Cooking is one of those love hate things. I love to do it, but it becomes a chore to do daily.
How often do you get to 5 pm and think: what the… am I going to make for dinner?
Your brain whizzes through the options
- What do I fancy? If you have kids: what will the kids actually eat?
- What do I have the ingredients for?
- Can I pop into the supermarket to pick up the some ingredients? Inevitably if you do that you will buy a lot more (because you are hungry), they won’t have what you are looking for or they have something on offer, so your plans change
- You eliminate the ones that
- take too long
- are too complicated
- don’t have the ingredients for
- too expensive
Argh! This whole process makes cooking so much more difficult. Now the uber-organised have a weekly meal plan and the corresponding shopping list. I love this idea, but find it a bit of a chicken and egg thing:
Do I, option 1, create meal plan first and then go shopping, sticking to my list? … and thus passing up some of the offers and reduced produce I may stumble on.
Option 2, Or do I go shopping, grab the bargains and then conjure up a meal plan? …risking that I maybe missing some ingredients and have to go to the shop again.
Or, option 3, I could do what our friends did for years: they had exactly the same thing set for each day of the week. Monday was pie night- same pie bought each week or when on offer; Tuesday pizza night- same frozen pizza brand every week and so on. They took the guess work totally out of meal planning.
Actually I could never do option 3. It’s just not me.
Having tried both ways of pre and post shopping meal planning, with all the drawbacks I felt I failed at meal planning.
Then my lovely blogging friend, Corrine who writes at Motherhood journeys shared this on instagram:
I LOVE the idea of giving a framework to your weekly meal plan and then being able to do the weekly meal plan during shopping, taking advantage of the bargains to be had.
Using this principle I can brainstorm some ideas before heading off shopping and write down the ingredients. However I had pasta carbonara on my list, but the there is some mince beef on offer I can easily swap out the ingredients for a bolognese. I still know my pasta dish is sorted.
Shopping is slightly slower, but I know the price of things and have time to spot a bargain.
The skeleton meal plan also gives kids something to look forward to if their favourite is pasta, or fish like in our case. It also means I can have a handful of variations and add in seasonality to the weekly plan much easier.