Organising Meals

Right now it’s dinner time. I like to eat, so it’s an important time of day for me!
I don’t generally use weekly meal plans (unlike Leanne who wrote about meals plans as part of her blog hop post), the only time I do is if I’m ordering the food shopping online, or maybe if we have guests coming to stay. Otherwise I often just buy what we need on the day – but I still plan it ahead, because I like to buy it early in the day.
I’ve found that what works for me best when organising my meals is to start preparing and / or cooking it as early in the day as possible
In the winter I love to cook lots of slow cooker meals, that I can make in the morning during baby’s naptime, and then leave until it’s time for our evening meal. The only trouble comes from trying not to eat it earlier because of the yummy smells spreading through the house!
In the summer we eat meals like jacket potatoes, or chicken pasta bake, that can be cooking for an hour or so before dinner time, or something like my pork and apple burgers, that I can prepare in the afternoon but then cook super quickly at dinner time.
But, if all else fails, and I’ve been totally un-organised, there’s nothing wrong with having the occasional fish-and-chips:
And yes, this is the meal I’m eating right now, hastily photographed and uploaded for you to see. Jealous? Sorry!
Do you plan your meals in advance? Is there one that you fall back on when you have no time to spare?

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19 Comments
  • I don’t usually meal plan unless I am getting company. I always have a general idea of what I am making though.

    July 1, 2012 at 5:18 pm
  • I don’t meal plan, but I want to do it more this school year. My back up is pasta with pesto sauce. It’s always good and it’s pretty dang easy to make!

    July 1, 2012 at 5:25 pm
  • Yes very jealous! We are having whatever presents itself when I ransack the fridge in a minute – it will nearly always be cooked from scratch, but I agree with the last comment – you can’t beat pasta and pesto for speed. In fact, you could probably cook it in less time than you could go and buy fish and chips. But then sometimes, nothing but fish and chips will do … 🙂

    July 1, 2012 at 5:43 pm
  • I usually meal plan as I mostly online shop once a week so things have to be planned around shelf life etc. I also have a fussy eater and have to plan around extracirricular activities. I always keep some pots of pot noodles in the cupboard and macaroni and cheese in the freezer though for emergencies as the kids love those 🙂

    July 1, 2012 at 5:43 pm
  • I do tend to plan meals for about 5 days in the week – 2 days H has after school activities which mean dinner is late on those nights so it has to be something quick! I try to cook from scratch as much as possible and hate wasting food so I find planning meals helps with this! The 2 days i don’t plan for – well we raid the freezer for something and chips or it’s pasta or jacket spuds!

    July 1, 2012 at 5:53 pm
  • I always cook much better food when I plan ahead….otherwise I end up falling back on a jar of curry sauce, chicken and rice

    July 1, 2012 at 5:53 pm
  • I do vaguely meal plan as I do a main shop once a week…and only milk and bread during the week….I also have ‘fall back’ food in the freezer.

    July 1, 2012 at 6:28 pm
  • I usually plan 10 dinners for two weeks and get just what I need from the one trip to the store! It helps to have a husband who works at the groceries- just in case we run out of milk or something!

    July 1, 2012 at 7:17 pm
  • That looks delicious! I don’t make a weekly meal plan, but each morning when I get up I decide right away what’s for supper that night. I tend to make simple, nutritious meals – I’d rather be crafting than cooking! Baking is a whole other story though – I love to bake.

    July 1, 2012 at 7:34 pm
  • I hate going shopping for groceries so the only solution was to plan ahead. Now I plan our menus for the week and shop only once a week 😉 I have been doing that for so long I can’t imagine doing it any other way!

    July 1, 2012 at 8:05 pm
  • My dh is so picky that I usually wait until he asks whats for supper. Then I make him say what he wants. If he says it doesn’t matter, then he gets it doesn’t matter! I wish it was as smooth as this sounds but….

    July 1, 2012 at 9:27 pm
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    I am disturbingly organized with my meals. 🙂 I have a master list of favorite recipes divided by season…and pull from those to plan out two weeks worth of meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) based on our activities. Even snacks are written out. Then I do a major grocery shopping trip (Love Grocery IQ for keeping my list for me) and immediatly come home and start putting snacks and things in portions…precook chicken and other meats for tacos and things…bake muffins and things to throw in the freezer. Don’t judge me. LOL I am a bit crazy about it. I hate the “what do we eat” rush.Bethany

    July 1, 2012 at 9:49 pm
  • The closest grocery store is a half hour drive for me, so I definitely have to plan ahead. This is only a small store, so to get all the fresh produce etc. I drive an hour to the city. I don’t write down my plan, but I have ideas in my head of meals that I can make and then buy accordingly.

    July 1, 2012 at 11:16 pm
  • I plan my meals! I know what we are going to have that week, just not which day. My go to is buffalo chicken or some sort of pasta. I wish I liked fish, cause your plate looks so good!

    July 2, 2012 at 12:41 am
  • I normally plan my meals on weekend. 🙂

    July 2, 2012 at 3:22 am
  • Yep, jealous of that fish ‘n’ chips – it ain’t the same on this side of the Pond!I have to do a certain amount of meal planning as I have to eat gluten and dairy free for medical reasons. My “oh-no-what-can-we-eat” list is pretty small because of that! I’m a huge fan of my slow cooker which I use a LOT. We also eat a lot of rice (we have a rice cooker so it’s super easy) and I make stir fries quite often. One of my favourite things to make is sweet potato fries which I bake with spices.Takeaways are our easy go-to – there are a few options which are “safe” for me on my diet, thankfully!

    July 2, 2012 at 3:54 am
  • Yep, totally jealous. It is the one of the things I miss about England….a proper fish and chip shop with mushy peas and pickled eggs…(ok, I have to stop, I am dribbling now lol)I don’t plan the meals as such, but as I eat at work, I count how many days I am at home for food, then buy meat accordingly and make sure we have stuff in the house to use with what we have bought!

    July 2, 2012 at 9:41 am
  • Quick and dirty meals include pasta with bacon and tomato sauce and stir fry and rice (done in the rice cooker). I’m still experimenting with our slow cooker – soups and a great one to do overnight – easy to decant for lunch the next day!

    July 2, 2012 at 5:19 pm
  • I’m a cook ahead girl and I like to have a couple of options when I plan my week in case the weather suddenly changes, our plans change or just that the thought of cooking makes me want to shriek.

    July 2, 2012 at 9:55 pm

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