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Using RTM to manage meal planning

flewtist Pro says:

I always plan the meals for my family. But I will often forget to leave enough prep time or forget to do the necessary prep work (like defrosting) that means the difference between eating a healthy home-cooked meal or eating delivery.

Now as I do the planning, I make entries in my RTM list. The first entry is tagged "menu" for the menu item for that day and contains a list of things I am going to make, along with the prep time if it is an unfamiliar dish.

Example: Dinner: Crockpot Turkey/stuffing/green beans (cook 8 hrs) ^Sunday #menu

The second entry is if I have to do prep work for the dish, like defrosting, or assembling the dish ahead of time.

Example: Defrost turkey ^Friday #foodprep

I combine these two tags into a Smart List so that I can see all menu/food tasks at once, and each item comes up on the day I need to do it.

Posted at 1:55pm on September 14, 2010

emily (Remember The Milk) says:

Hi flewtist,

I just wanted to let you know that you're this week's Tips & Tricks Tuesday winner. We've upgraded your Remember The Milk account to have a free year of Pro. :)

Posted 2 years ago

hamlinsw Pro says:

Thanks for the great idea. I, also, use RTM for meal planning, but with a slightly different twist.

I created a list for recipes. I have added an unscheduled item for each dish that I like to prepare. They are tagged with the type of item, beginning with an "r" - r_main-dish, r_side-dish, r_soup, r_salad, r_sauce, r-dessert, etc. for easy searching. The duration field is used to indicate the total time to prepare. The note fields contain the ingredient list and preparation instructions for each recipe.

When planning the meals for the week, I select and duplicate the recipes that I want to cook. I add a date or date-time to each new item, and move them to my "calendar" (dated items) list, which I maintain as a separate list from undated todo items. Those to know GTD will understand the reasoning for the separation, but it's not essential to this use of RTM.

To plan shopping, I cut-and-paste the ingredient list from each recipe, for that week, into the notes of a new undated task called Shopping List. I, then, check the kitchen for each item, and remove those that I already have.

The result is a meal plan with shopping list created with very little work. Since I sync RTM to my phone, it's all mobile and easy to share. I can print the Shopping List todo item, or just work from my phone.

Posted 2 years ago

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