General ramblings

A Meal Plan Plan…

January 15, 2013

Following on from our successful and hugely enjoyable Gift Exchange with the lovely Pugh family over at A year without supermarkets,

Our fabulous 'quillow', handmade by Beckie

Our fabulous ‘quillow’, handmade by Becksie

Our gift to them-a Monopoly board clock!

Our gift to them-a Monopoly board clock!

I have got together with my blog buddy, and new BFF Becksie, and we are collaborating again…!

This time, it’s meal plans!

I try and do a meal plan each week, just of evening meals, so I know what I need when I go shopping/place an online order-we mainly shop online. How anyone ever battles around a supermarket with 2 Smalls in a trolley always astounds me-it is quite beyond my parenting capabilities, and I freely confess to not having the patience. I salute my mum, and all the millions of others of her generation didn’t have the joys of online supermarkets! I also have to guiltily confess to not having bitten the bullet and gone supermarket free yet.

It is one of my aims for the year…(following on from my rant about my local town, and the need for people to start being the change they want to see, I am in negotiations with hubby to start our trial month in February-watch this space..) We do get a weekly fruit and veg box from Riverford (does that absolve me a little-I hope so!)

Anyway, I digress. The point is, that sometimes, ok a lot of the time, this is a bit of a chore. Especially when we shop online. It feels like no sooner has the shopping arrived, than I have to start thinking about what to eat the next week. It is like Groundhog Day but I actually have to think of new things each week.

And it occurred to me that I can’t be the only one who feels like this. And wouldn’t it be fab if it was all planned out for you. So I consulted with Becksie, hoping she would volunteer to do all my future meals plans for me (not really!) and we have come up with a cunning plan. Well, not that cunning, as it means more work for us. But great in that it should help you out dear reader, if you also struggle to come up with delicious homemade meals for your little darlings.

So here are the bare bones as it stands at the moment-please bear with us, it is very much a work in progress, so it may be tweaked slightly, but we aim to have the first month ready by the beginning of February…

  • We are hoping to get together a month’s worth of evening meals in the first instance-possibly taking it in turns to do alternate weeks.
  • We will pre-publish a storecupboard list of ingredients you will need to have in the storecupboard (surprisingly!) or freezer, so that you can all be ready to go when the 1st month comes out!
  • It will give thrifty tips for making the most of your ingredients and your left-overs
  • We will join in with ‘meat-free’ Mondays
  • And it will focus on ‘eating the seasons’

Obviously, neither Becksie or I are nutritionists, or are in any way qualified to be assessing the nutritional status, but we both have a reasonable amount of common sense, and it should be a fairly balanced diet I hope!

We are not suggesting for a minute that you can’t do this for yourselves, just that it might be nice if someone else did the hard work for you!

Anyway, this is my meal plan for this week

Usually illegible, scribbled on a scrap of paper, with the shopping list on the other side, and hubby then usually throws it away after he has done the shopping, leaving me desperately trying to remember what we were supposed to be eating...

Usually illegible, scribbled on a scrap of paper, with the shopping list on the other side, and hubby then usually throws it away after he has done the shopping, leaving me desperately trying to remember what we were supposed to be eating…

They are mostly recipes form the February issue of Good Food (which my Auntie bought us a subscription to-so not really cheating..!)

  • Braised chicken
  • Fishcakes
  • Celery and potato soup with chickpea fritters
  • Boston Baked Beans
  • Sausage and fennel meatballs
  • Crusty cheddar pies

I know this is only 6, but we usually have something quick and easy like scrambled eggs or pancakes on a Sunday, so I can have a bit of a break from cooking…

Now, had I actually been thinking about this-what I would have done is have the sausage and fennel meatballs (they were yummy by the way) with mashed potato, the day before making the fishcakes,and just cooked extra mash. so it would have been ready to use in the fishcakes-genius! But I wasn’t thinking. And I didn’t.

BUT it is these kinds of things we are hoping to share with you-I promise I will engage my brain better before doing my share!

So, what do you think? Anyone interested? Or are we preaching to the converted and you are all already super organised and have your year’s meals already planned…?

And what are your top thrifty, make do meal planning tips?

Our fabby shopping list holder that hubby made me for Christmas 2011 from old food wrappers..!!

Our fabby shopping list holder that hubby made me for Christmas 2011 from old food wrappers..!!

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8 Comments

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  • Reply Emma Croft January 16, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Hi Jen, 2 weeks of meals planned, including shopping list from Love Food Hate Waste: http://england.lovefoodhatewaste.com/content/two-week-winter-meal-planner plus 2 more weeks meat-free version http://england.lovefoodhatewaste.com/content/two-week-winter-meat-free-meal-planner 🙂

    • Reply Jen January 16, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      Fabaroo-thanks Emma 🙂

  • Reply Susan Broadhurst January 16, 2013 at 12:30 am

    I always cook too much pasta so I use what I need, rinse the rest under the cold tap to cool it quickly and either put in a plastic tub with a little of the spag bol mixture and freeze, good for lunch at work another day : ) or in a plastic bag on its own to freeze

    • Reply Jen January 16, 2013 at 7:25 am

      Great idea Susan! I am never sure whether you are ‘supposed’ to freeze pasta or not-glad to hear it works well:)

  • Reply Emma Baxter January 15, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    I would love to see this! As the main menu planner in our house I sometimes get lazy and repeat favourites too often, at our nutritional loss! We cook from scratch, try to eat seasonal and do a mixture of supermarket and farm/local shop. We are big fans of no meat Monday and also have Fish Thursdays as we always forget to eat fish, and my favourite, Chocolate Friday!

    Good luck with it and thanks for sharing!

    Emma

    • Reply Jen January 16, 2013 at 7:24 am

      Thnaks Emma. I know what you mean about getting lazy. We eat quite a lot of pasta! I have certain ‘go-to’ recipes that we will have on a regular basis when I am lacking in inspiration. Panic not, A year without supermarkets and I are on the case..!!!

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