My fridge, or more specifically my fridge door, has been a source of great mirth amongst my friends of late. They have recently discovered the extent of my weekly menu planning and, for reasons that totally escape me, think they are hilarious. I'm not a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kinda girl. My husband jokes that I can only be spontaneous if I'm given two weeks warning and some sort of hint as to what direction the spontaneity might be heading in. I laugh right along with him on that because, yeah, he's pretty much right. I'm heaps better now that we have the kids than I used to be. But still not great. Part of my need to know what's happening, have a routine and be super organised comes from sheer genetics (hi Dad!!). Part is from being a Capricorn - look it up, it's me to a T. All list making and routine oriented. And some is from the OCD too - when things aren't 'under control' I don't cope so well, so being organised helps me keep it all under control.
So why the menu planning? First off it does help me get organised. I use the plan to write up my shopping list then I know that I have everything I need in order to make the week's meals, it reduces waste and helps cut down on unscheduled trips to the shop where I end up spending another fifty bucks of stuff I didn't actually need at all.
Also, by jotting down what else is going on for each day I have a better idea of what I need to work around. For example, #1's football practise is on Friday afternoons and he and his Dad rarely get in before 6.45pm. #2 can't wait that late for dinner so I need something that can either be reheated easily or served an hour apart and still be edible for both parties (the slow cooker comes in super-handy here).
And finally, by sticking it on the front of the fridge I live in hope that if Hubby gets home before me he might start dinner. Or that the kids (okay, only the older one can actually read it) will see it and stop asking me "What's for dinner?" all the time. Wishful thinking on both parts but worth a try!
I also tack on the plan whatever I'm planning to bake for the week. For this week I'm hoping to whip up some min-quiches for the kids lunchboxes and I found an apple cake that I'd like to try.
The thing that really made everyone laugh is that I also note where the recipe is from. As far as I'm concerned this makes perfect sense. I have close on 80 cookbooks and about the same number of foodie mags. If I don't write down where the recipe came from I'd have to spend hours searching for the darn thing!
Amid the laughing at my menu-planning and then generally picking on me for my anal-retentive, OCD, crazy ways a couple of friends did agree that the menu-pan was in fact a good idea and few even went so far as to ask me to post up my plans so they can get some meal ideas too. So, here's this week's menu-plan.
Monday: Cottage Pie
Tuesday: Herb Crusted Fish with Roasted Asparagus
Wednesday: Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Casserole
Thursday: Fish Pot Pies
Friday: Sausage Sizzle
Saturday: out (or if we get home and need dinner, leftovers from the freezer)
Sunday: Slow Cooked Beef Hotpot
Do you menu plan? If you do, do you just jot down a bunch a meals to make in the week or do you plan what day you'll be having them? C'mon people, I need to feel not so alone in the crazy here!