Planning meals, any meals, takes time. But the more you do it, the easier and quicker it gets. It also means less food wastage and a more affordable grocery bill.
Weekly Menu Planning
Here I’m specifically referring to your dinner/main meal planning. Although the weekly meal plan is organised by day, there’s no need to be that rigid. Some days you might feel like something in particular, or have less time for preparation and cooking than on other days. I like to include a section titled: Common / Shared items. This is where I find that the planning really helps. If you only need a small amount of something, like a half a tin of chickpeas or two sticks of celery, it helps knowing that you can use the rest of the tin/sachet/bottle/vegetable in another meal that same week so it doesn’t end up going to waste.
The column titled “Where is Recipe?” is probably my favourite part of this planner. I have soooooo many recipe books, food magazines, cut-outs and bookmarked recipes that I honestly forget where each one is. Lots of recipes are in my head, but this is for those days when I’m tired of the same old ones and have made the effort to scour through some of my books for fresh ideas. You may or may not choose to follow a recipe exactly as published, but at least this way, it limits the frustration and time spent trying to find something you saw and wanted to make yourself.
The Special Ingredients column is for just that…special items that you possibly don’t normally stock in the pantry. These can then be added to your shopping list.
Whether it’s daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly, we all shop for groceries. Online shopping is such a time saver, but it is a little more expensive. I keep a list in my kitchen and as I run out of something, or open the last one from the pantry, I add it to my grocery list so nothing is forgotten. I see people walking around the shops all the time without lists, asking partners if they can remember what they needed, or some people have written on the back of used envelopes…whatever works for you, but neither of those works for me. If you’re anything like me, you might want to download some of these and keep them handy to update as and when you need to.
At present, they’re formatted to print A5.