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Anyone menu plan/shop on a monthly cycle rather than weekly?

(12 Posts)
Helgathehairy Fri 23-May-14 21:46:23

Been wondering about this. I'm not the best at menu planning and do a lot of impulse buying when doing the grocery shop. Internet shopping isn't an option where I live.

If I planned and shopped per month and picked up milk, bread, fruit & veggies weekly I think it might cut down on the impulse purchases.

I've got about 20 days dinners planned for June, I have a few still to figure out but does anyone do it or is it too awkward?

Iamnotanugget Sat 24-May-14 04:58:43

I meal plan monthly. When I started it used to take ages but I can do it fairly quickly now. It also took me a while to gague how much stuff we'd get through, for example I'd think we didn't need tomato puree as there was half a tube in the fridge but then it would run out before the month was up.

I usually meal plan 3 less dinners than needed as I find something will come up like we end up having a take away or eating at pil. Even if we eat at home all month I put extra portions in the freezer so it may mean the last couple of days we're all eating something different but as everything just needs re-heating in the microwave it's no effort. I plan all my lunches but usually a few that can 'roll over' to the next month like beans on toast. For breakfast I get a couple of boxes of cereal but when it gone it's gone. There's always porridge or I'll make a loaf for toast.

I think we eat better this way as we have something different everyday. When I did weekly planning the same meals would come round again and again. I think it's cheaper too as I'm more likely to benefit from offers and because I only need milk and fruit during the rest of the month I don't wander down the other aisles and get tempted.

I do! Totally recommend it. I started with a meal plan for weeks 1-4. Some meals are repeated but there's more variety than weekly shopping. Then I tried to work out how much of everything we need. It's trial and error for the first few months but then you start to get quantity right. I also benefit from special offers. If you ordered online with click and collect your list is saved for next time

Lilbup Sat 24-May-14 07:25:13

I've just started to do this last month and so far it has worked really well. I did one really big shop at Aldi at the start of the month buying as much as possible there. I then did one shop with Ocado ordering anything I wasn't able to get or things that we don't like from Aldi. For the rest of the month I've only had to buy things like fruit, veg and milk and it does seem to have really cut down how much we're spending.

RabbitSaysWoof Sat 24-May-14 13:34:09

Watching with interest.

Helgathehairy Sat 24-May-14 15:38:06

Hadn't thought of aldi. We used to do some of our shop there but would always end up having to go to tesco anyway. Might be worth doing one big monthly shop though for everything we could get there.

QuiteQuietly Sat 24-May-14 16:04:21

We do this. But three-weekly, as we have a six week menu. I plan 5 meals a week, and allow two nights of people out/visiting family/foraging at the bottom of the freezer. It took us a few cycles to really get to grips with how much we would actually need, but we now have two definitive shopping lists saved online now (one for each three-weekly shopping cycle) which makes life much easier. I check the wine situation and that's it. We just buy milk and fruit/veg most weeks and any bargainous yellow-stickered stuff. In the summer we tend to just buy milk, as the garden veg does well - eventually I'd like to extend our growing season and get another freezer with the eventualy aim of losing the top-up milk/veg shop. Not having to think about food shopping is glorious and I have little self-control so staying out of shops is a must.

winnertakesitall Sat 24-May-14 16:11:45

I've also been looking at sites which show you how to freeze sandwich bags full of the ingredients you need to defrost and put in the slow cooker the next day. Very interesting- and think I'll give it a go at some point. Would save me time in the morning when we're all screaming to get out the house!

Lioninthesun Sat 24-May-14 16:13:56

I do this in Aldi. It was the only way I could save enough to pay the energy bills! You can freeze far more than you think; I always have a few loaves of bread and 4 pinters of milk in there! Frozen veg is (IIRC) supposed to be better than fresh as it seals in all vits rather than loosing them in transit, so we have a few variations. I also have a raised bed for root veg in the garden so you can't get fresher than that! I have a freezer drawer for veg, one for fish, one for milk and bread and bottom one for meat. I am always thinking about a chest freezer as we do a lot of slow cooker meals which can be used for AGES - and it is not great living on the same meals every other day just to use it up! I think it saves about £60 a month and it also cuts down on impulse buying of crisps and choc as you only go in the once! grin

QuiteQuietly Sat 24-May-14 16:24:29

winner That sounds interesting - any good links? Could be a good project for the kids.

heymammy Sat 24-May-14 16:28:43

I have a 3-week meal planner, I think because I could only think of that many dinners that everyone would eat hmm. It works really well and saves loads of time/money.

Rachie1986 Sat 24-May-14 20:56:45

Going to try this I think!

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