Planning your meals

IMG_2288Today’s challenge by Darren Rowse on the ProBlogger Challenge Group was to create a piece of content that is a discussion starter.  I thought that I would keep the discussion food.

So how many of you have these questions in your mind when you get home:

  1.  What shall I make for dinner?
  2.  What’s for dinner?
  3.  Who is cooking today?
  4.  What’s in the fridge?

When I come home from a full day’s work, I hate the thought of thinking about what to cook and sometimes you ask the family what they would like to eat and when they suggest some dish, you say that that will take too long or you don’t have the ingredients etc.  How often have you opened the fridge and stared at it looking for inspiration?

What’s the best solution to make meal times organised and stress free?  My suggestion is to make a meal plan for a fortnight.  How many of you make and follow a weekly or fortnightly menu and shop accordingly?

If you remember my recent post , I mentioned that we tend to  cook dishes that my children like on one day and the dishes we like on the next day.    Most of our meals are made from scratch,  so I find that if I have shopped according to my meal plan, things run smoothly.   We plan the menu  in conjunction with our diaries.  e.g. for days that I am working late or the kids have to go to some activity, I would either prepare something the day before and keep it in the fridge or use some cheat ingredients such  ready made veggie burgers, pizza or falafels  to rustle up a quick meal.   For breakfast the family tends to have cereals and toast during the week.  For lunch, it’s usually one of these: fruit and a sandwich, jacket potato with cheese and beans, pasta, noodles or tortilla wrap.

Just to make  it a bit interesting here’s our menu for next week:

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Having an idea of what I am cooking, saves me so much time as I am not popping into the supermarket every evening looking for something to cook.  I feel calmer coming home as I know that we know what we are eating and whoever gets home will start the preparations.

So let me have your views on whether planning  weekly meals is a good idea or not?

  • Petal

    Yummy,
    I have no plan, unfortunately and end up making meals to order a lot of the time. Everyone in the family has different favorite dishes.

  • Veronica Merry

    Hi Mina, this is something I am slowly realizing is an absolute must for busy working mums and dads. I haven’t got as far as planning the weekly menu but I try and stay at least one or two days ahead. I’m finding that it’s injecting much more variety into the meals and my family is very grateful!

  • Tim Vincent

    Your weekly meal plan is making my mouth water! Definitely a good thing to do. We try to do it, but do sometimes find that the thing we planned to eat on a certain day we then don’t fancy when the day come around, and end up making something else instead. The food bill is much cheaper with a plan though, for sure! Thanks for this Mina.

  • AdultlikeaBoss

    I found your site through Darren’s problogger challenge. 🙂
    I also tend to plan my meals ahead, and do the majority of my shopping in 2 monthly trips, since budget-friendly stores are 40 miles away. I like how you alternate what you want with what the kids want, and plan according to activity. We do the same thing.
    I really appreciate how clearly you explain your recipes, how they taste, and their origins. I have no experience with Indian food other than some ready-made meals and what I’ve cooked myself following online recipes after I started exploring more vegetarian options for my health. Thank you very much! 🙂

  • Catarina Alexon

    Sounds delicious, Mina. Personally just plan my meals in the sense that I buy what I need on a regular basis. Then at the last moment I may change what I originally planned to eat.

  • Bjorn Beheydt

    Planning ahead is indeed a good way for cooking. However, our very flexible and busy agenda doesn’t always allow for it. Or, we allow the agenda to interfere our schedule 😉
    Anyway, I’m going to come back here regularly to get some cooking ideas!

  • Christina

    Hi Mina, thank you for the post. I have been considering it recently since I read a cookery book in which the cook has admitted to preparing a list for the whole week. It seems to be an exciting challenge to know e.g. all the breakfast, lunch, dinner a week ahead. For sure it is worthwhile trying once in a lifetime. 🙂 In a way we all do this everyday. Hoewever, I do like to buy ingredients for one day only. I do not like to store open things for long. I don’t like to reheat stuff. I like to cook small portions to be eaten at once. I have to find a compromise I suppose. The problem with preparing a menu for a week might with the big shopping I can imagine to realise this plan and my fridge full and sth things got wasted if I change my plans. 🙂 I do enjoy your post. Link to my website. Enjoy: http://www.extraordinarypresents.wordpress.com

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