I haven’t done much meal planning in the last few years. Aprx 3 years ago when Rob and I first lived in Edmonton, we had a deal where we would each choose 7 dinners from a cook book, make a list, shop, and cook for those 7 nights in a row. This worked well for us because it was organized and fair and always delicious. Our schedules are quite different now and that is impossible. I have mostly just “winged it” every night the last little while. Today I decided with school coming up and just generally needing to feel more organized, I can do the original plan just by myself :p
I got all the cookbooks I wanted to use out.
I also went into my freezer and took meat inventory. This way I can be sure to not leave anything for too long and choose recipes that go with them.
Quiteeeee a while ago I got this scheduler and never used it. Found it again and like that I can put the things I have on the list and fill in the days. Going through a few books I found 5 dinners I want to make this week, made a list, and hit the store.
Because I was shopping around the meat that I have, I only needed produce for my dinners. This list wasn’t so bad, sometimes they are out of control.
I got a few things outside of the recipes and as always got a few things that weren’t on the list at all…I ended up going to 2 stores because the tiny avocado oil at save on was $15 and I couldn’t do it. At planet organic the same one was $10 so I just got it aha. The ground cardamom was $10!!!!!!! and only came in one size…I guess these are things that you don’t have to buy often. I would say if you’re going to meal plan, it will be one pretty big shop a week. It can feel like you’re spending more because it’s all at once but if you divide the total by how many meals it’s not so scary. I spent close to $100 but I won’t need oil and frozen fruit, and things like that every shop, still / 5 is $20. Most dishes I make you can feed 2 from so I eat a lot of left over dinners for lunch and breaky, I love eating all foods at any time of the day! Dinner for breakfast, breakfast for dinner.
Keep in mind we buy our meat at a different store usually in bulk so I don’t factor that into the above^.
This weeks upcoming menu consists of:
- coconut pineapple rice + roasted veggies (scrapped the chop)
- skillet chicken thighs
- carrot + cardamom soup
- roasted portobello mushroom burgers
- cavolini al forno ( I know that forno means oven in Italian, I am assuming cavolini means brussel sprout)
There’s no telling what order I’ll decide to eat these in….I will let you know if I find planning ahead helpful!! Also the apple chips were horrible ! Really.
On a side note, I am probably terrible to go shopping with. I hum and haw over the tiniest details and sometimes struggle to make quick decisions. I feel like taking some extra time is worth it for me at the store because it gives me the chance to read labels and make sure I get what I think I’m getting. For example, below is prosciutto from the same company one is “smoked” and the other is regular. You can see the one that is smoked has nitrates and sugar, and the non smoked ones has only salt and pepper added. In a rush it’s easy to grab either but if you slow down and read what you’re buying you might catch a few things.
I wonder why they have sodium nitrate listed 2 times one after the other. Do you think they can count it separately and manipulate the daily nutritional facts? It’s a bit disheartening that it’s such a puzzle to find out what’s really in food. Simple is better at times!