With the determination to get ORGANISED, as one of my goals for 2013, I have begun to think about meal planning and the real need for it in our family. When I do it, the week is so much smoother. I have not got back into it due to school holidays and the fact we are STILL waiting on our new fridge. Our others are so old and small that there is really no space to be organised, if that makes sense. My parents are here for a visit next week, for 12 days, so meal planning will have to wait.
I have, however, been busy playing around with some ideas so I can get straight into it. I have made some templates and am going to try something different for a month and see how it goes. As well as dinner, I am going to attempt to plan lunches for school and Kindy as well. I work as a Learning Support Coordinator at a high school, 3 days a week and am looking at starting to teach Speech and Drama lessons again, one afternoon a week. Busy, busy, means extra planning. I will let you know how it goes. For now, please feel free to print off the template below.
HOW TO USE THE TEMPLATE
1. Write in the days of the week (Your Day 1 might be Friday, depending on when you shop)
2. Look at your Family Planner and note down any activities for the week. Include nights when someone will be home late and will need dinner kept or no dinner at all. This helps decide what type of meal you will have. For example: We get home at 5.30pm on a Wednesday from tennis and my kids are 6pm eaters. I either have to cook something the night before or plan to have BBQ chicken from the supermarket and ready to go vegetables. This might also determine some lunches.
3. Now fill in your choices for dinner. Do this first as you might be able to use leftovers for school lunches. My daughter doesn’t mind cold pasta with cheese and peas and sauce, for lunch so whenever I cook pasta for dinner, I will do extra. If Rogey Bear is at Day Care, they heat up food if need so I kill 2 bids with one stone.
4. Now fill in the plan for lunches. This is going to be interesting.
5. Have your shopping list ready. Remember to check your cupboard so you don’t buy something you already have.
When planning dinners, you obviously have to take your family’s tastes into account. I do not cook two different meals as my kids know that dinner is dinner. There are times I am accommodating to them though. Our son is not the best vegetable eater and raw vegetables are a definite no. Therefore salad can be difficult. Our daughter loves raw capsicum and carrots so she is half way there.
On the nights I plan fish and salad, I might have to deviate. We all eat the fish. Hubby and I will have salad. Gabby will have the carrot, cucumber, capsicum, grated cheese and 1 or 2 small pieces of lettuce. Rogan will have the cheese. To help dinner along I give him a fruit salad and a small bread roll or I will whip up some frozen vegetables.
This meal type is only ever once a week as it is too hard doing it other times.
PRINT out the PDF below and have a go.