markets & meal planning

Monday, June 30, 2014

Back in the day, I used to be quite disciplined about meal planning. I would plan our dinners one or two weeks at a time, and my husband and I would do one big shop on a Sunday afternoon. Now that we live near a supermarket (and now that I'm significantly less organised than I used to be...), I find myself winging it every night. My current system goes something like this: it's 2pm, I start wondering what I should make for dinner tonight. I hem and haw, flip through cookbooks and peruse pinterest before finally choosing a recipe and heading to the grocery store. This "system" wastes so much time, energy and money each week and it's been my intention to do something about it for a while now. Just this weekend, I finally got around to it.

On Saturday afternoon I sat down with a cup of tea, notebook, pen, stack of my favourite cookbooks and my notes from Whole Food Kitchen. I started by assigning each night of the week a theme. I ended up with:

Monday: Mexican
Tuesday: Indian/Asian
Wednesday: Italian
Thursday: casserole/crockpot
Friday: pizza
Saturday & Sunday: wildcards

I then went through each of my cookbooks jotting down the recipes I use most often, and their corresponding page numbers. I kept in mind that it's winter, and stuck with meals appropriate for this time of year. When spring rolls around, I'm planning to change my nightly themes and compile a new list of favourite recipes. Armed with my new list, planning this week's dinner was a matter of simply filling in the blanks. The whole process took me around an hour, and it was actually quite enjoyable.

With this week's meal plan in mind, we moseyed over to our favourite farmer's market early on Sunday morning. While I bought our produce for the week, my husband took Clementine to a sunny patch of grass where she could run free. It was the perfect place to sit, drink coffee and eat breakfast while not having to worry about Clementine destroying anything (restaurants and cafes are pretty much out of the question at this point). She was super interested in the ponies who she kept calling woof, so we paid for her to have a ride. Much to my surprise, she got quite scared once the pony started walking. It was cute while it lasted though.

I'm feeling optimistic about this new approach to meal planning. My goal was to keep it simple, and I think I've done that. I'll keep you posted on my progress. In the meantime, my friend Stace has also written a post on meal planning, which you can read here.


  1. Sounds like a good plan, Gaby!
    Ronnie xo

  2. I love "wildcards" ! Kellie xx

  3. I always said to myself when I move out I want to have a theme for my meals each day, for example, Thursdays would be Italian. Although I wouldn't say I am much of a chef nor cooker myself, but it'll be interesting!

    It's a good plan I have to say. :)

  4. i need a plan like this. apparently thinking about 'what's for dinner tonight?' takes longer than cleaning the kitchen for me.

  5. I so need to do something like this!

  6. You have totally inspired me to start going back to meal planning too! Let's exchange pointers over coffee soon x

    P.S. Seriously, that pony shot. Insert emoticon with crazy love eyes.

  7. Oh my word! What a great way to tackle meal planning! I always try to plan our meals but usually give up after a month or two. I love the idea to list your favorite recipes for quick access. Very good idea! Thanks for sharing!


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