Anyone else have a flash back to the 90s? Anyone?
All jokes aside though, meal planning take a bit of work. We have a few steps we follow to help us be successful in setting up food we want to eat each week. Plans often start with a roast, which is the base for one meal. Leftovers are used for at least one other meal as well as lunches and snacks. Bones are tossed in to a stockpot with some vegetables that are sadder than they should be and turned in to stock. The stock becomes a base for sauces and soups, or is reduced down and concentrated to make instant soups. Step by step, this is how we plan it:
- Look at the schedule for the next week. As an example, next week, I would like to eat this cream cheese and winter vegetable galette. I’ve added a placeholder recipe with a link to the post as I’m not interested in entering a recipe to the collection right this minute. Later, I’ll edit the recipe so it’s all right there in the collection.
- Review sales at the store(s) we plan on shopping at. This may influence staple purchases (like flour and rice; why not buy it on sale?) or change our meat usage (pork roast is on sale? guess what roasted meat we’re having on Sunday).
- Add meals to the plan. Sunday is usually a roasted meat of some sort, and is often based on what our favorite butchers have on sale (see above). We try to do at least two almost to fully vegetarian (I say almost because we may use a bit of bacon or chicken/beef/lamb/pork stock in an otherwise vegetarian dish) meals a week, two to three three low-meat meals, and two to three meatier meals.
- Review the plan to ensure everything makes sense in its place.
- Build & sort a shopping list. (I’m told the Meal Planning Board should be auto-sorting this week).
- Go Shopping.
- Again, review the plan and make adjustments as necessary. As an example, this week, we have a meal that’s centered around winter greens on Thursday. However, the collared greens we purchased (I wasn’t happy with the Swiss Chart that was available at the store this weekend) for it may not be fresh by then. So, we’ll switch Monday with Thursday.
This is all very adaptable. I could start entirely with things I want to make. Or I could start just with what’s on sale, and only buy items that are on sale/have coupons. This makes being a substitute wizard helpful (though plans are to have the Meal Planning Board be able to do this for you). You could also start by looking in the fridge/freezer and building up meals from there. We sometimes freeze extra soup or sauce and use “what’s in the freezer” as our starting point.
How do you plan your meals?