Self catering abroad - do you do meal plan?

(14 Posts)
JumpJockey Mon 11-Aug-14 20:37:20

First time we've been on holiday just the four of us self catering (previously have always shared with friends and taken it in turns to cook each night) and we're gojng to northern france for a week. Do you recommend planning meals, within reason, and then taking things like spices, tinned ingredients, things that might cost a lot in small local shops? Or do you wing it a bit more and just take inspiration from what's on the shops? I imagjne we'll eat out a few times, do picnics, but i have a big fear of spending a fortune in the supermarket on stuff that we could have chucked in the boot of the car...!

Bunbaker Mon 11-Aug-14 20:50:42

No. We wing it. I don't see any point in making extensive plans and then not being able to find the necessary ingredients. Breakfast is usually just toast or cereal for us and we usually buy local bread/meats/cheeses/salads etc for lunch and then we eat out in the evening.

I always take teabags, decaff tea and coffee and cereal. The rest I buy locally. It is a holiday after all. I don't want to spend it doing lots of cooking and OH doesn't want to spend it washing up loads of dishes.

JumpJockey Mon 11-Aug-14 21:06:23

Fair enough Bunbaker! As I say, have never done this before in quite this way. Girls are a bit young to eat out too late (though there's a whole other thread wink) but I'm sure we will a few times.

Bunbaker Mon 11-Aug-14 21:15:02

I should have read your post properly. If you are going in the car you will have room for plenty of food items, but there should be loads of lovely foods for you to buy. If you don't feel confident going to a market the supermarkets are pretty good.

I still tend to cheat more when self catering and do more quick cooking meals than I would at home. Also we eat a lot of salads and deli type foods.

reup Mon 11-Aug-14 21:17:55

I hate having to cook on holiday so we often have a big lunch out then bread cheese salad pate etc in eve.

Mumzy Mon 11-Aug-14 21:19:47

Pizzas, quiches, pasta and sauce with veg, salad can all be found in French supermarkets. On holiday I tend to go for foods which you can bung in the oven or heat up otherwise it feels like another bore

Mumzy Mon 11-Aug-14 21:20:21

Chore not bore

MaryShelley Mon 11-Aug-14 21:27:57

French supermarkets are fab and are part of the hoilday for us. I take salt, pepper, Herbes de Provence - they are left over from hol last yr!

JumpJockey Mon 11-Aug-14 21:29:27

Ooh very true about lovely deli stuff. Bread and cheese and ham seems so much more yummy when it's not the usual. We're usually keen cooks but I can imagine cooking the same old stuff overseas is a bit pointless smile will def be getting tins of duck confit to bring home!

EvansOvalPiesYumYum Mon 11-Aug-14 21:35:33

I do tend to take things like coffee, teabags (only because some people are fussy about their tea), and a few herbs and spices that I know we use and from past experience have not always been able to find abroad and if we do they've been desperately expensive.

balia Mon 11-Aug-14 21:41:49

Keep it simple - we always go self-catering and in the past have stayed in one evening and cooked, then gone out the next, but this year we ate out at lunch more, and did simpler meals in the evening as reup suggests. It worked really well and saved us money. Plenty of salad, fresh bread, deli stuff. I also do a quick clear soup or maybe a simple pasta.

jenpetronus Tue 12-Aug-14 21:21:04

We've run a gite in Brittany for the past 8 years, & something I've found that works well for our guests is a kind of recipe suggestion sheet and shopping list - it's only 3 or 4 basics like tomato tart and a couple of pasta dishes using basic ingredients or stuff from the garden but we find it gives people a bit of a start, then you can add stuff you like or see & eat out a bit and it's all sorted. Enjoy!

idontlikealdi Wed 13-Aug-14 09:22:37

In France with young kids we eat out at lunch time, most french restaurants don't open until 7 in the smaller towns and villages which just became unpleasant for everyone when my kids were small. Eating out at lunch time is much cheaper too.

So in answer to your question no, we don't meal plan - market in the morning to buy stuff for a salady evening meal - cheese / meat / bread etc. It's enough of a bore meal planning at home, I do not want to be doing it on holiday!

Lovage Wed 13-Aug-14 20:28:05

I don't plan, but I do bring one really basic meal with us as a standby (usually a packet of pasta, a jar of pesto and a tin of sweetcorn). Then when I'm shopping I think two or three meals ahead and try to buy only for those meals, otherwise I end up overbuying.

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