Thursday, April 22, 2010

First Attempt at Menu Planning

Hi all, I’m currently having my first proper go at menu planning. Last night I went through my freezer and was surprised to find enough for at least a dozen meals! It’s amazing what one finds poked away behind the frozen veggies and the ice cream!

So I made my list of what was there, and then worked out a menu plan for about the next ten days or so. All the dinners are now covered and I’ll only need to buy potatoes, veggies and rice and it’s all organized.

It’s funny as today was my first day working off my menu plan and I forgot to defrost the chicken schnitzels, so I changed tonight’s meal for another night and we had meat pies instead, all fixed and I didn’t go to the supermarket, yay!

I’m finding that I seem to be going into the supermarket a number of times a week and it’s really annoying me. I always work off a list but because my meals aren’t organized, I need this and need that, to have what I need for the meals I’m making. Or it may be something as simple as today we ran out of bread, so it was off to the supermarket and I bought ten loaves!!

I’ve done really well with getting my grocery budget down to around $100 a week and that’s for myself, DD14, DS12 and DS4. That $100 includes everything: toilet paper, cleaners, food items, fruit and veg and cat food. Now I just need to get the menu plan going and then I can start to work on cutting the shopping trips back. My current goal is to work towards shopping once a week and then when that’s going well, then go to fortnightly shopping.

This weekend my DS17 and his girlfriend are coming home to stay on Sunday night. Usually when he comes home I go out and buy heaps of food. I’m not sure why I do this as there’s always plenty of food here anyway….

So included in my menu plan is Sunday nights meal. We’re having Spaghetti Bolognese, and I’ll make a breadmaker loaf so that I can slice it chunky, spread it with homemade garlic butter and make garlic bread. Dessert will be a big chocolate pudding done in the microwave, with ice cream. These are all my son’s favorites plus they’ll be filling too.

On Saturday I’ll bake some homemade biscuits and a couple of cakes so there’s snacks on hand. Hmmmm I think some cheese and bacon scones might be the go too.

It’s going to be interesting how things go with following my menu plan. I already do a lot of double cooking, for example I always cook a double batch of spaghetti sauce and freeze some, and I always do the same with chopped onion when I have to fry some onion too, this way I don’t have to go through the tears twice. I love making homemade sausage rolls and big batches of homemade soup and stews during the winter too. The more ready-made meals I can get into the freezer the better. I’m a single Mum of two Autistic boys so the less time I have to spend cooking dinner, the better!!

Well I was hoping to end this with a lovely picture of an Autumn tree I saw the other day, but I just cannot get the picture to load, it keeps coming up ‘upload file failed.’ Hopefully someone might be able to help me….


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