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Mom Plans Meals for a Year

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Mom, what's for dinner?! Dinner? I have no idea!

If you can relate (and really, who can't?), you'll be amazed, bewildered, and possibly enraged by Leslie Chisolm, a Texas mom who planned out every meal for a whole year.

With grocery bills rising sky-high, what do you think -- is this a great idea? Is this something realistic you could actually try -- er ... to pull off?

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20 comments so far | Post a comment now
Dememad January 21, 2010, 11:44 AM

A week in advance would be more than enough. I’d never stick to a whole year of planned dinners, I just know I would end up changing my mind over something!

angryworkingmom January 21, 2010, 12:55 PM

Who the hell has time to do this? We are all real people trying to get by. I am doing good to plan a meal today and if I manage to have a weeks worth I am rocking. What if I’, not in the mood for Chicken Tetrazzini on October 22nd? This is just stupid.

Emily January 21, 2010, 12:56 PM

It’s a GREAT idea. Especially if you have several months to a year of foodstored! If you are organized enough to do it then go for it. I typically do a week, but, I have enough food in the house to do about 2 months in advance.. moslty I’m just lazy. lol. my goal is 1 year of menues/food, so she has just beat me to the goal is all. lol.

Carrie January 21, 2010, 1:31 PM

Why would this “possibly enrage” someone?

chris January 21, 2010, 2:25 PM

I was I could be so organized. I will do weekly menus and keep them for the whole month then go back thru it to see want we really want next month. We do stray from it from time to time when unexpected things come up but it great to not have to wonder everyday what to make.

Bea January 21, 2010, 2:45 PM

Seems like a silly idea, budget-wise. If you’re sticking to a plan you made months ago, you may be passing up what’s on sale at the grocery store and spending WAY more money than necessary.

Annie S. January 21, 2010, 5:23 PM

I am just pretty amazed she can slice tomatoes while holding a kid!

b January 22, 2010, 4:53 AM

First of all, I doubt this the first time this has been done/only person who has ever done this. Secondly, how hard is it? You plan a month’s worth of meals (or even two weeks) and then just rotate through them and throw in a couple of new ones. I highly doubt that this is a new and different meal every day. As for the budget, it’s brilliant. You have your year planned out: when something goes on sale, you buy it and store it. You shop for what you’ve already used from your own storage and replace it. I just went shopping yesterday at a store having a 10items for $10. I spent $136. I got 131 items and I saved $88.I know I will be using cream of chicken soup and pasta noodles—even if I don’t need 10 cans this week. Everyone knows planning ahead will save you money. And lastly, as for the flexibility of such a menu: if you don’t feel like chicken tetrazzini on Oct. 22nd, then take what you’ve planned to have on the 23rd or the 28th or the 1st of Nov. The point is, you have the plan, you have the food, and you certainly can switch it up. It’s really pretty easy to do with a little effort put forth. And there are plenty of websites around to help., and are two I really like.

Jenny January 22, 2010, 5:38 AM

If it works for them then great, personally it wouldn’t work for me. I don’t eat processed foods and thats all I saw in her pantry.I plan my family’s meals a week in advance and use fresh ingredients. But again what works for one doesn’t for another so if it works for them and they are happy then great.

minercooker January 22, 2010, 8:08 AM

She could get a lot more done and faster if she would put the child on the floor or at a table with a project to do. He will be attached at the hip until he is at least 50.

Nikki January 22, 2010, 8:09 AM

Jenny wrote,”I don’t eat processed foods and thats all I saw in her pantry.”

Well you can’t put fresh foods in a pantry bc they won’t be fresh for long.

momonline January 22, 2010, 8:37 AM

Wow! I wish I was that organized. I plan up to 2 weeks in advance, but that’s it.

I don’t understand the other mom’s harsh criticism. Would it be better if she fed her kids take-out several times a week.

I think she deserves a pat on the back.

clarissa January 22, 2010, 9:49 AM

“Well you can’t put fresh foods in a pantry bc they won’t be fresh for long.” My pantry is full of staples such as rice (not Rice-a-Roni), beans, lentils, dried mushrooms, whole wheat pasta, etc. Not every pantry item is a processed item.

dks January 22, 2010, 10:12 AM

Her family eats a lot of meat, that’s just terrible for their health, the animals, and the environment. Overall, I like the idea of planning ahead though. 1 year would be too much for me, I eat what I’m in the mood for. With a family of 6, I would definitely consider doing it.

Jenny January 22, 2010, 10:21 AM

Thank you Clarissa. I too have things in my pantry but they are beans, agave nectar, sunbutter, spices etc. Nothing that has anything artificial in it.

AJ January 22, 2010, 12:54 PM

Are you serious!!! You mother’s kill me. I’m newly-wed and when the kids come around I better be half as organized as she is. Nobody asked you to adopt her style. If you don’t like it move on, for crying out loud. Don’t critic because you don’t see your self doing such. She has six kids and her and her husband decided to save money bc they were wasting their funds to grocery. Is that a bad idea? No, definatley not. Who cares if their family eats alot of meat(by the way she did say she portioned them into ziplocks, which I think is a neat idea). It’s not going down your throat, and her kids look healthy to me. Who cares if she only had processed food in her pantry and it was rice-a-roni, the camera view only showed a portion of her pantry for crying out loud. Such haters!!!! If you can’t appreciate her acheivement, move on with it and don’t poison us with your negative comments. TEXAS MOM! YOU ARE ALLRIGHT IN MY BOOKS. I hope to be like you when my kids come around, I could probably learn a thing or two!
-Just had to get that off my chest after reading all the other comments.

Jan January 23, 2010, 6:33 AM

I agree with AJ. AJ said everything I was thinking when I read all the comments.

Amy c January 23, 2010, 8:43 PM

I agree with AJ too! Such haters! Get over yourselves and move on if you don’t like or don’t agree!

Chrissy January 23, 2010, 10:42 PM

I agree with the psoter who says this wouldn’t work for me.
First, I would want to take advangtage of sales and this year in advance may not allow for that.
Second, one never knows if there will be a flood or drought or frost (think Florida a few weeks ago - oranges effected) or food recalls.
Thirdly, you can never predict when someone will get ill or sick and can’t eat what was plan on the menu. Or a life situation comes up and you need to some easier or quick or take out.

3 peaks challenge March 6, 2011, 4:13 PM

A really good set of info which I will be certainly coming back to read again. Thanks very much to all those who contribute.

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