saving money, planning meals.

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Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 12/29/2008 3:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Has anybody here had success planning their meals a week or two or even a month in advance, to save money and trips to the shops?

I know this is a recommended practice for "normal" people, but am unsure if it would work for people with Crohn's. Me, I find that I rarely know from one day to the next what I'll be able to eat so can't imagine planning (and shopping) weeks or months in advance...

I always try to keep a few weeks' worth of basic safe foods - tinned salmon / tuna, potatoes, white bread, rice, UHT milk - in the pantry, but that's just basic crisis planning. I'm talking about actually planning meals, and sticking to that plan.

Anyway, is there someone here who has been able to do it and who would be willing to share their strategies and tips?

Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 12/29/2008 6:55 AM (GMT -7)   
hi ivy! My meals are only planned about three days in advance at any given time. I'm not that great of a planner, so I don't think I have any great strategies or tips to share... I just try to change things around and not repeat too often. I always make my list in advance, though, so maybe that counts as a strategy? I like to get in and out of the store as fast as possible! Once when my mom was visiting she went grocery shopping with me. She kept asking why I was running...

Even though I don't really like grocery shopping, I prefer to go about every 3 days for the fresh produce, fresh salmon and fresh turkey (our store makes a rotisserie turkey without additives every day). I would have enjoyed living in some wonderful Italian city where there's an outdoor market on every other block... life... smilewinkgrin
Mom to 16 year old son diagnosed in June, 2007.
Omega 3s, digestive enzymes, probiotics, vit. C, calcium w/D3, a good multivitamin and SCD legal yogurt
Started The Maker's Diet in Sept. '07. Gradually learning/using more Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) recipes, too! (cooking challenged)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 1340
   Posted 12/29/2008 1:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Ivy. Before I had the baby I planned about 2 months of meals in advance. Mostly, I shopped sales and stocked up on some safe foods and made huge batches to freeze. Whatever meat was on sale I bought and cooked up.

When I am feeling well I make and freeze things like lasagne and homemade mac and cheese. I also do turkey meat loaf (I do it plain and then top w/ different things depending on how I feel ketchup, honey mustard...). Sometimes I lightly bread and bake chicken breasts then freeze them. Depending on how I'm feeling I can turn them into chicken parmesan or keep the plain. I also save tuna casserole (w/o the peas) and chicken noodle soup. I usually make one container of soup that is just broth and noodles for the sick times.

I also cook up staples like plain meatballs (turkey too) or plain grilled chicken and freeze those. I can top/add them to whatever I feel like later.

I always keep pasta, sauces, tuna, bread crumbs, mashed potatoes and plain rice to add to things.

Oh, I also keep a chalkboard in the kitchen. I list all the items that are stocked in the freezer and cross them out as I eat them. I will also list the non-frozen foods I have that will need to be eaten that week. If I need something to go w/ a frozen food (sauce, something perishable) I note it and keep track if I am close to running out.
Hoping to stay in remission after the birth of a healthy baby girl. On Pentasa during my pregnancy, went med-free 2 months to nurse (stupid), but back on Pentasa and still nursing.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 12/29/2008 2:29 PM (GMT -7)   
A little bit. I usually will pick up packs of chicken, canned salmon/tuna, something along those lines and make sure I have something to defrost and just throw in the oven for the evening. I also will make something and freeze it occasionally. If you mean having it planned to where every day has a written schedule for different foods then I have not had the ability to do so though I admit I'm thinking about drawing out some sort of paper for guidelines. As for side items, I will usually forgo eating them simply because I don't have the energy to store and make them at the moment, and I need to figure out the best way to do it i.e. with potatoes or other liquids and softs I don't necessarily want to freeze.
Getting the main items and freezing them has helped tremendously though.
20 years old, Diagnosed with moderate to severe Crohn's and Colitis in May of 2008.
Currently taking:
Prednisone 30 mg, pentasa 2 pills 4x a day, bentyl as needed, prilosec in the morning, tandem plus, humira every other week, and good probiotics.
Surgery for ectopic pregnancy most likely the result of severe Crohn's inflammation in July of 2008.
Attempting the specific carbohydrate diet. Cheated once for Christmas.

"He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how."

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1284
   Posted 12/29/2008 4:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Even before I had Crohn's disease, sticking to a plan was never my strong suit... See, I can plan things, probably, several months in advance (When I start a task, I start to really get... obsessed about it, for some reason)... And then I stick to the plan for... one day... maybe two days... Then, I get bored and tear up all of my hard work and go back to my "Go with the flow, chillin'" lifestyle... I can try even just planning for one week... Again, lasts maybe a day and then I decide to tear everything up and go back to doing whatever... //^_^\\'
I think I am being picked on by life, sometimes. But's that okay. Life and I are good buddies... I know life doesn't mean no harm. It just is the way it is. I can accept that.

Elite Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 12/29/2008 8:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Oooh. I really like the idea of freezing soups etc at various stages of preparations so that there's broth only, broth with soft vegies, and broth with lots of vegies for healthier days. I hadn't thought of doing that, and can see how it would really work.


Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

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