View Poll Results: What is your meal preparation "style"?

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  • I'm a planner. I prepare a menu, meal-plan, etc. and stick to it.

    9 12.86%
  • I do some planning, but leave room for varying moods and cravings.

    32 45.71%
  • I want to be a planner, but tend to leave meal prep until the last minute.

    18 25.71%
  • I hate planning and prefer to prepare meals by the "seat of the pants"

    6 8.57%
  • Meal preparation? Is that some funky title for our pizza delivery guy?

    3 4.29%
  • Other

    2 2.86%
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  1. #1
    Site Admin Arrived Topsy's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
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    Default Weekly Poll: What is your meal preparation "style"?

    We've had some recent clamoring for a new forum section about cooking and recipes, and it has now been added. So I thought it might be fun to talk about meal prep this week. Homeschoolers seem to have a wide spectrum of approaches to food and meal prep, and it will be interesting to see if there is a trend in the way we manage our meals.

    "Weigh" in!!
    Loyal minion, er...ADMIN of

  2. #2
    Senior Member Arrived dottieanna29's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
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    I don't cook. Ever. So I guess my meal prep style is non existant. DH's style is....check the freezer in the morning and pull out whatever meat he decides on for that nights dinner, or decide on something else and plan to stop at the store on his way home from work (he does this when we have fish so it's as fresh as possible). I don't think he thinks about it any farther ahead except in a general sense when he shops for meat (I do most of the grocery shopping but he will go and peruse the meat available and make selections). He'll buy the huge cuts of pork, beef and big packs of chicken; divide them up into smaller portions and freeze them. We do tend to have the same things frequently, especially things that can also be fed to the little guys (Pasta of various forms is a biggie - sometimes with sausage, sometimes with pork, sometimes with chicken parmesan - probably twice a week we have pasta, which is fine with me). We also have burritos once a week, pork or chicken with rice once a week, some kind of stew or chili in the crockpot once a week, steak of some sort once a week, fish of some sort once a week - how many times a week is that now? He does vary sometimes - we had chicken cordon bleu the other day (that's the one with ham and cheese right?).

    My input on dinner - he tells me what we are having and I say "sounds good". If I don't have to plan and prepare it, I don't care what he makes.
    Continuing to homeschool after returning to work.
    Mom to:
    Steph - sophomore (?!!) in college
    George - 8/2005
    Vicki - 7/2007
    Dottie's Homeschool Universe

  3. #3
    Member Enlightened
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    Jan 2011


    I go shopping with a basic idea of "we'll get x and be able to make y meals this week." On the nights I remember to pull the next day's meat from the freezer, we have a lot of Crockpot meals. But there are definitely days that I find myself scrambling at 5 to start to pull something together.
    Aaron (5) & Paige (3)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Arrived Riceball_Mommy's Avatar
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    Feb 2010


    I only have to cook for my daughter and I because my husband has been dieting and eats when he gets home anyway (several hours after we have dinner), so he handles his own dinner. I plan for a few meals that I'm going to spend time cooking, a few meals that can be quick (left overs, sandwiches, microwavable), and then I plan on eating dinner at my grandparents at least once a week. I've been trying to experiment with some new recipes but the biggest challenge is finding something that sounds good to me and that my daughter will be willing to try.
    Mini Riceball - 9 years old, 4th grade with an ecclectic mix

  5. #5
    Senior Member Arrived Teri's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
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    When I grocery shop on the weekend, I have a vague idea of how many meals I will need to cook that week. I roughly buy for those meals. Although it can get changed or rearranged depending on what is happening. I never think in terms of specific meals and menus.
    Joseph (5/00), Libby (10/01), Caroline (9/02) and Alex (4/89)
    My Blog

  6. #6
    Senior Member Arrived dbmamaz's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
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    I do plan out a menu, but only 2-4 days at a time most of the time. I get most of my food from whole foods, and because there are no preservatives, you really have to use it quickly, so i just shop 2-3 times a week at least. I can be slightly flexible . . . like switching the order of things. I can often pull together a meal or two out of things in the freezer or pantry, but not always - since i buy mostly what's on the menu.
    Cara, homeschooling one
    Raven, ds 10, all around intense kid
    Orion, floundering recent graduate
    22 yo dd, not at home
    Inactive blog at longsummer

  7. #7
    Senior Member Arrived Busygoddess's Avatar
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    Apr 2010


    When we do the grocery shopping, I make sure to pick up enough meat, fruits, veggies, and side dishes to last a week. Each morning, I look in the freezer, decide what to make for dinner that night, and pull out whatever needs to thaw.

    Sometimes, there's something specific I'm in the mood for, a new dish I want to try, or a specific dish we're making for school (we try foods for each time period, geographic region, and culture that we study). I make sure to pick up whatever we need for those dishes when we do the shopping, but otherwise I don't plan speicifc meals. I prefer going by what we feel like eating each night. Making each meal based on whatever we have in the house at the time, makes our meals more interesting & guarantees variety. Plus, now that Dea is starting to cook meals, I have to make sure that we have basic stuff that she can handle (she's not yet ready for more in-depth or challenging dishes, or anything that requires strict attention of the cook).

  8. #8
    Senior Member Enlightened
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    Nov 2010


    I dream of planning wonderful meals. The reality, I try to plan but am easily bored by the whole process.
    Kathy, homeschooling my awesome kids Mister B and Little Miss M
    Telling our homeschool story at

  9. #9
    Moderator Arrived inmom's Avatar
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    Aug 2009


    We usually have about 2-3 weeks of meals planned out ahead of time. My husband is out of town during the weekdays just about every week, so it's up to me to cook. Besides homeschooling, I also tutor high school students in the afternoons and evenings, so I don't have the luxury of last minute cooking. Top this off with my kids' oustide activities (4-H, sports, clubs), I just need to know what we're eating and already have it prepped earlier in the day.

    We've also found that we save a TON of $ by planning out the meals this way. We buy our meat from 4-H kids (beef, pork, lamb) and can/freeze a lot of produce, so we plan our meals around what we have available and sales at the grocery.

    Sounds anal retentive, but it works for us!

    In our 11th year of homeschooling
    Writer-to-be dd (18) now a University of Iowa student
    Computer programming intern, part-time short order cook, and high school senior ds (17)

  10. #10
    Senior Member Arrived AddlepatedMonkeyMama's Avatar
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    Oct 2010


    Ideally, I plan out six meals for the week (one night is leftover or pancake night) and my husband shops on the weekend. I don't assign a meal to a specific day, but cook based on what I'm in the mood for or what needs to be used immediately. I have a list of all the entrees that I make, broken into categories (chicken, beef, pasta, soup, meatless, etc.) to make it easier to create a menu and a grocery list. Without that list, my mind would go blank when planning meals.

    I say "ideally" because some days the time just gets away from me and I don't start dinner in time. Then it's pasta night or time to call for pizza delivery!
    Mother of two monkeys...daughter age 9.5 and son age 11.

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