Meal Plans? I could *totally* do those.

Image: Flickr/NickFarrSo, I’ve been hanging out over at the Blogger.Ed forums today (do join us, we’re friendly) and apparently, some people plan their meals a week in advance. Then they write a shopping list, go shopping, and buy stuff from the list.

I mean, seriously? What kind of crazy, mixed up world are we living in, people?

Obviously, though, as a veritable icon of positive parenting, I could TOTALLY do a meal plan if required. In fact, here’s one I’ve just drawn up based on the last week in our household.

Read it and weep. 

Monday: There’s some fresh pasta spirals left in the fridge. AND THEY’RE IN DATE! Result. Flea and I have pasta and the remains of a jar of pesto, mixed with some broccoli. Followed by grapes.

Tuesday: We’re out all day, so I plan to cook something delicious from the freezer when we get home. Then I look in the freezer. There’s a loaf of bread. We feast on Marmite on Toast. Followed by grapes.

Wednesday: We went to the cinema and gorged on popcorn, then got home late. Flea had some rice with frozen peas and carrots and soy sauce. I had the same, with the daring addition of a tin of tuna. You’d pay a fortune for that sort of cuisine in a fancy restaurant, you know.

Thursday: Flea has Marmite sandwiches made with the rest of the bread, and a yoghurt. The grapes have turned a funny colour, so she has two Oreo cookies for pudding.  I have two bowls of Cheerios, as I’m still working my way through the year’s free supply that some PR agency sent us, and finish up with an avocado.

Friday: Out for dinner at our local restaurant. Flea has chicken and pitta, while I eat the largest piece of goat’s cheese I’ve even seen, with some artistically arranged rocket leaves.

Saturday: We went to M&S and bought picnic foods – bread rolls, ham, olives, bananas, tortilla chips – and took them to the lake and had a picnic lunch and dinner. 

Sunday: No food in house. Ask Flea: “Do you want to ring Grandma and tell her you miss her?”  Result. We score an invite to Sunday dinner. Mum gives us leftovers to bring home.

About 

Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She's also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world's coolest ten year old.

42 Comments

  1. Dan Thornton
    1st September 2010 / 4:47 pm

    There’s a servere lack of ice cream considering the picture illustrating this post (And it should be chocolate chip cookie dough!)
    And the secret for my family is buying a giant bag of pasta, and then just stocking up on tinned tomatos and some basic veg (mushrooms, courgettes etc) each week. It’s the favourite meal for a two year old, and bearable for the adults when we can’t find anything else in the house.

  2. 1st September 2010 / 5:00 pm

    Lol.
    Even I do better than that.
    Although do chicken nuggets count as healthy?
    Please, no one report me to Jamie Oliver- he has a cheek that guy, have you seen how chunky he is these days, if he slid down the Bannister like he did in his first series it’d snap. Shame as he was quite fit back then.

  3. 1st September 2010 / 5:00 pm

    lol – i have convinced myself I will meal plan when I go back to work … watch this space hey ;-).

  4. Elaine
    1st September 2010 / 5:13 pm

    LOL
    We had a very bad week that I am glad I didn’t end up in a school food diary the week before the end of term – I was at the Houses of Parliament for a reception so daddy did tea so fishfingers, chips and baked beans all round… Tuesday boy2 tripped on the journey home from school and split his chin – as I (and the children) left casualty at bathtime we took a detour via a certain takeaway on the way home… then on the Wednesday boy1 had dinner at bowling with the Beavers…
    Off to play ready steady cook for tonights tea now… luckily it was market day yesterday so there are definitely some vegetables in the house

  5. 1st September 2010 / 6:17 pm

    I love going to my Mums as whenever we do she gives me a bag full of food to take home. Its normally things like tins of beans, or packets of rice and quite often packets of meat and cakes that need to be frozen as they were reduced when she went in store a few minutes before we arrived…

  6. 1st September 2010 / 7:42 pm

    Ohhh I love it! Chicken nuggets, fish fingers, pasta and pizza are all eaten regularly at our house… It’s all about what they’ll actually *eat*, particularly Max with his inability to even touch anything that’s remotely wet/slimy!

  7. annabel Watson
    1st September 2010 / 8:35 pm

    love it sounds like my household, unfortunately we live in Switzerland and Grannie is in the UK so don’t have that luxury for Sunday lunch

  8. 1st September 2010 / 8:40 pm

    oh do love the comments on this post more than i love the post!!
    I’m glad that actually my mish mash of meals doesnt suddenly seem so bad!

  9. 1st September 2010 / 8:51 pm

    The ice cream is only for adults. And I must never tell Flea I’ve eaten it, either.
    You’re right on pasta but our version is pesto, and add in assorted frozen vegetables.

  10. 1st September 2010 / 8:52 pm

    You know what, though? I get that it’s poor, but it’s pretty healthy – no processed nonsense, and we have wholegrain pasta and bread, and there are lots of fruits and vegetables, and not much meat. It’s just – you know – a bit unconventional! 😉

  11. 1st September 2010 / 8:53 pm

    Sigh. I dream of having a child who will eat baked beans – Flea won’t touch ’em.

  12. 1st September 2010 / 8:54 pm

    Ah bless, that’s really cool – my Mum does things like say, “Oh, we’ve got too much coffee” because she knows that’s the sort of thing I’ve always forgotten to buy and end up without.

  13. 1st September 2010 / 8:55 pm

    Ah, my nephew was the same with slimy stuff – poor you!

  14. 1st September 2010 / 8:55 pm

    I recommend cultivating elderly friends. Ones who like to cook.

  15. 1st September 2010 / 8:55 pm

    I must confess, I use those Birds Eye bags where you steam the rice AND vegetables together in the microwave for 3 minutes.
    Bad Mummy.

  16. 1st September 2010 / 9:16 pm

    Oh dear not a good idea to read this on the fly when I deperatley need to go to the little girls room – I laughed out loud so much I nearly had a bit of a problem…
    Sorry I am one of those people who do the lists then shop to them…problem is I always start with good intentions then land up “off piste” so to speak…

  17. mathew
    1st September 2010 / 10:55 pm

    i mean to meal plan but it makes me sad as my mum had made one for the whole week she didn’t make it thru. just reminds me of that, so i wing it totally. generally i do ok – before holiday i realised what my missus already knows and that B *won’t* eat the same 2 meals twice in 2 days. ahem!

  18. Nova
    1st September 2010 / 11:27 pm

    Love your life living on the edge!! Wish I could get away with that with five children……I hate planning and then cooking it when I don’t fancy it myself. Boring! My idea of shopping list is doing an internet shop then by the time I remember it’s there half of it is out of date so I stuff it in the freezer…and there it stays. I did manage to empty the freezers of their contents when we were snowed in for nearly a week in January though….now I’m rambling, sorry. ;0S

  19. 2nd September 2010 / 1:36 am

    Have you been in my house for the last week?
    We do the Nan trick in our house a lot works wonders that one doesn’t it. My mum doesn’t drive so we do trade offs I take her places like garden centres that Baba and I don’t really want to do for lunch! We can do a whole week like that. Love it. xx

  20. 2nd September 2010 / 10:48 am

    I’m like you, I tend to be winging it quite often, but with healthy stuff. Pasta, wholemeal toast, hummus, cereal, cheese, eggs, loads of fruit, jacket spuds, tuna sarnies etc. I’m sure CJ would live quite happily on yoghurt, cheese and bananas if required.(She did once say to me, “Bagels? Again?)
    Yesterday I was feeling virtuous about my offer of a bread roll pizza. (Bread roll, fresh toms blitzed in microwave, squirt of puree, grated cheese, melted under grill.)After one bite she claimed not to like it,so I had to give her half a bowl of leftover baked beans. Thanks God for beans.

  21. Nikki
    2nd September 2010 / 2:22 pm

    Sally – how can you cope with a child that doesn’t like beans – a staple in our house. It’s very wrong 🙂

  22. MrsW
    2nd September 2010 / 9:29 pm

    Ha! Love yours.
    I write out a healthy meal plan every week. I check the freezer and cupboards for what I need to buy then write a shopping list. I buy everything I need. The next day I send Neil to the Co-Op for pizza cos everything is frozen. The next day it’s Pasta Bake cos everything is still frozen. I love the Co-Op. I’d probably be better with a smaller freezer…

  23. 2nd September 2010 / 9:15 pm

    The very thought of a meal planner makes me feel sick. Imagine knowing that ‘It’s Monday, therefore it must be spag bol!’ My brother does a meal plan, and they order the same supermarket food delivery every Thursday night and then create vats of food every Friday. yeuch.

  24. 2nd September 2010 / 9:23 pm

    Oh dear, I do apologise! I have the best intentions in the world, honest I do, guv…

  25. 2nd September 2010 / 9:23 pm

    Winging it is vastly under-rated, in my view.

  26. Nikki
    2nd September 2010 / 9:25 pm

    How spontaneous LOL. Reminds me of my Nan’s “Meat on Monday, Fish on Friday etc etc” routine. I could never do that – my mood dictates our menu and that works for us!!
    It’s prob quite money saving though….

  27. 2nd September 2010 / 9:25 pm

    Well, I accept living on the edge is easier for the two of us, I am in awe of you with 5!

  28. 2nd September 2010 / 9:28 pm

    What can I tell you? In our house it’s a big no to fizzy drinks, baked beans, ketchup, cordial or squash, cheese strings, any sort of burger, mashed potato and pizza.
    She’s weird, isn’t she?

  29. 2nd September 2010 / 9:29 pm

    Oh I bet it saves loads. I just can’t make myself THAT good.

  30. Nikki
    3rd September 2010 / 11:23 am

    Few of us can lol. Of those that do – well done you boring old fuddy duddies PMSL

  31. Nikki
    3rd September 2010 / 11:25 am

    Hmm most bizarre!! Baked beans, ketchup, squash and burgers acceptable here. Jenni doesn’t eat ANY kind of potato bar McDonald chips and oven french fries – that’s weird!
    As for cheese strings and dairylea lunchables etc- who does eat those? Christ, I wouldn’t!!! 🙂

  32. 3rd September 2010 / 9:02 pm

    In defense of all us meal planners out there, I HAVE to meal plan and budget cos if I didn’t my purse would be considerably lighter… I am such a sucker for BOGOFs, offers, reductions, 37p off this week, I’m a supermarket’s dream. Still, I may nick some of your meal ideas just the same 😉

  33. 4th September 2010 / 9:06 am

    Now THAT looks like a meal plan we can all manage. You are a vertiable Annabel Karmel in-waiting.

  34. 4th September 2010 / 7:50 pm

    All I can think about is that an avocado is 6 points on Weight Watchers (I’ve had half of one myself this week) which is twice the amount of a grilled chicken and bacon salad from McDonalds (I’ve also had one of those this week).
    I don’t tend to meal plan any more but we pretty much know what we’re having from week to week. It usually involves lots of pasta, mince and chicken, but not in the same meal…

  35. Nic's Notebook
    5th September 2010 / 7:15 pm

    Oh my – you’re like me! My OH is so meticulous he will plan out our week’s menu in great detail. It does my head in to be honest! I usually just leave him to it. We haven’t been doing it lately as we’ve just got a new puppy and our eating has suffered! PS – Lovely pic of the Ben & Jerry’s mmmm

  36. 5th September 2010 / 6:51 pm

    Sounds like me… just cannot plan. Each meal is ‘planned’ roughly 30 minutes before the meal! Every few months I promise myself I will write down a plan, I start writing and never get beyond one dish.

  37. 5th September 2010 / 11:55 pm

    Do you have my daughter living with you? That list of disliked foods is exactly the same as hers apart from the pizza.
    I am a baked bean hater too, does she like marmite? marmite on toast is a good stand by, especially with grated cheese on top.

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