Menu Planning…

Yesterday was Sunday and one of my weekly tasks then is to plan out our menus for the week. Yes, I actually sit down, write and print a menu that hangs on our fridge all week.

Of course, due to the finicky eating associated with her autism, PanKwake almost never eats what is on it. So I do menu planning just for me and Cookie Monster. But it is so worth it.

And here’s why…

2016-11-07-2It actually saves time. Yes, I may spend half an hour, forty-five minutes, maybe even more at the computer every Sunday. But how many times have you stood in your kitchen with fridge or cabinets open thinking ‘Now what’s for dinner?’ Add that time up over the course of a week or a month and you understand why I make the time for this one.

It saves money…and the environment too. Have you ever gone through your fridge looking for something and found…mystery meat or a very different kind of ‘green’ veg? Menu planning also means taking inventory of what you have in the fridge/freezer…and using up leftovers…before they end up in the recycling bin (assuming you are lucky enough to have food recycling). That is good for your pocket book and Pacha Mama.

It saves hassle with grocery shopping too. Once you take that inventory and make your menu, then you will know exactly what you do need from the store…minimizing impulse buying and again saving you £££ or $$$ or whatever. And if you are like me, it saves you headaches too, because it also minimizes those…’Darn it, I forgot….’ that always seem to happen the moment you start to unpack your bags.

It encourages you to try new things. Every week I make a concerted effort to search the internet for at least one new recipe to try. Yes, I know I said that I don’t use recipes…and I don’t exactly but they give me ideas of how I could make the same thing or something similar.

It makes things easy for you…and them. How many times at the end of the day have you thought… ‘what’s for dinner?’ This way you don’t have to actually think on your feet when you have already had a full day. You just look on the fridge. That works the other way too… if you get tired of hearing those same words from your beloved or the kids, this is the perfect solution. In fact, in this house it has become a tradition. Last week, I was so busy that I did not do it…and several times I caught Cookie Monster looking at the old one and looking disappointed as he turned to me and asked that question. I learned my lesson…

Today is Meatball Monday, which is sort of a joke in this house. You see for his birthday I threw a dinner party and one of the starters was Swedish meatballs. I had never made them before so I actually looked up a recipe…but as I said in the end I combined two of them.

Then last week I created my own when I thawed and spiced what I thought was chicken breasts. it turned out to chicken mince (burger for us Americans). So thinking on my feet I became Mexican meatballs over rice. That was one of those times when I knew it was either going to be inedible or a new fav. It was the latter…and I joked that we should start Meatball Mondays just to see how many different options we could come up with.

Tonight is Chinese ones with carrot, ginger and green onion. We’ll see how this one comes out…so I guess…

It also allows your humor and personality to shine through…


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