Foody thoughts

When I got back from England, I made a decision that I’d get a bit better with my food planning and budgeting. Every week I was spending too much on food and ending up with far more than I needed, often ending up throwing things away. I’d write a list without any real idea of what I’d do for meals during the week (other than vague thoughts of perhaps a chicken something) and then end up adding lots of things on whims as I went around the store.

Not a good method. And expensive.

I do my grocery shopping on Fridays (so that fresh ingredients for special weekend meals are as fresh as possible without needing freezing) so I sit down on Wednesday or Thursday and plan out the menu. Then I write the shopping list from that. It’s been working really well. The new menu goes up on the fridge every Saturday (I do Sat-Fri just in case I can’t get to the store on Friday) and the old menu goes into a drawer. This way I have records of what I’ve done to refer back to when I get stuck for inspiration. It also means that I can get a better balance between cheap, tasty yet nutritious food and more expensive, tasty and nutritious food.

Anyone interested in a weekly menu post? Yes? No?

It’s been working really well, but this week it has fallen over. Saturday was supposed to be Ginger Beef with Broccoli in the slowcooker. My aunt decided that she didn’t want my shoulder taxed and bought me dinner at a local steak house instead 🙂

Sunday was going to be either left-overs from Saturday if there were any or sausages, mash and veg. I decided to substitute the sausages for shrimp cakes (because I forgot to defrost the sausages – d’oh!) and couldn’t carry the potatoes from the market, so the mash was left out.

Yesterday was supposed to be pesto baked chicken with pasta. And it actually was! But I’m not very happy with it. The pesto I tried had a better consistency than the last lot (i.e. not a few herbs floating in a ton of oil) but there was no flavour. None. It smelled a little herby, but flavour? Missing entirely. I still have a bit of it left, enough for a serving of pasta with something else. Bugger. I’m going to check out the Italian deli in the city at the weekend. If I can’t find anything decent there, I’ll be looking for my own recipe.

Tonight was going to be pork baked with apple and some veg. But apparently I overestimated the amount of pork I had, which is in fact, er, none. So I took some frankfurters out of the freezer because they were the first thing to come to hand and I was in a hurry. No, I don’t know what I’ll be doing with them yet.

I’ve forgotten what I was doing tomorrow. Something with minimal effort because it’s Skype night with my parents. Thursday is home made beef burgers with salad, because it is both very fast to do (shape mince into patties, dry-fry, slap on buns, put dressing onto salad, voila!) and filling, which is important on knit night. Friday is marked as freezer-dive and veg, so probably filo wrapped shrimp.

Surely nothing else can go wrong with this week’s menu?

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cristina
    Apr 01, 2009 @ 05:20:03

    I have had good luck with supermarket pesto, but occasionally make my own.
    Blitz through the blender 3 good handfuls of basil leaves, half a clove of garlic, a good glug of oil, some grated parmesan, salt and pepper to taste. Adjust things for flavour (although beware that the garlic overpowers really easily in this particular recipe) and enjoy!
    If you put it in a jar and cover the top with a layer of oil, it will keep in the fridge for quite a long time.

    I also plan my meals like that, although I normally do my shopping on Mondays-Tuesdays (planning on Sunday evenings, ’cause that is easy pizza dinner day). It really helps the budget and then I don’t spend a while on the day thinking what I want for dinner.


    • archerygirl
      Apr 01, 2009 @ 11:22:13

      I had a brand that I liked in England, but so far none of the supermarket brands in Canada have measured up 😦 So I’ll be making my own, I suspect 🙂

      It really does make the entire meal process so much easier to plan like that and the food budget is already showing an improvement. I had been doing my shopping on Mondays, but the weekend is when I do most of my creative cooking and I hated having to freeze half the ingredients so that they’d still be OK by the weekend. So I switched to Fridays and make sure that Friday supper is something that isn’t dependent on me having done a supermarket run that day.


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