Saturday, February 28, 2009

Dinner Menu Plan

I have found the easiest way to not waste food in my household is to do a fortnightly dinner plan. I've been cooking for them for over 9 years now, so it's not hard to figure out what they like and don't like, and by now we have favourite meals. My kids aren't afraid to try anything new either, and Matthew is excitedly learning how to cook.

For example this week, my dinner menu is as follows:-

Saturday - leftovers (hot pot, tuna bake, sandwiches, whatever is in the fridge that has to be used up)
Sunday - Family Chowder
Monday - Muffin Pizzas (Matthew's turn to cook) and Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Tuesday - a different Pasta Bake (different recipe from the one last week to add variety)
Wednesday - Spaghetti/bacon bread cases (again, Matthew's turn to cook)
Thursday - home made pasta
Friday - Shepherds Pie
Saturday - Leftovers (from a Huuuuuuuge lunch we're having that day)

So how do I do the dinner plan?
Depending on what's going on, how much money we have, how much I can be bothered spending, how adventurous I'm feeling, I'll do the following (or a combination of both:-

1. Sit down and look through my Super Food Ideas Magazines and come up with a few simple recipes. It keeps me motivated to cook, and their recipes are so easy to follow and fool proof. I started buying their magazines before they published monthly ones, and have so many now that I don't need to buy any more, and just re-read older magazines to 'trick' me into thinking it's a new one.

2. Look in my pantry and fridge, decide what needs to be used up and how quickly it needs to be used, what I have available, and design recipes accordingly.

My big meat shop is in just over a week to allow room in my fridge/freezer for this Saturday's BIG DO. I am going to try using Spring Hill Beef Hampers and that's why there's a lot of bacon being used in my menu this week. I'm clearing out my freezer, and I only have ham and bacon left, which is absolutely fine with me. I bought mince specifically today for Friday's dinner.

Get the kids involved. Mine really love to help as much as they can, and although sometimes it doesn't look as appetising, they have to start somewhere right?

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