Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Meal planning

Pretty much everything's easier when you plan, but sometimes it's just not that easy to get round to the planning. 

Without planning of some kind, eating in this house tends to drift towards foraging, pecking at bread and jam, uncooked porridge, and fruit. For breakfast, dinner, and tea. Homemade bread, and a fair bit of fruit, but hardly what you'd call a balanced diet. 

So I've taken matters in hand and done a meal plan for the next few days. It looks like this:

I've done meal plans before, big, long, protracted affairs, with every meal plus snacks in little squares. Sometimes it works for a while, sometimes it doesn't. The beauty of this simple meal plan is that it uses what we've got in the house and allows us to improvise. It also means if we're running late for something, or if one of us fancies making a more extravagant meal, then we can switch them round and make the most suitable for that day. 

I haven't planned lunches and breakfasts right now, I'll see how the evening goes, and hopefully having a meal planned in advance will cut down a bit on the bread and jam at least.

Bread and jam IS gorgeous though... :) 

I know meal planning is good, it's one of the key things to help cut down spending, especially on quick trips to the corner shop. It also helps avoid eating nothing but bread and jam (did I mention that already?) And it takes the effort out of wondering what to make and staring at the fridge when you're hungry. But somehow I don't find it very interesting....

This is what I saw when I went to look in our fridge when thinking about this post.

Some carrots, half a courgette, some chopped onions in a bowl. A huge tub of natural yogurt (my yogurt making efforts have temporarily fallen by the wayside after two spoiled batches). Two nearly empty pots of jam, with a bit of water in each, swished round to make a sweet jammy water that will go into the next batch of bread. 

I think on tomorrow's to do list might include a clean out and clear out of the fridge :) It's easier to be enthusiastic about making food when you can see exactly what you've got. I LOVE cooking, but sometimes I forget that I do. I forget that I find it soothing and cheery, and reach instead for the bread knife.
Tomorrow I'll clean out the fridge, and make the tea in advance, to be heated up in the evening. And I'll try to reconnect a bit with my food, try to see meal planning as a pleasure not a chore. And try not to eat more than four or five slices of bread and jam :) 

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