Dinner Select - Meal Planning

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 ♦ Getting Started...Meal Planning Tips for New Subscribers ♦

Meal planning is not easy
…You already know it’s a good thing to do, but it takes some discipline.  The hardest part is getting started.  Dinner Select helps make meal planning easy and fun so you are inspired to plan ahead! 

While many of the tips below are for everyone, they are intended primarily for new Dinner Select subscribers.  To see a free sample meal plan click here.

See our top tips below to help get you started and enjoy success in your meal planning.  Click here for answers to frequently asked questions.

1. Check your preferences

Once you receive your user id and password, login and notice you have access to five subscriber-only pages. Click on your "MY PREFERENCES" page to make sure your e-mail address is correct and check your preferred cuisines and serving size.  

2. Select and create favorites

The "swap" feature on your "next week's dinner" weekly menu planning page is one of the most valuable features of Dinner Select.  It allows you to swap our weekly suggestions with meals flagged as "favorites".  Favorites are either Dinner Select meals that you added to your favorite list or recipes of your own. 

a. One-year subscribers: browse favorites

One year-subscribers have access to all Dinner Select meals.  So we recommend you browse the dinners from the "search all" page and select a few that you would like to try as "favorites".  Your favorites will appear on the drop-down list in your "next week's dinner" planning page, allowing you to easily swap.

b. All subscribers: add your own recipe 

The most successful meal planning includes a combination of new recipes as well as your own "comfort" recipes. Think of Dinner Select as your personal dinner resource. Take a few minutes up front to add one of your own meals (you can always add more later).  Recipes you enter can only be seen by you; they are not shared with other subscribers.  Go to your "my favorites" page to enter a recipe.  Let us know if you have any questions about adding a recipe: custserv@dinnerselect.com

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cooking can be fun
“Dinner Select has put the joy of cooking back into my life. I had never realized that preparing a family dinner could be such a pleasure...And let's not forget the grocery list! I no longer agonize over what to buy and whether my purchased groceries will go to waste. Plus, and this is a biggie, it's easy for my family to start dinner if I am running late. They've also begun to ask, "What's on the menu for this week?"...Patricia W., Tennessee

Read more testimonials.

  dinner planning shopping

Save time and shop once per week with a categorized shopping list!

3. Choose your meal planning and shopping day

Dinner Select menus are generated at midnight each Thursday evening, so you could take a few minutes some time on Friday to choose your next week's meals and print the recipes and grocery shopping list. Then you may do your shopping on Saturday or Sunday. Whatever days you choose, you'll be most successful if you make it a habit.

Once you print your menu and recipes, make a note of the day you will make each. Remember to use the most perishable ingredients early in the week.

4. Consider your meal planning style 

Are you on a tight budget and need to plan and shop for 7 evening meals each week? Are only weeknight dinners critical to plan, and you are happy to be spontaneous on the weekend? Or are you tired of the same old meals and just want to add one or two new meals to your own repertoire each week?

It's okay if you're happy being spontaneous on the weekend or allowing the luxury of a night out each week. The important thing is to recognize this up front. The more honest you are up front, the more successful your planning will be in the long-run.

5. Consider your cooking style 

Are you a great cook or are you a beginner? Everyone can use help planning dinners. Depending on the type of cook you are, you may approach the recipes differently. Experienced cooks may use the weekly suggestions more as inspiration to make their own version of the suggestion; whereas beginner cooks may follow the recipe word for word. Either way is fine.

Even beginning cooks may have a chili recipe that their whole family loves. If Dinner Select suggests chili one week, why not let that be the inspiration to make your own chili? Of course you may want to give a new version a try, and that's okay too. The important thing is that when chili night comes, you are prepared in advance!

6. Consolidate shopping lists 

Dinner Select covers the dinner planning from menu ideas to recipes and shopping list. In addition to dinner, you also need to shop for breakfast, lunch, snacks and household products....ideally all in one trip to the store.

Post a blank shopping list pad on your refrigerator and jot down breakfast, lunch, snack and staple items during the week as you notice them getting low, for example: milk, juice, eggs, cereal, sandwich bread, and laundry soap.

On your chosen shopping day merge your Dinner Select grocery list with the refrigerator list. Then take a few extra minutes to add items you need for the other daily meals or snacks.


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