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Plan your weekly meals with Planner and Flow

There are so many ways you can utilize Office 365 services. In this blog post I show how our family has solved two common problems:


  1. What’s for dinner next week?
  2. After we have decided what to cook, what I should buy from a grocery store?

Let’s see how these problems can be solved with Planner and Flow.


Planner for planning next week meals


First, I make a new Planner plan. It has three buckets:


  • All fish & vegetarian foods our family like to cook (and to eat)
  • All meat & poultry foods our family like to cook (and to eat)
  • Plan for next week dinners

I also label all recipes (blue = fish, red = meat, green = vegetarian and orange = poultry).





Now it is easy to drag and drop recipes to the ”Next week dinners” bucket. We try to have at least one vegetarian and one fish dinner every week. By using labels you can easily see if this will happen.


Two first buckets are ”backlog” for the dinners. After I have added there all the recipes our family likes or wants to try, it is super easy to sit down on a Sunday and plan our next week dinners. Before this solution, we ate pretty much same food every week…


Build a shopping list based on chosen recipes


Our family uses shared OneNote for the shopping list. All family members can update and read shopping list everywhere with mobile phones. No return to the paper ones.


But could we build a weekly shopping list automatically based on the chosen recipes from the Planner plan? Sure.


For that, I have to add ingredients for all the recipes. I add them (comma separated) into the Planner cards description fields.





Finally, I can start building my Flow!


I like to start Flow manually after we have planned our next week meals with the Planner. First I get all tasks from the ”Weekly meals” plan into my Flow.




After that, I loop through all tasks and check if the task is in the ”Next week dinners” bucket.





Next, I add ingredients to the shopping list. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to do this with OneNote. Therefore I choose to use Todoist.


With all Planner tasks that are in the ”Next week dinner” bucket I do the following:


  • Get task details for the task
  • Get ingredients from task description field and store them in the array (Split(body(’Get_task_details’)?[’description’],’,’))
  • Add each item in the array as a new task in Todoist Shoppinglist project



Screen Shot 2018-07-17 at 20.54.20.png

And that’s it!


How does this all work together?


First I decide what we will eat during the next week. I use Planner for that.




When I am ready I start Flow on my mobile phone.





After a few seconds, I have automatically generated a shopping list to my Todoist App.





Of course, you can modify the shopping list also manually.


Next step is to build a SharePoint list where I store all the ingredients with an order number. When generating the shopping list I use that stored order number as a todoist task order number. After that, all the recipients are in the same order in my shopping list than they are in my favorite shop!


But let’s do that one another time.


Tip: In my Flow, I need to know the bucket id for the ”Next week dinners” bucket. Just run List tasks action and find from the outputs any task currently in ”Next week dinners” bucket. And grab the bucket id for that one.




This is great! Just a thought, many of our meals have the same ingredients - rice, chicken, tomatoes etc. If there were 2 meals added to the "next week dinners" bucket, would there be a way for Todoist to know that there are duplicates and remove one?

I am sure that this can be done.


If there are several meals with the same ingredients, I personally prefer to have separate items in To-Do for the same ingredients. Like:

- 3 tomatoes

- 4 tomatoes


Easy to pick the right amount and it gives me a hint that there are 2 meals having tomatoes in.

Why do these tutorials never seem to work out? Is it because the connectors are evolving so quickly?

When i get to the yes side of the control item I can't select ID as an option under the task ID field. It gives me a list of all tasks on all my plans. Thoughts?

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