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How do you plan each week's meals?

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by beethan31, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. beethan31

    beethan31 New commenter

    Just out of curiosity. There's just the 2 of us. I've tried mapping out 5 weeks worth of meals (I even did it in a table format!! [​IMG] which I work through from week 1 to 5, then back to the beginning again, but then it's all too easy to stray from it when different things crop up or the takeaway calls!! It did make my shopping list easier to do, but am just curious what others do....Use things like the Sainsbury's weekly menu thing (feed a family for £50)?? Base meals on what's on offer in the shops??
     
  2. grandelf

    grandelf New commenter

    I tend to batch cook so have a stock pile of food in, normally at least a weeks worth of portions for the 2 of us.

    I also call into the supermarket on the way home and will have a look what meat is on the reduced shelf, so at the moment have several pork joints in for the Sunday dinner.

    I have a general idea what I am going to cook but can swap stuff about.

    ie
    Monday OH cooks and freezes a portion
    Tuesday - A freezer item as I'm home a bit later
    Wednesday - Ill lift something out the night before (pork loin tonight)
    Thurs - Random night - omelette tomorrow as I got some eggs at the weekend
    Friday - i try to have some type of fish
    Saturday - depends what we are doing, often a freezer item
    Sunday - roast dinner
     
  3. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    .... with 2 teenagers who have numerous and varying after-school/evening activities I try to keep flexible.
    I go to the Farmers' market every fornight to buy meat and try to plan around what is in the freezer.
    I also try to vary the "nationality" of what we eat across the weeks and on a week-to-week basis, so we don't overdose on tagines one week , curries another and stir fries a 3rd.
    We do 3 non-meat (or v little meat: eg 100g bacon bits to feed 4) per week, and eat loads of pasta and rice with a wide variety of "dressings".
    If we have one "extragvagant" meal, we balance it with a cheapie.
    I do not eat processed foods unless I am forced to, which cuts out ready meals, tins and many of the other expensive short cuts.
    On a Sunday evening we sit down with paper and pen and do the following:
    1) Freezer list
    2) Fridge list
    3) Cupboard list (yes, o/h likes his lists!)
    4) Combine the three to list some obvious meals for the forthcoming week
    5) Flick through a few books to find some other ideas (bearing in mind that on certain evenings 1 child has activities 6-6.30 and the other 7-9.00 so the feeding slot is either short or we have to do 3 sittings of the same).

    O/h usually does the shopping, and you know what men can be like with a list! It is rare that he picks something up because it looks good, is on special or just because he fancies it.
     
  4. beethan31

    beethan31 New commenter

    Thanks for all your replies! We all have different ways of doing it!
    I think I'm going to look at the geeky meal planning table I made and tweak it a bit. My biggest problem is that each week the shopping seems so expensive. I shop online (which obviously has a delivery fee) but I can't be bothered chasing around everywhere to pick up offers which might only end up saving me 50p (when I'd probably spend more than that in petrol). The online shop does include household stuff, health/beauty items and pet food too, and I do pick things on offer whenever possible, but it still seems high. Anyway I'll see what I can change using some of your ideas. It's just a nightmare sometimes trying to balance:
    • the price of things with...
    • OH preferring meat with every meal (and sometimes being a bit picky!) with...
    • me having coeliac disease with...
    • both of us wanting to lose a few pounds ("how many Weight Watchers points is that?") with...
    • the preparation time of meals and...
    • the call of the takeaway!!
    Oh I miss my mum's cooking!!
    [​IMG]
     
  5. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Tips:
    - Buy meat at the beginning of the month (the payday month, that is!) and freeze it or cook bulk meals with it and freeze them.
    - Bulk buy perishables with a relatively long shelf-life such as butter, cheese and yoghurt at the beginning of the month. These often have BOGOF deals or similar. You can freeze cheese and butter, don't forget.
    - Go to supermarkets an hour before closing or after 6ish in 24 hour ones, to get reduced bargains, especially meat.
    - Bulk buy dried or tinned or other non-perishables (plus other household goods) at the beginning of the month (Aldi and Lidl are great for these - often amazingly cheap).
    - Booze is good as a bulk buy, as most supermarkets do discounts on cases of wine or multiple cases of beer. Depends on your willpower though. Historically, we've had no willpower at all, but with a new baby, we've now started doing this again!
    - Then just buy your fresh fruit, veg, bread and milk etc. weekly. Seasonal veg is cheaper and tastes better, plus brownie points for carbon footprint.
    - Plan around your storecupboard and freezer on a weekly basis. I couldn't plan on a 4/5 week basis - I'd veer off by the middle of week 2.

    Our weekly shopping bill for fresh stuff is probably under £20, once we've got the other stuff in.
     
  6. Try to come to an agreement about less meat a week - check us out for yummy meatless recipes. Even Mr. Manashee will eat meatless meals!
    He has to accept your coeliac disease - he must try to adapt, as healthwise, he can
    As to losing pounds - check our threads and cuttng out too much meat (Hello Mr.beethan!) is one way to lose weight (without going veggie).
    Preperation of meals - we have a few threads on here about quick meals - use the search facility with the word "quick" to filter them out.
    Takeaway - I already gave you my tip.
    Mine hated cooking - but I would do anything to eat her food again [​IMG]

     
  7. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    I do a big monthly stock up at the supermarket - stuff like booze (even though I'm not drinking at the moment!), storecupboard essentials, cleaning supplies and the "must-haves" that jump into my basket of their own free will (honest!).
    I go to a farm shop not too far from where my husband grew up and stock up on meat (and other treats!) there every few months. If you go at the right time on a Sunday morning, then its heavily reduced and freezes beautifully. Otherwise, I stock up at the market as I need it or go to the Egyptian supermarket which isn't too far from where I live.
    Mine is a brilliant cook but has asked me to stockpile pot noodles for her when she comes to visit the baby in a couple of weeks time because she got hooked on them when she was here for our wedding! [​IMG]
     
  8. An old fashioned idea passed on from my mum.
    I regard every Monday as my day off eve meal prep, as it is left overs from the sunday roast or stew with either jacket potatoes freshly done or sliced potatoes cooked in milk and nutmeg( scalloped potatoes in my family) cooked in the oven on Sunday or bubble & squeak from left over veg.
    Saturday is usually a busy day so a home made hearty soup from garden veg, tinned beans and left over bits in the fridge with a fresh bread maker loaf always goes down well with my family.
    Week days evening meals get planned around the weather forecast the night before and what I have in from shopping the offers at supermarkets.
    Have loved reading what everyone else does. What a great forum you started beethan31
     
  9. I shop at the abbortoire each month then do a meal plan on thursdays for the following week depending on what meat i have in the freezer, I then shop online for tinned/cleaning stuff to be delivered then next day. (I only order exactly whats on my list)
    I get fruit and veg from a local farm shop.
    I hate physically shopping at supermarkets.
    My weeks menu gets stuck on the fridge door, and I always prep and sometimes cook a meal the night before we eat it, so I always get home from work to a meal already done. People say I'm mad, but i really enjoying cooking at my leisure, at night for the next day.
    OH and son always know what meal they are expecting at night..It works well for us but I must admit, its the only part of me which is organised, everything else goes to pot!!
     

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