Meal planning is something I don’t particularly enjoy – I love cooking but often feel uninspired when faced with a blank piece of paper to sit down and decide what we should eat this week. And I don’t want to be eating new things every day, or eating the same things every week. I read something (though I’ve now lost the link) a couple of weeks ago about someone who recommended meal planning on a monthly basis – having a list of 30 things that you like to eat and sticking to it, changing the order about every month.

This sounded like a great idea. I could easily come up with a list of 30 dishes that we could eat. Though some were a bit nebulous, eg stir fry or pie, so I could mix it up a bit and not do exactly the same every time. But then I thought that actually I don’t stick to my weekly meal plan when I make one, as I cook things on the wrong days, have a day where I just heat up something from the freezer, or unexpectedly need to do something with leftovers. So I wasn’t sure that deciding what we would eat a month in advance would really work for us. And I don’t always know in advance what things are happening that might influence what I cook – eg trips, visitors, late evenings, etc.

Thinking about it some more what I’ve done is created a list of meals for the month, but not set them by days. Then at the weekend I decide which we’re going to eat that week.

So I’m combining the best of both worlds – having a master list of food for the month, with the flexibility of a weekly menu. And I’ve stuck it up on the cupboard in the kitchen so it’s easily accessible. So far it seems to be working as I know what we’re going to eat and so what I need to buy, we have a range of different meals on a weekly and monthly basis, I have the space to change my mind, and with “new recipe” as one of my monthly items we get to try new things too. I also include dessert, so that’s getting a bit more varied too, rather than just yoghurt all the time, with the occasional appelmoes to mix it up a bit!

So definitely a win:win!

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