Thursday, 19 January 2012

I have a plan...

One of the plans I have committed to this year (one of many, I should add. I suspect I am being a little ambitious!) is to meal plan properly.

Last year was my year of "online grocery shopping" which I am still truly in lust with. I've been faithful to it.

I want to add to the satisfaction of online shopping by meal planning properly in the first place, so that my groceries are a little more organised and so that my food dollar goes further and so that we all, as a family, try more new dishes.

That snap you see up top there? That's Olivia, at the Australian War Memorial this summer where she came upon the Allied Works Council Cooking Guide - from the 1940's - a guide to feeding Australian forces with economy and flavour...

I read the guide with Olivia - perched on a an old bench in the discovery zone of the museum. It was a delight to read and I was transported back to a time when homemade was the only way and everything from scratch with no preservatives was the norm.

Whilst I won't be serving up chops for breakfast, the book really reminded me of how very satisfying it is to cook and eat from weekly plan. How sensible it is to create meals that in turn create additional meals for the following week. It is an economy of time and energy as well as produce.

The guide reminded me of how my Granny used to cook. Plain fare, fresh food and plenty of it. My Mother taught me too, to cook with flair. My aim is to combine the two - via a meal plan....which I probably share via my blog.

I have not started yet - but I do have a idea to scribble down meal ideas of the back of envelope. I have spent time previously being inspired by this post too.

Tell me, do you menu plan? How? What works? If not, why not? Tell me all!

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  1. Yes! Meal planning is the bee's knees!

  2. I plan too - On a Saturday morning before I do the weekly shop I have an A4 sheet with days of the week 3 meals and snacks. I look though all my cook books and fridge/pantry inventory to see what I can cook. It keeps me accountable as I need to make leftovers for my partners lunch.

  3. I am doing L&E so my meal planning is really easy !!!!! I just have to choose what I want, go on-line and order it and then wait for it to be delivered (although this week waiting at work from 4pm - 5.20pm for my food was not on the agenda !!!).
    I think that when I stop L&E I am certainly going to give the on-line shopping a try.
    Have a great week !

  4. I can get pretty obsessive about meal planning but usually it goes like this. I have a word document with four columns - days of the week, lunch, dinner and prepare. Days of the week is self explanatory, lunch and dinner contain things I have planned and "prepare" has stuff like "get meat out of freezer" for the next day's meals. Setting things out like this lets me schedule more complicated prep meals for days when I have more time, but when I know it will be a hectic weeknight I plan something quick or make sure I have "prepared" well the night before (it's amazing how quicker a stir fry is on the table if you made the rice the night before and have already marninated the meat!).

  5. I agree when I plan my food I not only eat much better my money goes further. I also tend to use coupons if I've spent much time planning. So yeah it is the way to go but I don't always have the spare time.

  6. Yep!!! You know I'm a planner and it started with meal planning. It's expanded our repertoire greatly as we add a new meal fortnight too. I try and make it seasonal as much as possible and as Nigella said the other night, people often mistake things that take a little time to cook as difficult meals. I find things like stir fry quick to cook but the prep time means it's not actually a quick meal for me. I also make dinner one of my first jobs of my day which means I'm not cooking during witching hour. I couldn't cope with 2 children screaming at me whilst cooking! Your kids are bigger though so that won't apply to you as much. ;)

  7. i do on my blog. but i dont do the monday tuesday thing any more. i just write up what i want to cook for the week, so that i know what to buy at the weekly shop, and then i will decide on the day what i want to cook. I always have at least one chicken, beef, lamb and seafood meal every week.

  8. Yes Lucy, I meal plan and I love the sense of being organised it gives me, the money it probably saves and the fact that the kids can look at the list on the fridge and know what they're in for. I often involve them to a degree in the planning so they each get their favourite at least once every 2-3 weeks. I don't plan everything though, just main meals and lunches too on weekends. We shop for the same kind of snacks/ ingredients each week and stock up on heaps of fruit and veg. sometimes I don't plan til we get the shopping home and I'm unpacking, sometimes whatever is on a special offer will inspire me when shopping, sometimes I will decide on something in advance. Usually it's a mixture of all three. I do assign meals to a day, but I'm flexible about swapping round as we go.

  9. I have always planned a few days ahead for the evening meal, this year though Sundays I pop up the meal planner on the fridge with meals I will prepare for the week using what is in the freezer and lets me write a list for what I need at the shops ALSO have the kids involved this year they have to pick a day and a meal that they will cook...working well...I let the plan be a bit flexible to make us of left overs or specials I buy.

  10. ohhh i do and having just found online shopping i am pretty much in nerd heaven. We plan on a fortnightly basis and after much of a work day procrastinating found a good f/t planner that i stick on the fridge that i just write the meal and main ingredients - so no more asking whats for dinner, and easy point of reference to remember what to get out of the freezer!
    i mostly just plan dinners and cook extra for leftover lunches with salad or something - but its just me and the plus one so i imagine it would get more complicated with kid lets.

  11. I love online grocery shopping and I love meal planning. If I'm out of sorts and don't plan I can so notice the difference - either my grocery bills end up costing twice as much or we have cereal for dinner - lol

  12. I've been trying to wrangle our finances since the new year started and meal planning has become essential to that. It also allows me to plan to use up food that will go off otherwise, and I can plan to eat the food that goes off quickly straight after my shop and save the pantry pleasers for later in the week.


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