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3 week menu rota, shopping list organisation

(9 Posts)
tranquilgardens Sat 02-Jul-11 15:33:26

I have a friend who does this, and I am well impressed with her organisational skills, she uses it to go and do her weekly shop with, she manages to use up all her food, within the menu etc.

I am too embarised to ask her how she manages it, and have not got a sample of it, I do know she doesn't do things like chicken two days in a row with leftovers or anything like that.

Does anyone else do this and how do you manage it?

exoticfruits Sun 03-Jul-11 06:35:45

Sounds deadly boring. I think that menu planning and shopping a week in advance is a good idea but not if you are going to have the same in 3 weks time. It needs flexibility and room for new recipes.
The whole point of doing it would be to get the shopping you needed and not have waste-all defeated if you don't use leftovers.
Her organisational skills are not good if she isn't flexible enough to use every part of the chicken-incuding making stock.

fuzzpig Sun 03-Jul-11 06:46:51

I have toyed with the idea of menu planning, and we have a rough idea of meals when I do the weekly online shop. We are getting more organised now.

A 3 week rota sounds really restrictive and boring though, and if you aren't used to doing any meal planning at all, or using up leftovers, then it won't work IME. Baby steps are better than going OTT.

Working to improve basic cooking skills can really help. I run a course for a charity at my local SureStart centre, we do basic recipes like bolognese/soup/fish pie and talk about variations, leftovers etc. As you get more confident you won't need to worry about having the exact ingredients.

I would also really recommend making sure you have plenty of basic ingredients that last longer - frozen veg, tinned fruit/tomatoes/pulses/tuna etc.

Can you tell us a bit more about what you eat and what leftovers you often have?

fuzzpig Sun 03-Jul-11 06:54:16

Forgot to say the problem with such intense planning is that if you change your mind it throws everything out of sync - what if you don't feel like your planned meal, or you get sick during the week? You need to be flexible. It also means you can have room for the odd impulse buy, unexpected special offer or short-dated cheap stuff.

What is your situation with time? You can make big batches of stuff on a day off and freeze it. The other day I bought some cheap fresh mince, squished it into little burgers, wrapped them in clingfilm and froze them. I also often do a big pot of tomato/veg sauce which can be blended and used in all sorts of meals.

feistywife Sun 03-Jul-11 06:55:03

Agree with fruits. Got into system of ordering my shopping online for a weeks worth of planned meals, and while it was economical and a timesaver it was bloody boring after a while! Now I have breaks from it and go back to it.
If your friend has big family, busy job etc can see why she does it- but still- three weeks in advance is pretty incredible. Does it leave any room for spontaneity? What if DC's friends want to stay for lunch/tea? Does it throw the whole system into disarray?! Do they survive on tea and biscuits if accidentally miscalculate?! And where do you store all that food and how can you keep veggies fresh for that long?!

I guess when it comes down to it- it's what works for you and your lifestyle and budget. B*ll*cks to everyone else's... Sorry haven't had first cup of coffee of the day yet- must go and boil kettle and eat todays ration of chocolate suggestives.

tranquilgardens Sun 03-Jul-11 13:48:19

Fuzz, what you described those types of thoughts don't run through my mind at all. I only freeze fruit before it goes off for smoothies as the friend mentioned she does tha. I am just rubbish at this type of thing!

I know how to cook lots of meals and have made so beautiful soups with stock from boiled chicken carcas, I tend to do that sort of thing and stews in the colder times of the year. I freeze things like left over spag bog/chillie etc.

Feisty, how was your tea and chocs?

I see what you mean about boredom and no room for movement!

I would like to get a bit more organised.

Would you be able to help me, I have ordered for the latter part of the week some shopping to be delivered, if I share the list of groceries I have ordered, I can buy some more, can you help me meal plan something nice, obviously I don't know the off by dates yet!? I normally just throw things together and things often end up going in the bin, and I simply can't afford that anymore.

My Mum was even worse than me, if that is possible?

I don't want my children to be useless at this sort of things as well!

fuzzpig Sun 03-Jul-11 13:52:29

Happy to advise smile

tranquilgardens Sun 03-Jul-11 14:02:50

right I will start with the current fridge contents!

I was thinking of freezing the fruit, but if you have something better I can do with it, that would be great!

mascarpone goes off 1/9/2011
cedddar and parmazan various dates
m and s pesto chicken 6/7/2011
salad to be used up today, various
small pot of rice left overs from yesterday

smoothie strip things innocent!

What I would normally do is bake the chicken, and serve with salad and cold rice, followed by fruit salad, and freeze the rest of the fruit.

I will do the list for the latter part of the week, in a moment!

this is much appreciated!

lambethlil Sun 03-Jul-11 14:22:57

Gosh, just ask your friend! How would you feel if a freind asked you to explain how you do something- flattered.

(Then when you've asked her you can tell us how to do it)

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