Happy first day of winter to all my Aussie & Kiwi readers, hope you’re all keeping warm.
In my first Going Paperless post I mentioned that I put a ‘no junk mail’ sign on our letterbox and now go online for any catalogues I do want. This works especially well for meal planning now that I have an iPad.
The Man and I alternate doing the weekly grocery shopping but I’m in charge of planning the meals. Here is my plan of attack:
- I sit down with the iPad, meal planner, shopping list and my recipe folder on the kitchen table. I usually do this on a Thursday night so I can go out or relax at home on Friday night and still be ready for one of us to do the shopping first thing on Saturday morning.
- I check out what we’ve already got in the fridge that needs to be eaten within a week and write this down, along with anything in the freezer that we might want to use up.
- I head online to view the catalogues for our supermarket and butcher and make a note of anything that we regularly buy that’s on special (the greengrocer doesn’t have their specials online but I just try to keep the produce fairly seasonal).
- We really only plan dinners, so on the meal planner (a Chrissy present, available from Kikki-K) I use the ‘Breakfast’ box to write down any activities that will affect meals (e.g. Ryan working late or netball game @7pm). If we going to our parents for dinner or going out with friends we’ll mark it with a dash.
- From there, I’ll use the recipe folder to try to come up with meals that will use up what we’ve already got, make use of on-sale and seasonal products, fit in with that week’s schedule and are generally fairly balanced and healthy. I often leave one day unplanned as often things come up so we can go out and not worry about having uneaten food (and if we’re home we’ll just pull something out of the freezer or make something from the pantry).
- I’ll pop them on the meal plannner (using the ‘Snack’ box to make notes such as ‘defrost steak’ or ‘make double batch for freezing’).
- I then write down all the ingredients needed on the shopping list. (As you can see in the top picture, I have a pre-printed shopping list template that I made myself, in order of where everything is in our local supermarket. Yes, I am a nerd. And yes, I get annoyed when they move things around in the supermarket.)
My system changed the other day when I stumbled upon a previously unknown-to-me product – adhesive whiteboard sheets (Avery Peel & Stick Dry Erase Sheets to be exact). I’m sure you’re going to tell me they’ve been around for years and I’m the only one who didn’t know about them. Anyway, I immediately snapped up a pack and stuck a couple of them to the inside of our pantry, one for a shopping list and another to keep track of food in the freezer and in particular the fridge that need to be used up, which saves me from having to go through it every week and makes a Pantry Challenge really easy. Mmm, barramundi with chilli jam broccoli sounds pretty good now that I see that…
But back to the meal planning, do you go low-tech, high-tech or a bit of a mix like me? Or do you not even have a system, but just pick up something on your way home from the supermarket or takeaway joint? Or a you a super-organised once-a-month cooker?