Monday, November 03, 2014

03:11:14 Meal Planning

Todays photo is of my weekly meal plan and shopping list. A friend saw me shopping with it last week and mentioned it on a Facebook post. I tried to put this photo in the comment box because one of her friends had asked if she could share it but I couldn't work out how to do that? I'm sure I've put photos in comments before but Facebook changes its rules so often I can barely keep up with it. Instead I was motivated to use it for todays blog post and then I was able to share the link instead. 

*disclaimer* I am a scatty head and not nearly as organised as this post may suggest. It's only by trying to plan ahead that our week goes by without too many hiccups. This weekly shopping list only works when I actually fill it out and often our dinner plans change at short notice so a lot of flexibility is needed. Aim high and at best our meals will be wonderful and organised, at worst there is always beans on toast!

At the start of each school term I print out the number of sheets for the weeks in that term, staple them together and put them on a clipboard that hangs in my pantry. The clipboard comes with me on my weekly shopping day and sits in the front of the trolley so I can cross things off as I shop.

The sheet is a basic Word document with columns. There are boxes for each days meals, sometimes split in two if it's a 5:2 Fast day for us and a normal meal for the kids. There's a small box below each day to remind me if we have something happening that evening. The dates next to each day help me choose produce, particularly meat, that will be well within its expiry date for when I want to use it.

The lower columns are the weekly shopping list. I have typed in my most frequently bought items in groups that follow the layout of my local Aldi. This saves a lot of time when I am dashing out the door and helps me check what I need against what I already have in the pantry. There are lots of extra empty boxes to allow for adding things on that aren't on the main list.

The very right hand column is for Woolies items that I know Aldi doesn't stock. I can tear off this part of the sheet when the Aldi shop is finished and safely packed in my car boot and I can run in to Woolies with a basket and not have to carry the clip board with me. 

The clipboard goes back in the pantry when I'm home so I can see what's for dinner over the next few days. I usually tear off the used lower half of the sheet leaving next weeks blank shopping list ready to write things on as the week goes by. Often the kids will try to "add" things like chocolate and desserts in the hope that I will be conned into buying them for them! 

I am more than happy to share my list with anyone who wants it. It's a word document that I can email you and then you can change my regular items for ones that suit your families meals. 

Do you Meal Plan? Or do you manage fine without it?!

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