Today I’m joining with Lori at the Boutelle Family Blog and Ashley at Grace Mountain Diaries for This Is How We Do It. These are two new blogs that I found recently and we met through the LYBS group on Facebook.
Recently we’ve tried to plan our meals a bit better rather than getting to dinner time and trying to decide what to make then. Also it means that I can try to make sure that they are on SW plan rather than winging it and hoping that it’s “good”.
In our kitchen we have a chart that sticks to the fridge, unfortunately at the moment the glue on it snapped but it’s still in the kitchen so we can see the list.
I start by looking at our diary and filling in who’s out in the evening and the time we need to be out – it means that if I’m not on dinner, the boys know who’s here and when dinner needs to be made by.
I have a rough idea of the dishes I like to make (not just liking to eat) and which days they fit in with plans for example something that takes lots of work would be better on a night where we don’t have anything to do and something simple like Spaghetti Bolognese would work better on a day when we need a quick tea.
I then have a look at what we have at home, starting with the freezers, then the fridge and the pantry. A new idea we are trialling is to keep a list of the vegetables in the fridge on the Wunderlist app. That way we can see what’s in the fridge at home before buying more that we won’t necessarily use. On a Wednesday we get a delivery of fresh vegetables from Seasons Fruit and Veg. It can be pot luck as to what you get each week and some weeks we find that we have heaps of one thing and hardly any of another but we make it work, for example we had carrots in the lasagne we had last week, I chuck leek into spaghetti sauce instead of normal onion (Although we have a mound of onions! Might have to make up onion soup for Chris!).
Once I’ve checked what we have I assign different meals to the days, as I plan the meal I add what we’re missing to the bottom list. I also add milk and bread. We try to keep a bottle of milk in hand. So at the moment we have 2 x 4 pint bottles of milk in the fridge. This means that in theory by the time we run out of the second bottle I’ve had chance to replace the first and we don’t run out completely.
We tend to shop around for our groceries, so after writing my list of items needed, I go down the list and add an initial depending on which shop I need to go to. 99% of the baby food that Jaxon eats comes from Tesco whereas nearly all our other groceries come from Aldi or Iceland. This is mainly due to the fact that Iceland has hardly any baby products at all, Aldi has a larger range but the baby food section is still tiny, whereas Tesco has a whole side of aisle devoted to baby food and other baby feeding products. If it’s a big shop, then I’ll rewrite the list with the items grouped together by store (if I’m extra organised I’ll write them in the rough order they are in the store too. Makes the trips a heap quicker.
What do I need?
You don’t need anything complicated. You can start with a page in a notebook or spend out on a pad like ours. Our pad happened to be on offer when we were in the supermarket but if you want a printable that you can have a go with, try this one from Ashley at Hello Nature (I love how colourful it is!). This combines it all into one sheet rather than the two that I have but you could also print two copies and use one for the copy you take with you and then the second copy could stay at home on the refrigerator. Then either use your imagine to piece ingredients together or grab a recipe book and start there. See what you can do with the ingredients you have in your cupboards.