our home, so planning around that is essential. Thank you for the hosting and for the giveaway. I love cookbooks/cooking magazines!

  27. 27
    Shelley @ Fort Worth Mama says

    I love menu planning because I like to be fully prepared – no surprises – less stress.

  28. 28
    Lisa says

    Being a menu planner saves time, stress and lots of money!

  29. 29
    amybee says

    I like to menu plan so there’s no panic after work and school about what’s for supper.

  30. 30
    Lois says

    I wish I was more organized and menu planned!

  31. 31
    Corrie (Brennan'[s Mom) says

    I love the “knowing” menu planning provides: there is no “What I’m I having for dinner” on the way home from work, I know and even if I don’t feel like what’s on the menu, I have 6 other meals to choose from!

    As for holiday breakdowns, my stove went a week before Christmas and couldn’t be repaired until FEBRUARY!!!!!!!! We had company coming for dinner and I had to figure out how to cook a big meal without a stove! Crock pot and the never used before counter top roaster came to the rescue (and we’ve never used the conventional oven for big dinners since! Thankfully, my parents had a spare microwave to give us as well. Dinner was a success; even if we didn’t have any of my usual Christmas baking!

    Thanks for hosting and Happy Thanksgiving!

  32. 32
    TracyJ says

    I am not a menu planner. I do it from time to time in an effort to reduce stress but I dont keep it up.
    I NEED to be a menu planner! 🙂

  33. 33
    PaigeForty2 says

    I want to get into the habit of meal planning. However I don’t know how to start and the task seems impossible with my busy schedule. I hope that if I won this prize, it’ll give me the jpstart that I need.

  34. 34
    Amanda @ The Fun Mommy says

    I love menu planning because I actually know what to buy at the store, and I come home with everything I need to make an actual meal-not just what I think I might need to make something. Plus sticking to a menu plan has saved me tons of cash!! I never used to plan our meals out and since starting a few months ago, our grocery spending has decreased dramatically.

  35. 35
    hsmominmo says

    Oh, my! I must try that peanut butter pie!
    I’ve been using the OAMC method for years and I love the idea of the girls getting in a “Big Cook” session. Terrific training, and lots of fun.
    My favorite thing about menu planning is the brain energy I save all month long. Having a plan and working the plan relieve so much daily stress!

  36. 36
    Teri says

    My husband and I are moving from the city to the country at the end of November. We are very excited but I have got to pull myself together and figure out how to meal plan because I won’t be able to run to the grocery store, practically every other day, like I do now! I found your website via pinterest and it’s fabulous! Meal planning seemed like such a daunting task to me, but I think I may survive after all! I need all the help I can get, but not going to the grocery store so often and being organized (in my dreams!) is a start! And that’s we’re I am…this is only my second week meal planning 🙂

  37. 37
    AmerAsian Fusion says

    I’m a part time meal planner. I like to cook and sometimes I’ll plan something for dinner than change my mind. I suppose this means I’m also very indecisive ;P

  38. 38
    Laura says

    My favorite thing about meal planning is that I am sure I will have all the ingredients on hand to make my meals and I don’t have to worry about “what’s for dinner?” since I already have pre-planned!

  39. 39
    Hope Henchey says

    I have trouble meal planning. I make a plan but if I don’t stick to my plan perfectly it all messes up (since its contingent on planning appropriate leftovers for my husband’s lunch.) It is impossible to keep it perfectly because my parents might invite us over to eat or my husband might really not be in the mood for what I planned. Advice is very welcome.

  40. 40
    Linda Stoll says

    nope … not a meal planner. but there’s plenty of healthy staples on hand, fresh fruits and veggies in the fridge and on the counter, meat in the freezer. i try to double up when I cook and get 2 meals taken care of at once. and i make things like spaghetti sauce and chili in bulk and freeze them in ziploc bags to pull out when I get the urge.

    at this season of life, i fly by the seat of my pants, and it works for me!

  41. 41
    Heather says

    Happy Thanksgiving to you! Have a great week with your family.

  42. 42
    Vickie says

    I have stopped and started menu planning and have begun to make it a priority. I love that I have everything I need and I know what is for dinner. I also love that I am not chained to my menu. I don’t have to have whatever I was going to make on Monday, on Monday, I can have it on Tuesday instead. What a novel idea!

  43. 44
    SnoWhite @ Finding Joy in My Kitchen says

    I am so jealous that you are enjoying Thanksgiving foods today!!!! Makes me so excited for Thanksgiving in the US. Maybe we’ll start a family tradition of celebrating twice?!?! 🙂

    Hope you enjoyed the turkey!!

    And, Happy Thanksgiving.

  44. 45
    Trice @ Crazy Texas Savings says

    I love to meal plan because I save so much money…. When I go to the store unprepared I spend alot of money.

  45. 46
    Janet @ Frugal & Focused says

    I love menu planning because it keeps me from standing in the kitchen and wondering what I’m going to make for dinner every night. It also saves money because I can plan around what I have and what’s on sale and keeps me out of the drive-thru.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  46. 47
    Adrienne says

    I love meal planning because it usually takes me 10 minutes to plan for the following week and then I don’t have to think about it after I get off work. I just see what is planned and go right to cooking mode.

  47. 48
    Leilani says

    I like that we eat out less when we menu plan. Cheaper and healthier!

  48. 49
    joy says

    I LOVE MENU PLANNING! It helps keep my grocery bill in check and I don’t usually have to worry about what I’m going to prepare for supper…unless I totally forget about thawing something or I fall asleep while watching The Waltons with my daughter 😉

  49. 50
    muriel says

    I like how menu planning ensures we have the ingrediants on hand.

  50. 51
    Elizabeth @ HobbyLobbyist says

    I wish I were a better menu planner. I think I overwhelm myself by setting my sights too high– I try to plan out the next three weeks and then when one night goes awry, I lose focus. You guys are motivating me to keep with it though!

  51. 52
    April says

    Happy Thanksgiving, Laura! Thanks for the giveaway!

    I love to menu plan, because too many times I have forgotten to buy an ingredient for a dish and have had to run out (or send my husband out) to buy it–usually at an inconvenient time or when the store is super busy. Planning what to eat (down to the list of ingredients) has saved me countless headaches.

  52. 53
    Emily says

    Menu planning is a wonderful thing for me! I plan our meals a month at a time and can’t imagine doing it any other way. 🙂

  53. 54
    Joni says

    I want so badly to be a menu planner, but I am not yet. I get overwhelmed with everything and rarely have time to plan between my career and my 5-month-old. Everyone tells me that a slow-cooker will be my best friend, but I just haven’t had a chance to look into recipes much. I’d love to win this to help me!

  54. 55
    Stephanie says

    To be honest, I don’t *love* the actual task of meal planning. Some weeks are easy, but others I just lack inspiration or find it annoying to try to figure out how to best maximize our grocery budget, however, I would be totally lost without it! I love that putting forth a little effort to put a plan together makes every day so much easier! Without a meal plan I would have no idea what groceries to buy (which means I’d be in and out of the store all week!) and we’d likely end up eating take out a lot (not good for you OR your pocketbook!) because I wouldn’t want to have to pop into the store all the time and I’d wait until I was already hungry to start figuring out what to make. Meal planning definitely saves me in a lot of ways!

  55. 56
    Trish says

    Menu Planning saves my life. We have four school age kids all in sports, and 2 businesses. We would eat sandwiches every night for dinner if I didn’t.

  56. 57
    Elsi @ Pasticio says

    I’m linking my blog — with a weekly meal plan — for the second week in a row. I start out with great enthusiasm on Sunday afternoon when I put together my plan. When I look back, I see that the execution didn’t always hold up to the promise! I do travel quite a bit for my job, so there are some weeks where I don’t plan at all. We just fix whatever is on hand or run out to a local restaurant. Since we’re empty nesters, it’s not so bad that we eat out more frequently. But at this point, I’m beginning to think that I should practice a more frugal life-style in anticipation of retirement.

  57. 58
    Julia Reffner says

    Although I’m not always faithful to menu plan when I do it saves me a huge amount of time and stress. And money, as I make less impulse buys.

  58. 59
    Madison L says

    I love that I don’t have to think about what I am making for dinner. There is no scrambling, no stress, just good food. I think it also helps me save money on groceries each week.

  59. 60
    Sandy says

    I just started menu planning and I love how simple my grocery list is, and I’m not stuck with a bunch of stuff that doesn’t go together, which leaves me standing in the pantry, staring aimlessly at everything, not being able to come up with a meal!

  60. 61
    Nicole says

    I am not a menu planner, but i am trying very hard to become one. I don’t know what for sure is stopping me……I do love Taste of Home and I am a huge believer in my slow cooker…..I use it alot!

  61. 62
    Cinella says

    Gotta hate that rush when you don’t know what to cook…. so that’s why I love menu planning!

  62. 63
    Nancy r. says

    One of the best parts of menu planning is planning according to our schedule-Knowing I need something quick for busy nights or can plan a nicer meal on nights we aren’t running all over.

  63. 64
    Miranda says

    I love meal planning because I can go on auto pilot during the week when I’m tired.

  64. 65
    hchybinski says

    Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!! I’ve been a meal planner for a LONG time – it’s the only way we don’t eat pizza and cereal for dinner every night! LOVE your sight – it’s filled with such inspiration every week – thanks fr the opportunity to link up!


  65. 66
    Jenni Shaver says

    I am a menu planner. We only get a paycheck once a month. If I don’t plan, we eat hot dogs and ramen noodles for days at the end of the month (or head to my mom’s!). I have beef for beef stew in my slow cooker right now. I would love this book!!!!

  66. 67
    Vicki says

    I really hate sitting down and making up my menu but am so glad after I do it. I love – 1) not having to think about it every day, 2) noone asks me what’s for dinner, it’s on the board and 3) the reduction in my grocery bill since I’m not just grabbing things.

    Thanks for the chance!! 🙂

  67. 68
    Nicole G says

    What I love about menu planning is the relaxation that comes throughout the week! Thx for the chance – great giveaway!

  68. 69
    SalBug says

    I started meal planning about a year ago, when I found your blog. It has made me feel safe and sane each week, knowing what is coming. My son just finished his fall baseball season and it was a bit chaotic, so I’m looking forward to being back on schedule starting this week.

  69. 70
    Kelly Moran says

    I love that meal planning not only saves money, it eliminates the headache of that last minute “Oh no – what should I make for dinner?”

  70. 71
    ~~Rhonda says

    Thanks for hosting a great giveaway! Taste of Home is a personal fave of mine, as well. What do I love about menu planning? It’s a time saver, a stress saver, a money saver! It’s such a huge help to plan the menu ahead that I can’t go without doing it each week. Many thanks to you, Laura, for the opportunity to post our menus here. Accountability was so necessary for me at first. Now it is a can’t-do-without-it habit. 🙂 ~~Rhonda

  71. 72
    Chelsea says

    Happy Thanksgiving to you!

    I love that menu planning keeps me sane and makes me feel organized even when my week is crazy busy! I love that it helps me budget my money better, and that I rarely have the “what’s for dinner?” at 5 pm headache.

    Love menu plan monday, thanks for hosting!

  72. 73
    virginia gal says

    I meal plan about 50% of the time. . .I am always glad when I have, and hate myself on those weeks when I just wing it (and I spend more money those weeks too). I love slow cooker recipes, especially for fall/winter!

  73. 74
    valerie says

    Love meal planning saves time and money…..this way no running out to the store just to get one more thing that turns into a bunch of stuff you really didn’t need. If you plan it you know exactly what you need you get it and you are all ready for your meal.

  74. 75
    Judy says

    I’ve been menu planning for years. I got tired of the “what should I have for dinner?” dilemma every night. Now I go through the weekly grocery flyer and figure out a week’s worth of meals based on what’s on sale and what I already have on hand. This week we’re eating out of the freezer – I didn’t buy any meat except turkey breast from the deli for sandwiches. Meat & milk are my biggest grocery expenses. I’d love a slow cooker cookbook. I like to use my crock pot on the weekends so I truly have my weekend off – even from cooking!

  75. 76
    Amanda Paige says

    I need to get back to menu planning because it helps with budgeting and its nice to know this is what is for dinner and to have a game plan for grocery shopping.

  76. 77
    Gretchen says

    The thing I love about menu planning is that it takes away the thinking I have to do for 3 meals a day. With a plan I don’t have to think as much which works well for me since my brain power has lessened with each child.

  77. 78
    Angie Cumming says

    Meal planning simplifies my life! Having 3 kids and another on the way, I typically start preparing dinner right after breakfast. This prevents additional chaos of scrambling to get dinner ready while helping with homework. I wouldn’t be able to do this without my my calendar of meals ( and deep freezee).

  78. 79
    Erin Garner says

    I love to menu plan. I love to be able to try new recipes! When I menu plan it makes my week go by smoother when I get home from work because I always know what I will be making. I also like that I can switch the recipes from each day around in the week (when/if I don’t feel like having that particular meal)

  79. 80
    Annie Clarahan says

    I LOVE menu planning! BECAUSE – I am a working mom, of three, ages 6, 3 and 1. And menu planning does two things for our family – my 2 oldest like to help in the kitchen, so by meal planning and prepping on Sunday, they get to help cook, and I’m not rushing so their help is a pleasure to all of us, and I’m not scooting them out of the kitchen so I can “hurry up” because its 5:30 and I’m just getting started. The SECOND thing it does, is allow me more time of our already-too-short evenings, for reading books, playing tractors, and coloring pages, because I’m not spending an hour prepping, an hour cooking, our dinner when we don’t get home until 5:30-6pm, after getting off work, driving and picking up everyone from daycare/after school care. It enables me to work, AND have “stay at home mom” kind of time!

  80. 81
    Justasiam says

    I love meal planning because it allows me to check what I want to use up and thus saves me money! I love it especially, though, because it saves me time. When I know what I am making I don’t have to think about what to have for dinner; I just get started. The meal prep goes so much faster. That’s a big bonus for a working person who comes home tired!

  81. 82
    Nichole says

    I love menu planning because it takes a little bit of stress out of the week.

  82. 83
    Renee Richardson says

    I love menu planning because we are a family of 6 so it makes my life easier. Thanks for the incredible giveaway and Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

    fattybumpkins at yahoo dot com

  83. 84
    Katherine says

    I love meal planning because then I only have to figure things out once instead of every day or every meal.

  84. 85
    Rita says

    I have tried menu planning but have been bad about sticking to it. We have had a lot going on lately so we have been eating out a lot more frequently than normal. I hope to get back to a schedule this week.

  85. 86
    Sharon says

    I’m a big fan of meal planning! Also, love my slow cooker and Taste of Home. Planning on going to their fall cooking school where I live!

  86. 87
    Carolynne says

    I love slow cooking and that book looks great. I love meal planning because it helps me stay on track with my diet. It also saves me money. I only go to the grocery store once a week to get all the ingredients and it makes life so much easier. It’s also a fun way to make sure that I try new recipes!

  87. 89
    Jodi D. says

    I love menu planning because it saves me from running to the store several times a week!

  88. 90
    April V says

    The absolute best thing I love about menu planning to the load it takes off from not knowing what in the world your going to cook when you come home after a long day!!

  89. 91
    Pip says

    I love that Menu Planning brings a little bit of stability into the chaos of life. I may not know how I’m going to get the kids to all of their extra-curriculars at once,but I do know that we are having Pork Schnitzel tonight.
    It also provides a reason to blog at least once a week! lol

  90. 92
    Ashley says

    I love menu planning because it helps stay organized and also save money.

  91. 93
    Joyce M says

    I am a menu planner! It has been so great for me during this season of life to just have a plan in place and not wait until it’s too late in the day to prep a meal for my family.

  92. 94
    Morgan Tyree says

    I am a devout menu planner with a little flexibility when needed… :). Thanks fr your encouragement!

  93. 95
    Jessica Adams says

    I’m trying so hard to become more of a meal planner. And I have big plans once my family is back in our own place. We are currently living with my mother in law so I don’t really cook as much as I should, sometimes she does ; )

  94. 96
    Diane says

    I’ve been menu planning for over a year now and it has really simplified dinner for me. I make almost all of our meals from scratch without prepared foods. Having a menu plan, making a weekly shopping list and knowing what I’ll be making with how much time is needed each night makes it really easy to have a healthy and good dinner ready for my family. The weeks I skipped menu planning in the summer created havoc for me at dinner time! Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  95. 97
    sarah says

    Menu planning helps me to be organized. Since I’m always the one everyone says “what are we eating?” I love having an answer. It’s a little different now that I’m almost an empty nester but the family isn’t far so they gather here. I find myself planning for leftovers more and more. Great giveway!

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    Terri says

    I love menu planning because it saves money!

  97. 99
    Angie says

    I’m about to start doing menu planning, haven’t before. I went with my sister to the grocery store and was inspired by how she plans a month in advance, then buys almost all of it in one trip! She has a weekly produce run too. Can’t wait to try it!

  98. 100
    Linda Kish says

    We don’t do a lot of meal planning due to work schedules. Hours are always changing so it is really difficult to schedule. Plus, my son and DIL like to go out with friends a lot.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  99. 101
    Mary T., IL says

    I do meal planning so I know what I’m having from day to day and can spread out all of my “repeat meals” so it doesn’t get too boring. Am always trying to incorporate 1 new recipe a month. Menu planning helps prep the grocery list (I shop weekly) and gives you a “look ahead.” I love trying new recipes for the slow cooker also.

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    Rachel McC says

    Hope I’m a random winner! this will help my (needed) meal planning alot!

  101. 103
    Samantha Gettler says

    I haven’t needed to meal plan just yet… but we are getting our own house (yay! ahhh scary!! but YAY!!!) and will definitely be meal planning then!!

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    cynthia says

    My daughter and I don’t like a lot of the same things and now my older folks have moved nearby so I can help them as needed… we eat together once or a twice a week. They also have different needs (very low salt) and tastes AND my boyfriend – with whom we eat once or so a week – is a vegan. I get overwhelmed trying to find stuff that works for everyone. So much going on in our lives, various health crises and challenges at work, too. I get bogged down and good meal plannign goes out the window.

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    Kristie says

    I love to meal plan because it mot only is saving me money, I am actually feeding my family healthy foods. I’m not standing in the kitchen at five trying to throw just anything together. You have inspired me soooo much, Laura!

  104. 106
    Carol V. says

    I love to meal plan because it saves me time and $$ in the long run, and we tend to eat healthier. I don’t do it as often as I want to because I just don’t get it planned out ahead of time. Need to get better at doing it!

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    karen says

    I love menu planning because on those last minute days your already ahead of the game by having everything to make your meal on hand and ready to go. It also saves alot of money being prepared, checking the sales and getting things when they are on sale instead of last minute full price. Great giveaway, I would love to have this to further my planning ideas.

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    Beth says

    I love menu planning because I don’t have to think about what’s for dinner during the “witching hour.” The plan is already in place–now if it would just cook itself 🙂

  107. 109
    LB says

    I menu plan so I know what to make! I HATE cooking, so when I don’t plan, it is sandwiches, popcorn, frozen meals and scavenging on those days/weeks! Definitely make healthier meals when I plan also.

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    Leslie Dawn Neagle says

    I don’t do menu planning since I fill my day too much with too much. It’s something I need God’s grace for.

  109. 111
    teri says

    The few time I have planned menus, it’s been great. However, too many weeks the time gets away from me and all the things on my list don’t get done. Menu planning seems to be one that I put off. So far we haven’t starved but we do forage.

  110. 112
    Kendra says

    Menu planning is a huge time saver! I always know what’s for dinner do I don ‘t end up panicking at 5pm wondering what to make. Such a great idea!

  111. 113
    Becah says

    I try to plan meals since both my husband and I work and he’s going to school full time. Its hard to find meals that my boys will eat, but there are some days where I barely have the energy to pour cereal. Thats when I just adore my crockpot. I really, really want the super duper crock pot that can be used in the oven and on the stovepot. I just wish it wasn’t so expernsive!!!

  112. 114
    Jenna says

    I would love to meal planning and am looking for a good way to start. I think I don’t because I have a hard time thinking past one day!

  113. 115
    Carolyn Maves says

    I can’t say enough about menu planning, how it relieves stress, how it saves money, how it improves the quality of your meals, no more throwing anything, whatever together!

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    [email protected] says

    I love how menu planning takes the decision making out of hectic weekdays. If I’ve planned for it, and shopped for it, it feels like 75% of dinner is done. I just have to look at my plan and see what’s for dinner. I know I’ve got it, I don’t have to figure out “what sounds good”, it’s all done. It brings so much peace to my week.

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    Grisel says

    I started menu planning when I found this blog 🙂 I love it because I spend time on Monday thinking about the week’s menu & then its easy. The night before I know what needs to come out to be defrosted & we always have a home cooked meal!

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    Lisa Dunham says

    I have always been a menu planner and get some great ideas from your site. Last week my two older boys (age 15 and 17) decided they want to plan the meals for a week, so they planned the meals this week. It is nice to have them participate!

  117. 119
    Janet says

    I can’t say that I menu plan regularly. But when I do, I am thankful that I’m not rushing to the market every day and wandering aimlessly about, trying to last-minute plan a meal. Menu Plan Monday inspires and keeps me on track.

  118. 120
    Kyra @ RACKS and Mooby says

    I menu plan each week. WIth both my husband and I working full time and 2 pre-schoolers to take care of, it is critical to have a plan! We don’t have time (or energy) for guessing a meal from scratch each night. Plus I can be sure to use up what I have in the freezer/pantry more efficiently.

  119. 121
    Susanne says

    I loooove my slow cooker and use it all year long! Thanks for the giveaway. As you know, my friend, I have an on again, off again relationship with menu planning. Not sure what the deal is with me. Maybe I’m too used to the habit of flying by the seat of my pants.

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    Miranda says

    I dont menu plan often because i like being spontaneous. Lol. No really I need to get on it.

  121. 123
    Monica says

    I don’t meal plan because my hubby and I play recreational sports a few nights out of the week and it makes it difficult because we never know how much time we’ll actually have to cook. I would like to get into meal planning though because it would force us to plan ahead and save us money in the long run.

  122. 124
    Jami @ An Oregon Cottage says

    Ah, Laura – no menu plans for me this month. I’m doing all I can do to write every. single. day. for the 31 days challenge (my topic is thrift store transformations – nothing to go along with menus), so I’ve put aside any regular posts for this month.

    I’m following along, still, though, ’cause not having to post has made me kinda not make a menu this week (that’s a first in awhile) and I find I still need the inspiration. 🙂 Thanks!

  123. 125
    Natalie G says

    I don’t menu plan, but your website inspires me to start. I get overwhelmed by the abundance of recipes and possibilities!

  124. 126
    Anneh says

    I don’t menu plan as I’ve learned that we almost _never_ want to eat what I’ve planned and then the special ingredients I’ve purchased just sit there…

  125. 127
    Jennifer Alexander says

    I rarely meal plan because I feel like the planning and shopping takes too much effort. I know in the end it will be worth it. I am also not great at using certain items that are leftover for the next nights meal. I am working on it though. 🙂

  126. 128
    Jessica Hansen says

    I love meal planning! It saves me time and money. And by taking a little time on the weekend, I’m not left with the question of what we will have for dinner during the week.

  127. 129
    Lindsay says

    I don’t know how I’d make it without menu planning! Having a 20-month-old and a 5-month-old, it’s hard to find time to plan.

  128. 130
    Alissa A says

    I’m not a menu planner, but think about it often. It just seems overwhelming to me sometimes! captainliss40(at)gmail(dot)com

  129. 131
    Mary says

    I’m not much of a menu planner, mainly because it’s just me in the house and I sometimes do things impulsively rather than planned. But I have done it in the past and it kept things moving when I was raising two boys. I absolutely LOVE Taste of Home and would Love…..Love…..Love to win this great giveaway!


  130. 132
    Mindy says

    We eat soooo much better – healthier and better tasting – when I have the time to plan our menus. Plus, we tend to spend less money, because we have all of the ingredients & I try to use up what we have, so don’t tend to eat out very much.

  131. 133
    Tiffany Gee says

    I love menu planning, I feel lost without it! I am a sahm, i work from home and I homeschool. I find dinner goes smoother, its less hectic and usually more healthier when i menu plan. I try and plan around what I have in my cupboards. When i didnt menu plan I would buy random things for dinners, and spend so much money. Now i stay on budget and get things I actually need or use what I have! I dont think I could NOT menu plan anymore!

  132. 134
    Billie says

    Menu planning really helps our week run more smoothly, but I’m not consistent with it. I’m good for a couple weeks and then we get busy and we fall back into old patterns. Still working on it 🙂

  133. 135
    Gina says

    I would love to menu plan but can’t seem to get it together. I have enough trouble figuring out what to make for the current day, forget trying to come up with 5-7 meals/recipes to make for the week.

  134. 136
    Jennifer L. says

    I don’t like the pressure of everyone looking at me at 5:00 asking what is for dinner. Especially now that I am often running a child somewhere around that time. So if I know what is for dinner, and especially if it is already cooked, there is no 5:00 stress!

  135. 137
    s says

    Menu planning completely removes that 5 pm stress of what to make and its great motivation on a night you might have just ordered out. Instead you have a plan and ingredients for a home cooked meal.

  136. 138
    Jules says

    I LOVE menu planning . . . in theory. The whole “actually doing it” thing alludes me. Maybe I spend too much time reading fabulous blogs like yours to make it happen! In all seriousness, meal planning is a goal I am working toward for all of the obvious reasons. Unfortunately inspiration usually strikes a few minutes before I head to the grocery store and then it is too late and I shop and then take the drive of shame all the way back home. Maybe I’ll win this book—that would certainly help!!

    Thanks for your completely fantastic blog–really enjoy it!

  137. 139
    ML says

    Meal planning allows us to eat in rather than out…but my kitchen is in the process of being re-done (no cabinets, stove or microwave right now), I’m working two jobs, training for a marathon and barely have time to grocery shop. Slow cooker recipes are best, I think your giveaway is perfect for everyone with a busy life. The nice thing about meal planning is once you’ve done it for a month or two all the work is done…just keep re-using previous weeks and mix it up a bit!

  138. 140
    Pat @ Elegantly, Gluten-Free says

    Happy Thanksgiving to the Canadians here! Your Peanut Butter Pie sounds wonderful, I can see why it’s a favorite with your family.

  139. 141
    Jeri says

    Love your site! Thanks. When we had our kids at home I HAD to have meals preplanned. There would be too many suggestions for me to process if I waited until dinner time. Now that we are empty nesters we still plan menus so we are certain we have the ingredients and time needed. It also helps since we each have evening committments to keep.

  140. 142
    Debi says

    I got away from menu planning when I became an empty-nester. I need to plan meals that are flexible and easy to prepare since I tend to be more ‘on-the-spot’ with meal preparation.

    As far as Holiday Breakdown? Mine wasn’t a holiday, it was when I was expecting 40 people (my husband’s boss and co-workers!) over for homemade, fresh, and HOT chicken enchiladas, beans, rice, and all the fixin’s! Everything was ready to go in the oven and be hot and ready when the guests arrived. But… the oven completely died. Thank heavens for a wonderful neighbor and patient guests!!

  141. 143
    Helen says

    I love menu planning unfortunately its only something discussed and not really put into action in this house. With dad (81 yr old), we (hubby & I) discuss and agree upon a menu and plan out a grocery list of things we may need to buy – by the day’s end he’s gone off course and cooked something totally random LOL. Menu planning is a day by day affair around here however we do have the freezer and pantry stocked with the necessities required to make our fave ‘go to’ meals when needed. And luckily for us, they don’t take that long to thaw/prep.

    Know that I am envious of all you able to make a plan and stick with it – even if it is for a short while. 🙂

  142. 144
    MaryBeth says

    I love menu planning because it makes it so much easier to cook during the week. Instead of hemming and hawing each night we already know what we are having for our main course and our sides. I has also helped us to start eating healthier (dropping my husband’s cholestrol by more then 100 points) and a little more cheaply. I love checking your site each week for new ideas and recipes. THANK YOU!

  143. 145
    Rona says

    I love menu planning. It saves us money, we definitely eat better and less stress!

  144. 146
    yvonne says

    Meal planning saves me time and money. With a hungry husband and two kids, I need more of both!

  145. 147
    jm Monroe says

    I love to plan my Menu’s for many reasons, I can make out my grocery list more effectlvely, it builds enthusiam for the weeks meals. Gives me something to look forward too. Saves my family money

  146. 148
    Janet says

    I do not meal plan because I like the freedom to eat what I feel like but I do go only weekly to the supermarket and pick up what is on sale for dinner.

  147. 149
    gail says

    i’m not a menu planner bc i’m not organized

  148. 150
    Jessica says

    My family of 3 has such a crazy schedule that we unfortunately rarely find time to sit down all together (and with a picky 3yo, trying to find something we would all eat is also rare). I love the idea of menu planning because I have so many great recipes I want to try and have really begun to enjoy cooking, but very few opportunities to make a family meal. Cooking to accommodate only 2 adults (or sometimes, just one if DH is working that night) and 1 picky kid is tricky.

  149. 151
    Kim says

    I love menu planning but I find we get off track really easily. I’ve started back to work 3 days a week so I’m hoping that menu planning will help out and that we’ll be able to stick with it. My husband just commented last night that we should start using our crockpot more when I’m at work.

  150. 152
    Julie says

    Menu planning is essential for couples who both have full time employment. It allows for quick and healthy eating throughout the week !

  151. 153
    Clarissa says

    I am a horrible organizer but I do love to plan Thanksgiving dinner, I always make the traditional foods but always look for recipes to make them better or a little different. I absolutely love to cook and make any meals better and maybe healthier. Happy early thanksgiving!

  152. 154
    Melissa T. says

    I am a hit or miss meal planner. The times I do it, it is great! We eat healthier and save a lot of money. Seems like life just gets in the way sometimes and other things end up taking priority. I love trying new recipes and tweaking the old ones :).

  153. 155
    Melissa says

    I am a long term no n planner, but recently stashed a few meals in the freezer for later and I have been loving that I can have dinner already mapped out and sometimes even cooking (crock pot) when my house hits the most chaotic moment of the day with the kids just home from school and my husband coming home from work. I’m now converted and anxious to learn more so I can keep that peaceful moment as best I can.

  154. 156
    T Nash says

    I love to meal plan, but have not done it much recently. What is stopping me? We are in the middle of a long distance move.

  155. 157
    Chloepoppins says

    Love the idea of menu planning. I’ve even tried it a few times and liked the results. Daily Life seems to be what prevents me from being consistent. Sometimes the days are just unpredictable. 🙂

  156. 158
    Trudy B says

    I don’t do menu planning yet. Just found your website and I’m hooked 🙂

  157. 159
    Kim Valent says

    Menu planning makes our chaotic weeks much easier. The slow cooker is our best friend on nights full of kids’ activities!

  158. 160
    Susan Gross says

    I don’t plan too often, last minute me as I don’t know what I may be in the mood for…don’t get me wrong, some meals ARE planned if it is something i really like and always like….of course I do wish I was more organized to plan ahead and have everything ready to go!

  159. 161
    Jeramie Tolbert says

    I sort of menu plan. I don’t right it out but I have a few meals in my head always. And I’ve been loving my slow cooker a lot these days!

  160. 162
    Liz says

    I am not a menu planner. But I do try new recipes, and have some wonderful ones pinned that I plan to try! I am always looking for new gluten free ones!

  161. 163
    Sandra La Monica says

    I don’t do meal planning much.. I’m looking for a good cookbook that is easy to follow with good recipes!

  162. 164
    Melissa Swisher says

    It saves our family money and keeps me organized. There is nothing worse then coming come from a long day and thinking “what am I going to make for dinner”!

  163. 165
    Brenda says

    I love the idea of meal planning, and have tried numerous times, but i always seem to want something else to eat by the time i get to the end of the week!

  164. 166
    DJ says

    I love to menu plan because I tend to stick to the plan. If I don’t have a plan, then it is easy to just eat out or use more processed food.

  165. 167
    Carol says

    I love the idea of meal planning, but I am absolutely no good at it so I am in dire need of help!

  166. 168
    Jessica says

    I love meal panning esp with slow cookers in the fall in winter, put in it before you leave for work and come home to a nice home cooked meal. =)

  167. 169
    Rose Sheley says

    I love saving money on groceries and not having to think what dinner will be tomorrow.

  168. 170
    Kristine says

    Some weeks I plan and it is a great time and money saver. Other weeks I can’t get my act together and it stinks! Picky eaters are my biggest problem with meal planning and also scheduling conflicts. Crockpot meals help a lot with the scheduling issue!

  169. 171
    Karalin says

    I love the recipe-perusing and the list-making of meal planning, but I HATE the shopping and the putting away of the groceries. 🙂

  170. 172
    Elizabeth says

    With 3 teenagers and an 8 year old at home, I have to be organized! Especially when it comes to food because my girls LOVE to eat. Also, being organized helps me get the dinner prepared quicker so we can all share dinnertime together — before the kids are off to meetings, sports, etc.

  171. 173
    Lisa Snook says

    Menu planning not only helps me save money but ensures we have more variety in our meals! Wihout menu planning I only seem to be able to think of a few meals to make during the dinner time ‘panic’

  172. 174
    Jennifer Mischler says

    I love to plan. It helps me know what I need for the week without overdoing it. The biggest help is I don’t have to think after work and after all the practices. I can go home and get it done.


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