Awhile back, I posted about Meal Planning.
I got all creative and made a pretty meal planning board (I blame Pinterest), and I wrote down heaps of recipe names and which cookbook to find them in on cards, with ingredient lists on the back and I planned to select new meals to put up on the board for a fortnightly menu, buy appropriate ingredients and make all these unique meals every night.
Once I made the meal, its card was slipped into the ‘used’ pocket, and I would select new items from the ‘not made’ list.
Using this system meant that I was making something different every night, so it sure wasn’t boring!
It was a great system!
But it was way more time consuming than I needed.
I’d have to hunt down the recipes in my cookbooks, and try to pull together something new each night, with the time factor often a complete unknown. And that wouldn’t have mattered if I didn’t have other things to attend to, like fitness classes and meetings and I could just focus on making great meals every day.
But I did have fitness classes and meetings and so much going on in the evenings, and my great system got too hard.
So I started making peanut butter sandwiches again.
So, I changed the way I do meal plans.
Now there are only 14 items on my list.
The fourteenth is “Blank” and that can include takeout.
Or peanut butter sandwiches.
The meals are easy to make, I know how long they take, and they’re relatively general. Like “Fish and …” where the “and …” could mean salad or rice or chips or steamed veggies, or sometimes nothing.
Yup, sometimes we’ll just have a piece of fish and call it dinner.
I have some super-fast ones for the nights I have to be out of the house early to late. Like Mondays, my meals are usually “Eggs on Toast” and “Soup”.
I have others that I know make decent amounts of leftovers- like Pasta and Curry and Pizza, so we have lunches for a few days too.
And I switch them up sometimes, depending on how I feel, what ingredients I have on hand, or if I forgot something when on my last shop, so it’s not always Pizza on Saturday.
That would be too predictable.
Definitely a simpler system, and all these ‘recipes’ are things I can make without a book or card, and can whip up in about 30 minutes or less, and I am likely to have everything I need on hand, or can easily top up.
I like that it’s up on a visual board, so when I come to making my grocery list, I look at the wall, check the cupboards, and just make a quick and easy list.
It’s a good thing!
What’s your meal planning system? Wing it? Something new and creative every night? Or are you a routine cooker: Tuesday is Takeaway, Sunday is a Roast, etc?