I have been menu planning for a while and think I have done ok, the food bills have been reduced and there is considerably less waste. I felt a bit daunted at first more so when I read blogs about a lady who plans a whole months meals , three meals a day including shopping list, there is no way I could have done that. I then found an online American group called Organised Home and found an article about menu planning, The author of the topic told how she started, she said start with 7 days , 7 breakfasts and 7 lunches and 7 main meals , breakfast would be cereals,toast ,yogurt and fruit, lunches to suit your families needs, either at home,school or packed for school or work, then dinner,choose say a chicken one day and use the left over chicken for chicken salad or fajitas for the next day,a beef stew one day and the leftovers made into a beef pie for the next day, a pasta night and a curry or chilli night. How hard could it be ? I set to work and got a notebook got out my recipe books and hey presto I got my first menu plan down on paper along with food I would need for that week along with snacks and drinks. I usually do a main shop once a week and forget stuff , run out of stuff so end up popping out a few times a week and then have to get fresh bread etc. using the new plan I would only shop once and week and get fresh bread if needed during the week , I could make my own if I chose but my bread maker has been packed away,I did not get on very well with it, it is something I would love to do. I do the main food shop on a Friday so start the plan on Saturday.
Breakfast – Chocolate croissants
Lunch – BLT on multi grain bread yogurt
Dinner – Chilli con carne boiled rice
Breakfast – sausage sandwich
Lunch – Dinner – Jamie Oliver’s roast chicken stuffing roast potatoes veg and gravy
Tea – Cheese salad sandwich fruit or cake
Breakfast – Cereal and yogurt
Lunch – poached eggs on toast
Dinner – Chicken fajitas ( made with left over chicken)
I have been doing this ever since, I would not like to do more than 1 week at a time and I have the time to shop every week. If I see a bargain I stock up and try to keep the freezer full too. When meal planning I do try to make meals from scratch and get my recipe books out for inspiration. There are no ready meals going out of date in the fridge and no starring in the cupboards wondering what the heck we were going to eat.
I would love a big pantry and I could fill it with food like the walk in Pantry Nigella Lawson has in her Nigella Express series, to see all the bottles,jars and packets sitting there knowing you can rustle up something nice without having to drag yourself to the shop would be heaven.
Back soon Dawn x