If there’s one thing I have organized each week, it is my meal plan. This probably sounds a little over the top, but first of all I check the forecast for the week – it is Melbourne, Australia after all – so that I can match up certain meals for cooler or warmer days. I always ask my children and husband if they want anything in particular for dinner for the week too but don’t often get much feedback!
Each week I try to have a wide range of food across our meals with plenty of vegetables and healthy cuts of meat. I also try to limit rice and pasta to once per week as advised by my naturopath. So across the seven meals for the week I try to include a combination of: one/two different red meat cuts, one meal with fish, one/two meals with white meats, one completely vegetarian meal, one meal with pasta, one with rice, and one easy/lazy meal of leftovers or pancakes and so forth.
Here is an example of one week’s meals:
Sunday – Chicken Salad Wraps
Monday – Salmon and steamed vegetables
Tuesday – (Beef) Lasagna with broccoli and carrots
Wednesday – Lamb salad
Thursday – Zucchini and pea risotto (Vegetarian)
Friday – Homemade Pizzas (Easy tea)
Saturday – Pork chops with steamed greens and homemade chips
The next thing I do is write these meals at the top of my shopping list notepad. I love the one from Kikki K, but used to just use a blank sheet prior to using this. The Kikki K notepad separates the shop into sections which makes it easier to write on and follow. I look back at the dinner meals and write the ingredients for each onto the shopping list in their correct section. The sheet is separated into Fruit and Veg, Pantry, Meat, Dairy and Home. During the week the notepad is on the fridge so we can add any things we noticed we need.
Then I add any things needed for breakfast and lunches (usually just cereal, yoghurt, bread, fruit, crackers, cheese and pretzels), and things for around the house.
Don’t forget to keep your shopping list or write on your calendar what meals are for which day of the week. I have a large whiteboard with the days of the week and the meal for each night written next to it. I would struggle just coming up with something at the end of the day.
While writing all of this down I realise that I sound slightly crazy but I promise that meal planning does really work as we rarely buy anything that doesn’t get used. I hate throwing away perfectly good food. And yes, I am that annoying person at the supermarket who orders her food on the conveyor belt, (cold products, heavy things, packets, fruit and vegetables, bread, eggs). 🙂
Happy meal planning, people!