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