Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications, experience, or professional insurance of anyone posting on Mumsnet and cannot be held responsible for any advice given on the site. Free legal advice is available from a Citizen's Advice Bureau, and the Law Society can supply a list of local solicitors.

Meal planning

(21 Posts)

How far in advance do you plan?

I want to start this but don't know where to begin so all advice welcome!

timidviper Thu 03-Jan-13 22:56:46

Have a look at the website Saving Dinner, they may have some samples on that may help you (they used to anyway)

Oh thanks will have a look now

Mum2Fergus Thu 03-Jan-13 23:09:20

Id start with listing your fridge, freezer and cupboard contents. Then think of as many meals as you can that you can make from what you already have in. Then plan around meals that can be 'adapted' into others...a chicken for example will make a roast, then you could strip and use meat for sandwiches, or bulk up with veg, pipe on some mash or use puff pastry for a pie...then boil carcass for a base for soup.

Thanks thats great advice, i am a bit useless but fed up with driving home think what am i cooking tonight. Hoping i save money too. Not working tomorrow so planning to do a shop once i have planned! grin

Mum2Fergus Thu 03-Jan-13 23:48:14

Have a go at batch cooking too and freeze meals. Before you heAd out in the morn take something out to defrost for you that night.

Thanks. Will all help! I will do this

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 04-Jan-13 08:49:03

I work a week ahead and just 'plan' the evening meals. Breakfasts are always eggs, cereals, toast or porridge, Lunches are mostly soup.

Start with the freezer, cupboard and fridge contents... see what I've got. Then plan meals that mostly use those and make a note of anything that is missing. Turn the missing list into a shopping list, add on any toiletries or cleaning products and convert that into an online order or go to the supermarket.

Owing to having to replace an expensive appliance I set myself a food budget of just £20 on Jan 1st to last until Jan 10th. Sounds impossible but I have a full freezer, cupboards of dry ingredients, lots of long-life stuff in the fridge and the £20 went a very long way yesterday at Sainsbury's buying perishables like vegetables!

Wow £20! I'm impressed. Have started to list what i have so will sit down to look at what meals i can make with that in a bit.
Half my problem is i have lost enthusiasm for cooking i think. Batch cooking will help here, so not having to cook from scratch every night.
Just need to be more organised about it, and keep the teens from eating the planned supplies grin

Rockchick1984 Fri 04-Jan-13 17:47:04

Agree with Cog I plan a week at a time, meat etc will always last more than one meal so my week may look like:

Sunday - roast dinner

Monday omelette, pie or something with the leftover meat from the roast. I'll then use the last bits to make a soup for lunch for Tuesday.

Tuesday - Spaghetti bolognese (using half a pack of mince, other half in the freezer)

Wednesday - chicken curry - make a huge portion and freeze half to have on a night I can't be bothered cooking or haven't done a big shop.

Thursday - chilli with the other half pack of mince served with rice

Friday - leftover chilli put in wraps, topped with cheese then baked in the oven

Saturday - usually something out of the freezer I've batch cooked as Saturdays we try to go out for the day as a family, so don't want to cook; sometimes beans on toast or something equally easy if we have been out for lunch.

ALWAYS check your shopping list against what is in the cupboard, I've bought stuff I already had in before but also done it the other way and run out of something like pasta that we rarely have to buy so can't make what I'd planned!

Virgil Fri 04-Jan-13 18:16:02

My top tip is every week try to buy one store cupboard item. Then you quickly build up a stock of things that will help you to bulk out other meals such as red lentils, pearl barley, oats etc.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 04-Jan-13 18:55:38

My £20-worth of veggies will be starring in the following this week. Everything else we already had in the house

Saturday.... Chicken Fajitas with peppers
Sunday... Ham joint with baked potatoes and vegetables
Monday... Meatballs in tomato sauce with spaghetti
Tuesday... Leftover ham risotto with peas and mushrooms
Wednesday... Spanish Omelettes with salad
Thursday... Chill Con Carne (out of the freezer) and some rice
Friday... Casserole made with canned tomatoes, sausages and cannellini beans

Lunches will be various vegetable soups and sandwiches.

TBH I'll probably be doing the same thing for the rest of the month because we seem to have spent December stocking up enough food to see us through a short war confused....

41notTrendy Fri 04-Jan-13 19:15:48

I start with what I have already in the fridge and freezer, making sure I'm using up stuff before it goes off! I then plan for a week, I try to make sure we have pasta, rice, beans, chips and potatoes as an accompaniment once in every week. I also aim to do a couple of veggie meals, a fish dish, a chicken, pork, lamb, beef dish each week too. We have loads of cook books so I like to try 1 or 2 new things each week too. I try to make more than we'll eat so I can freeze it.
Don't forget to plan lunches and snacks too.
I then add cleaning stuff, store cupboard stuff into list. And STICK to the list. Actually I find the planning easy its sticking to the list that's the challenge!

Thanks all, i have done my list and started to plan the meals. Didn't get out shopping today as ended up in s and e but shall shop after breakfast tomorrow!

PestoFrostissimos Fri 04-Jan-13 22:26:37

I menu plan on a weekly basis. This means I work out the week's menu on a Monday before doing my weekly supermarket shop. Then it's easy to check what I have in stock and what needs to go on my shopping list.

scaredbutexcited Tue 08-Jan-13 12:37:00

I plan for the week ahead too. I do a meal planner and then make up my shopping list from the ingredients I will need. The things that save me money are:
- Considering buying frozen veg/fruit to minimise waste
- Batch cooking to minimise time/make sure use up ingredients
- Planning any expected leftovers into a meal later in the week (eg chicken to fajitas, leftover veg from roast to bubble and squeak (great light meal with poached eggs on top))
- Using own/value brands where no real difference. eg I find no difference in tesco value pasta and around a third of the price!
- I tend to shop on-line too because it helps stop me impulse buying. Also we are a long way from town so if I pick a cheaper delivery slot it is less than the diesel for picking up

Good luck.

LazyMornings Tue 08-Jan-13 22:37:58

Out of curiosity, how much do you spend per week on groceries?

FedupofTurkey Tue 08-Jan-13 22:47:50

Soz for jumping on thread, but i do meal plan but have a problem with kids eating snacks, ie, crisps, chocs, yoghurts earmarked for lunches. One helps themselves, leading to the other doing the same. Without locking it up what would you to stop it

Rockchick1984 Tue 08-Jan-13 23:03:14

If its their lunches, tell them that if they eat them you won't buy more and stick to it! A week of no snacks in with lunch and they won't do it again! If they are too young to understand this I'd just put them in a cupboard out I reach.

I agree if they are gone they are gone. I tend not to buy too much like that stops me stuffing my face

My food shop is normally £65-85 depending on cleaning products etc this week with a plan in place it was £34.23!!! I had alot in that i thought should be used up really and have planned around that!

FedupofTurkey Wed 09-Jan-13 16:49:50

They are old enough to understand. I put it in a high cupboard, they climb up and blame each other, apart from the one who misses out cos i know he won't take without asking

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now