We’re now into week 7 of lockdown and I’m still enjoying menu planning and cooking. We’ve not had any disasters yet although N wasn’t impressed with my super loaded savoury tart. Sometimes before a shop the food choices do get limited, and last week I did get a bit desperate for veg. We just about eked it out.

People often don’t know where to start with meal planning, but I find it’s most helpful to keep a list and just add to it – both for recipe ideas and jotting down ingredients to add to a shopping list.

3 week meal plan and planning process

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My meal planning process:

I plan my week’s meals as I’m thinking about doing or getting shopping. 

As I spot recipes on pinterest, blogs or instagram, I’ll make a note of them

I add them to my meal plan.

Then add missing ingredients to my shopping list.

Try to mix up the meals so I’ve a good spread of meal base across the week – either by protein or veg/salad, or spreading out when we have pasta.

Generally it’s worked well, although there have been a couple of times where I’ve had to shift things where I’ve run out of something earlier than planned. Or where we’ve had leftovers to use up instead. We also get meals back from the farm where they’ve cooked a larger amount to pass on some to use as well (the turkey pie, and the Easter Turkey roast). That meant a couple of adjustments too, but as long as I’ve not defrosted meat it’s usually ok.

I also include a couple of puddings in the week – so Saturday and Sunday we’ll always have pudding. I might make a cake or something similar that they can eat through the week as a pudding. Noone seems to be biting at the pack of ice creams in the freezer. If N is desperate for a pudding, he’ll at least eat tinned fruit with cream, ice cream or custard. He seems to have gone off yoghurt unfortunately – or is just fussy about which ones he likes (the expensive ones,  which he’ll have to wait until they’re on offer again!).

After 6 weeks of meal plans I’m now starting to redo dishes. We have regular favourites that are easy and fast, or I can make enough to have it for leftovers the next day (bolognese and then lasagne). I do have to amend some if I can’t get hold of certain things in the shops – e.g my tortillas in the larder turned out to be 2 years out of date and uneatable – should really improve my stock rotation when I buy new packs. I couldn’t get fresh lasagne either, so won’t be able to make pasta roll ups, so it would need to be dry sheets instead for a normal lasagne.

Here’s the last 3 weeks of meal planning, with my keto alternatives where I did them.

Week 4 meal plan

Sunday – Roast turkey, sausagemeat stuffing (courtesy of the mother in law), roast potatoes and veg

Monday – leftover cold turkey, ham, salad and jacket potatoes

Tuesday – as on Monday.

Wednesday – beefburgers, potato wedges and salad

Thursday – Chicken in Nandos mild marinade, boiled potatoes and veg (N loved this – he’s never had Nandos before)

Friday – pizza, salad, garlic bread and chips. Keto: fathead dough pizza plus salad

Saturday – minced beef hotpot with veg (I used my Le Creuset casserole dish* birthday present for the first time)

Week 5 meal plan

Sunday – Gammon, roast potatoes and veg

Monday – Turkey and ham. Keto – mince leftovers with veg

Tuesday – Ham with jackets and salad

Wednesday – Chicken Parmigiana (forgot to fry and brown off the chicken with breadcrumbs before putting it on the sauce, but still worked out nicely)

Thursday – Tomato, veg and bacon pasta bake with garlic bread. Keto – tomato and veg ‘sauce’ with courgetti

Friday – Breadcrumbed fish and chips. Keto – cheese and veg omelette with salad

Saturday – Sausages, mash and beans. Keto: with garlic cauliflower mash and peas

chicken parmigaina
Chicken Parmigiana

Week 6 menu plan

Sunday – Roast beef, yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and veg

Monday – cold beef salad and jacket potatoes

Tuesday – chicken in lemon sauce (Mary Berry recipe)

Wednesday – super loaded bacon, potato and tomato savoury tart

Thursday – Pasta bolognese. Keto – bolognese with courgetti

Friday – Port steaks in evaporated milk sauce with mash and veg (sounds bizarre, tasted really nice)

Saturday – Griddled gammon steaks with fried eggs and chips. Keto – gammon, eggs and salad

I had a shopping delivery on Sunday morning, so had already done my menu planning for the next week, and will share that in a few weeks. I’ll also eventually get some of my recipes shared.

Check out week 1-3 meal plan.

Linking up with Meal Planning Linky over at Katy Kicker’s.

Do you meal plan? What are some of your favourites that all the family like?

11 Comments

  1. You eat so well for three weeks. I do meal plan but do it weekly, I didn’t used to and found it cost more and was more stressful, and now I wouldn’t not meal plan. You have reminded me to get some Nando’s sauce, the husband loves it.

    • Emma

      I only do a plan for each week, just then collate them all together for my post! I’m not superwoman at meal planning doing a month in advance or anything! This way I can move things around depending on what shopping we end up with.

  2. Wow I’m impressed you have such a variety over the three weeks, downside to having 2 fussy eaters.

    I think i need to try them with Chicken Parmigiana and see if they eat it as it looks delicious!

    • Emma

      I try and avoid too much sameness. The OH gets bored and then bans a dish if we’ve had it too often. He’s the fussiest because he won’t eat whole cuisines like chinese, thai or indian, and he also moans about rice or grains etc. So it does make it a bit too meat and 2 veg for my liking. Hence trying to mix it up. Struggling this week as need to get more meat in.

  3. Sounds like you’ve got some delicious meal plans! It’s hard to eke things out isn’t it but sounds like you’re doing well!

  4. Meal Planning is what keeps me sane some weeks. Makes everything less stressful haha.

    My family are currently loving anything with cauliflower.

    • Emma

      I use cauliflower a lot too. Thankfully everyone in our house likes it (although I don’t like it as ‘rice)

  5. I think meal planning makes life so much easier! I plan ahead too, but try to keep things flexible, because as you say, life happens and things come up!

    • Yes, it’s not easy when you need to work round what you have in and what the family like/are up to.

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