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.

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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).

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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