Sunday, March 15, 2009

Menu Planning

I've always loosely planned our weekly meals and enjoyed the flexibility of grabbing groceries anytime or ordering as a back up plan. Now that I'm back at work grocery shopping time is very limited and since Petra is eating real food, I actually have to have real food ready for her. 

Since I've been back to work, I've created a new normal. During the week I rush out of the office to pick my daughter up, get her home for dinner/bath/bed, and that's it - there isn't time for shopping or even a stop at the gas station. 

Last week was a struggle of putting together awful meals from the fridge. By Friday I had decided it was time to formalize a meal plan. I started by writing down a list of our favourite meals, then I made a shopping list, then I checked an online flyer for deals, and then did the shopping. I know it's really simple but it's new to me and I think it'll work for us. The beauty of a meal plan is that I also know what prep to do the night before if necessary. 

Am I really late in this whole menu planning thing? Are you all doing it already?


  1. I think that's awesome, Gina!
    I had tried to plan a week's worth of menus a while ago, and didn't stick with it. It was just too convenient for me to stop off for groceries on the way home from work.
    But menu planning is definitely something I should get prepared for before I go back to work.

  2. I go through periods of meal planning, then I don't do it for a while but I have to admit that I love it when I get around to it. I really find that it makes everything so much easier, I know what we're going to have, the shopping is quick and I'm not leaving with a bunch of stuff I don't need.

    I just haven't figured out a good way of doing it so that I can keep it up.

  3. Oh man... meal planning... it's something I need to do. I can barely get a list together for the grocery store. I can get away with this for now while on Mat Leave, but when I go back to work my time will be even more strained with 2 kids to pick up, feed, bathe and bed.


  4. We're BIG on the meal planning around here! It's amazing how quickly we revert to take-out if I don't plan. Once a month or so I spend a bit of weekend time prepping stuff for my freezer (soup, meatloaf, etc). I'm also a huge fan of the following convenience kitchen appliances: slow cooker, bread maker, & steamer. With these you can spend time giving the kids some cheerios & attention while you wait for your home-cooked dinner to go "ding". E-mail me if you want some baby-friendly recipes. I've got a slow-cooker beef bourguignonne recipe that is killer!

  5. I WISH I was better at menu planning, it's definitely something I want to do.

    I once came across a website that let you do menu planning online plus gave you the nutritional information behind the meal. It's killing me that I can't find it anymore!!

  6. I meal plan and have been since we moved here, it's the only way I'd survive! That's my evening activity the day the flyers are delivered, I sit with them and my cookbooks and figure out what's on the menu. It's been a lifesaver and I love seeing the list on the fridge knowing I don't have to worry about dinner- I've already planned it! Sadly enough I even plan my baking and snacks- I think I may have control issues:)