Menu Planning


I read a post on grocery shopping at Frugal Downunder and the question that was posed at the end was, “Is menu planning on your ‘To Do’ list?”

I have always menu planned to some degree but never actually thought of it by name until the last few years.  Now that there is only The Duke and I at home and we are away from the house for long hours each day during the week I have to be really organised.

We don’t get home until after 7pm so I need to have meals that I can have on the table with 30 minutes of arriving home.

I have fallen into a pattern of doing a plan for a week at a time usually on Friday evening or Saturday morning so that I can buy groceries accordingly.  My biggest failing over the years has probably been waste of fresh produce so I try very hard to only buy what I need.  It is easy to fall into the trap of just buying things and finding that they do not get used.  Some fruit and vegetables have a longer shelf life than others so I take this into consideration when planning meals and try to use the most perishable items early in the week.

I usually only plan our evening meals but this week have decided to plan lunches as well.  I take into account any extra activities, or appointments as well as seasonal produce from the garden.

I have a well-stocked pantry and freezer and mostly cook from scratch so shopping is usually restocking the pantry and some fresh fruit and vegetables.  We do not eat a lot of meat but I tend to buy 2 kilos of a particular item at a time and freeze in meal-sized portions.

Here is our menu plan for 7 days for 2 adults.

Menu Plan-Breakfast

Sat – Scrambled eggs
Sun – Baked beans
Mon-Fri Cereal & Juice (F), Grapefruit (TD)

Menu Plan-Lunch

Sat – Grilled cheese & avocado on toast
Sun – Chicken & salad rolls
Mon – Quiche & salad
Tues – Refried beans & rice (F), tuna & rice (TD)
Wed – Shepherd’s pie (TD), baked beans (F)
Thurs – Risotto (F), not required (TD)
Fri – Tuna & rice

Menu Plan-Dinner

Sat – Bean tacos and salad
Sun – Mushroom soup and grilled cheese on Turkish bread
Mon – Chicken & avocado pancakes with veg
Tues –  Shepherd’s Pie & veg
Wed – Pumpkin, spinach & bacon risotto with avocado
Thurs – Pasta with tomato, bacon & veg
Fri – Steak & prune casserole & veg

Menu planning saves me money but more importantly time and my sanity.

So, I pose the question again – Do you menu plan?  How effective do you find it?

4 thoughts on “Menu Planning

  1. Hi Fairy. Pat from SS here. For some reason my posts are not showing up on here. I have left a few comments recently but can see none of them. Anyway, I just wanted you to know I am still reading.

  2. Thanks for you link to my blog 🙂 What a lovely surprise.
    I was looking at your menu plan and thought of how varied our meals are.
    It’s interesting how over the years people don’t really eat the same meal 2 or 3 nights in a row. When my mum was a child in poor deep country France, it was often the same thing every night except for Sunday. Many cultures eat the same basic meal each day.
    When did we all complicate our lives so much?

  3. I have never seen the point to menu planning though I know it works for a lot of people.
    What we eat depends on what is growing, what i have in the fridge, what we feel like, what was on special last time I shopped. It is simple food and not always a great variety but it’s fresh and easy.

  4. Hi Barb
    Like you, what we eat does depend on what is growing and what is in the fridge. The difference is that I do not have the luxury of thinking time as I am commuting/working 13.5 hours each day. Having a plan means that I can do some preparation on the weekend or simply have the appropriate meal out of the freezer in the morning so that is is thawed ready to heat when we get home. It is really just a matter of what works for the individual.

    Thanks for your comment.

    Fairy xx

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