Not quite Meal planning

So I haven’t meal planned for several weeks now.  There have been lots of reasons why, from the simple I can’t be bothered to not having the time and energy.  I also have lacked the motivation.  I’ve been struggling a little to cope since one of my twin boys broke his leg, so I made my life simpler by cancelling things, postponing others and not putting pressure on myself to do everything.  What I can tell you about this break from planning is that we have not starved, we actually haven’t completely blown the budget but we have been buying more than we should.  While this is ok once in a while it is not a long term solution.

Thankfully my prior meal planning and bulk cooking has more than paid off, allowing me to have this ‘time off,’ while still having meals available for hubby to take to work every night, and even a few things for me.  Our freezer was literally that full a couple of months ago that we plugged back in our mini bar freezer (so we essentially had three freezers full of stuff!).  It has meant that my husband has had loads to choose from, the boys have had a range of lunches, dinners and snacks (I make mini quiches, scrolls, as well as muffins in bulk and freeze them all) and I haven’t really had to worry about it.  I’ve probably had pasta Bolognese what feels like a week straight (in reality it was like 3 nights in a row and then every second night for a few more days) but it was easy, filling and satisfying.  I’ve also had a bit of take away, toasted cheese sandwiches for dinner and who knows what else!

So now that we’ve been on holiday and I’m feeling better I have to really get back to planning, cooking and restocking!  The boys have almost nothing left so they are definitely my first priority, hubby still has quite a lot left, and I’m in desperate need of more Bolognese sauce.  I have been using a lot from my pantry, but there is still quite a few odds and ends left and I still have a lot of meat (we did do a meat shop a couple of weeks ago) so I’m hoping to get through the next week without a trip to the supermarket.  I stocked up on bread and milk Thursday night so really there is no reason to go (it doesn’t mean I wont).  So although this week I don’t have an actual meal plan as I have no idea what I will make for myself, I do have a plan on the other bits and pieces I plan to make, which is as follows.

* Muffins – a savoury version or two, I’m thinking a corn one (tinned), a pumpkin one (still got some pumpkins we were given) and if I can find the time also a tomato one (tinned)

* Muffins – sweet version, probably an apple one (lots of tins of apple still) and maybe banana (got some going brown)

* Quiches – mini version for the boys (we have stacks of eggs and I will just add in whatever else I can find)

* Savoury scrolls – I’ve got a little salad that is looking sad which is perfect for these and I’ll add a little ham

Hopefully that will clear a little more space in my cupboard, so that when I head back to SPC in the next few weeks and come back with another car load full I will have a space to put it all!  And it will refill the boys very bare looking space in the freezer, as well as fulfilling my need to do some baking.  In another week or two I may get back into the swing of meal planning, but personally I am in no rush and might instead look at changing my strict planning to a more relaxed version of bulk cooking.

I also managed to make a pumpkin and ham frittata yesterday, which is pictured below.  Don’t ask me how it tastes (I don’t like pumpkin or eggs! lol), I’m waiting on hubby to have some for lunch for the verdict.



Meal planning

So last week was such and up and down week with one of the boys having a broken leg and being out of action and me trying to contain his twin from destroying my whole house.  All while nursing my own shoulder, which still hurts.  I probably haven’t done myself even favours carrying the boys around the house but as parents we do tend to just grin and bear it a lot of the time for the sake of our kids.

A few days ago we headed out to the shops to stock up on some fresh fruit and veg, not to mention bread and milk, and I’ll also stocked up on some cheap cuts of meat to put in the slow cooker.  Hubby is on a shift change for part of this week so it’s really going to mess with the boys usual routine, but we will see how we go.

Monday – Chicken burritos

Tuesday – Salt and pepper squid (the calamari has been in my freezer for so long)

Wednesday – Spaghetti Bolognese (sauce made in bulk a while ago and frozen)

Thursday – Chicken souvlaki (home made)

Friday – Take away (pizza?)

Saturday – Fettucini Carbonara (sauce made in bulk a while ago and frozen)

Sunday – Chicken and tomato risotto

I’m still on the kick to use up the bits from my pantry which is why I stocked up on some cheap cuts of meat this week (all those meal base type packets are going to be used if it kills me!).  So far I have made beef and mushroom ragout in the slow cooker, and a mild chicken curry (using the very cheap drumsticks) also in the slow cooker.  I made big batches (we’re talking 12 portions) that have all been divided up and frozen.  I also defrosted part of my old batch of beef ragout and made meat pies with it for lunch for hubby, he tried one tonight and is very impressed!  Tomorrow I’m hoping to get a beef stew thing on, as well as a chicken, bacon and potato bake.  I’m very glad to be using up lots from my pantry, as I can finally see my stocks going down, which makes more room for other things – seriously don’t ask what other things, stuff just seems to accumulate and appear from no where!!

Meal planning

The last couple of days have been really quiet for us. We are trying to take it easy as one of the boys had an accident and the other hasn’t been feeling 100%. It’s been nice to have the extra time to just sit and cuddle with my babies, but it means nothing is getting done around the house, and it’s looking more and more like a bomb site by the minute.

It’s also a really tight money week for us, so I’m trying to use up the bits and pieces we’ve got and make the most of it.  We are reasonably stocked up on the staples so I was able to make a few things over the weekend for snacks and treats for everyone.  The freezer has thankfully got enough meals to get my husband through the week at work and I’ll just be throwing together this and that for myself.  Last week we had no plan and I can honestly say I have no idea what I ate all week but I know there was some take out involved!!

So this week is really not going to be anything interesting food wise.  Our freezer is quite stocked with bits and pieces for the boys, so I always know that there will be enough food to put on their plates, which is all I really worry about.  But for me, who knows!!

Monday – Steak with vegetables

Tuesday – Marinated chicken with rice

Wednesday – Massaman beef curry (made in bulk weeks ago)

Thursday – Tomato and chicken risotto

Friday – Lamb shanks (hubby’s day off and they have been sitting in the freezer for a while now)

Saturday – Frozen fish and chips

Sunday – Out to dinner

I do need to head to the shops as we are out of milk, but I think I will send hubby so I don’t get the urge to buy anything else!!

Back to meal planning

So my lack of meal planning last week resulted in us spending a whole lot of money that we really didn’t need to.  There was at least one trip to the supermarket in which I spent about $40 on stuff (if you ask me what is was now I can honestly tell you I don’t remember – I know it involved junk food and one meal for dinner that night) and at least 2 take away meals.  It was a good reminder of why I meal plan but realistically it was bound to happen.  Last week was an extremely difficult week for me and when I am stressed and upset I tend to eat crap food and I did (and I must say I enjoyed most of it!).  It’s not something we could afford to do regularly but when major things are happening I think it calls for a little adjustment and relaxation of the rules and the purse strings.

Yesterday we did our grocery shop which consisted of mostly fruits and vegetables, milk and bread.  But that was enough as I went on an absolute cooking storm.  I made a big batch of mini ham and veggie quiches for the boys, lunch size tomato and tuna quiches for hubby, “leftover” scrolls, a bulk batch of Italian mince and vegetables, a bulk batch of chicken casserole, a bulk batch of Bolognese sauce, and a bulk batch of toasted museli for hubby.  So my freezer is once again full, hubby has plenty of frozen dinners for work and I even managed to cook a yummy roast for dinner for us, and a big batch of meatballs in a tomato based sauce for the boys (with plenty leftover for the freezer).


So this week I am going for simple no fuss meals to try and get myself back on track now that I’ve got everyone else covered…

Monday – Chicken burritos

Tuesday – Steak and vegetables

Wednesday – Chicken stir fry (the new maggi two part ones)

Thursday – Lamb shanks with mashed potato (from the Coles made easy range)

Friday – Leftover Fettucini Cabonara

Saturday – Fish and chips (the frozen variety)

Sunday – Roast something with roasted vegetables

Meal planning this week

OK so I admit it I’m not the greatest meal planner in the world.  Eating on your own 4 nights a week is lonely and boring!!  So I really struggle at the supermarket yesterday on what to do for meals this week.  It ended up being a terrible painful process, not helped by the fact that I’m tired and I think coming down with another cold.  Often I don’t have meals on the day I plan to, for a whole range of reasons, but I do try really hard not to waste anything we have in the fridge.  If an ingredient is there and needs to be used up I will use it one way or the other.

So my round about plan this week is as follows –

* Monday – Dinner at my inlaws

* Tuesday – Chicken burritos

* Wednesday – Leftover beef curry

* Thursday – Mint chicken with orange sauce

* Friday – Home made pizza’s

* Saturday – Chicken tikka masala

* Sunday – Girrello roast with roast potato, pumpkin and corn on the cob

Meal planning this week

So it’s been two weeks of pretty much no meal cooking or planning as we tried to use up some of the already cooked meals from our freezer. I completely failed on what I was suppose to make last week and instead made the boys Peach and coconut balls, a variation of this recipe, and Pear balls, a variation of this recipe.

Our freezer is still quite full, it seems like a bottomless pit at the moment but there is quite a lot of meat in there.  So my plan for this week is to do a few more things with what we have and try to keep avoiding the supermarket for anything other than bread and milk.  Our lack of supermarket shopping lately has meant that we’ve really been able to catch up on our bills which is honestly a big relief!

Monday – Pasta with Bolognese sauce

Tuesday – Chicken in balsamic vinegar, lemon and basil, recipe here

Wednesday – Last week of my course (yippee!), so something from the freezer

Thursday –  Steak with mashed potato

Friday – Tomato and Chicken Risotto, recipe here

Saturday – Take out pizza (yes we are on a budget but we do still do take out – it is possible!)

Sunday – Slow cooked beef with red wine and peppercorn sauce


Our last bulk meat shop

Meal planning this week

So last week there was no meal plan, which was nice to be honest, as I didn’t have to go to the supermarket to buy anything, I didn’t have to stress about cooking each day and it meant a few things got used up around the house.  My freezer is still pretty full so it’s going to be another week of no cooking in this house.  Well maybe a little bit of cooking!

My plan for this week is to make the following –

* Potato and leek soup (hubby lunch)

* Vegemite scrolls (boys lunch)

* Butterscotch rolls (for me to snack on)

* Mini cheesecakes (for me for dessert – I love cheesecake!!) or maybe jelly slice.

I already have all the necessary ingredients for these dishes, and have already stocked up on bread and milk today so I’m all set for the week ahead.  I’ve also got to make the boys some more snacks, apricot and coconut balls I think.

We have an average week ahead, with a few outings planned and for once a night out for me!  Yippee, it is actually just what I need.  Even better it is a baking class and I am very excited!!!!


My overstocked freezer!