I went to the shops almost every day last week.
I hate that.
It means that I spend more money than I should, not to mention the waste of time and petrol because our ‘local shops’ aren’t actually that close. It happened because of a combination of things but mostly because I was disorganised.
We usually do one big shop a month for all the staples and non-perishables. Then I try to limit it to one shop per week for things like fruit and vege and bread and milk. This works really well for us, saves us time and money, if I am organised and plan a little in advance.
In a perfect Picklebum world I make monthly menu plans.
It’s not rocket science or anything too anal. My menu plans are not set in stone and I am forever crossing things off and changing them around, but that’s ok. It’s not a strict set of meals I must adhere to, to make it work for me it needs to be flexible, even if that does make it less pretty.
I usually only plan for dinners and some school lunches, the rest we seem to manage without too much trauma or too many extra shopping trips. I usually start with a list of meals that we are currently enjoying (I tend to vary my list from season to season) and then slot them in around what we have going on.
Last year I wrote my menu plans on a calendar stuck on the fridge. This year I’ve been looking for printable calendar pages to use, but I hadn’t found quite what I was looking for, and hence, no menu plan and a million trips to the shops. But I have no excuses now… I whipped up a blank monthly template for my menu plans this morning and got to work filling it in.
It’s just a simple grid with space for five weeks. I decided to just leave space to write the dates in by hand for each month – saved me time at the computer and it means I can customise them to work regardless of what date I start on. For mine I also added in a few things we have on a regular weekly basis like ballet and kinder and which days the girls have show and tell and sport etc.
It’s nothing too fancy but if you click on the image above it will open the pdf file in your browser ready to print, or if that isn’t working for you then click here to download the file via 4shared.
Edited to add – You can now get my monthly menu plan grid with the weeks starting on a Sunday for those who have requested it. Download the Sunday version here.
Do you menu plan?
Do you have any great tips for making it work and avoiding a million little trips to the shops?