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.