Thursday, October 7, 2010

Getting Organised - Menu Planning

I can't believe it's taken me so long to learn the simple trick of planning a weekly menu.  I'm 41 years old and I've only just started doing it this year.  Menu planning really has saved so much time, stress and food waste for our family.  If you're not already doing it let me try to convince you.

A Weekly Menu Plan:
  • Saves time - only half an hour or so a week looking through your cookbooks wondering what to make and no extra trips to the shops.
  • Saves money & there's less food waste and less trips to the closer, expensive shops to pick up one or two things.
  • Less stress - no more last minute peering into the fridge and wondering what to cook with kids whining at your feet.
  • Helps use the produce in the garden - makes an opportunity to plan to cook recipes with things you are growing.
  • Encourages trying out new recipes.
Every Wednesday is my menu planning night.  I prop myself in front of the TV with two cookbooks.  Each week I choose two different  cookbooks to look through.  In my little black book (yes I have a little black book where I write weekly to do lists and and goals and plans and stuff) I write the days of the week and record an evening meal and the page and book it's from and as I'm doing it I write a shopping list.  In the morning we head off to the Queen Victoria market armed with my list.  Now it often happens that when I get to the day I can't be bothered making what I'd planned but that's fine - I just swap it for another day or do something completely different.  Either way I know I've always got the ingredients on hand and it saves so much head space. 

This all sounds so simple and I'm probably preaching to the converted but really it's been a complete revelation to me!

So this week what's on my weekly menu plan?  A couscous and pumpkin recipe using the preserved lemons from the garden I made a few months ago.  I'll post later to see how it goes.


  1. We have recently moved to a place where the only shop is a little general store and it has made us menu plan. No more popping out to the 24 hour Supermarket or grabbing unhealthy take away. It is wonderful for all the reasons you outline in your post especially the reduction of waste - of food and headspace. We are also eating MUCH more healthily.

  2. This is something I have been meaning to do but just never got round to it.

  3. I like your idea of a weekly menu plan. Save heaps of money and time.

  4. When my children were younger I planned the weekly menu and now my daughter does the same, but since the kids left home, I must admit I've got slack. It can lead to some very unhealthy food choices some evenings.

  5. What a great idea to have a menu planning night! I need to do it tonight infact. Was just mulling over in my head some ideas, but I need some new ones've inspired me!! :)

  6. And, when you grow your own, I love how you find yourself seeking out and trying new recipes, or going back to vegetables that you've just gotten out of the habit of buying.


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