Avoiding food waste and keeping to a grocery budget are two things I'm really keen on and menu planning is my number one way to make sure they happen, from planning snacks and lunches to all our dinners for the week.
I already know I am going to go over budget this week. With the wee lad starting school I have been experimenting with his lunches to see what gets eaten and what doesn't and now I have a plan I am pretty confident we will be back under budget next week.
I probably won't do this every week, but seeing as how I have been snooping around SimplyBeingMum's fridge for quite some time, I thought it was only fair to let you all have a look at mine. After being on my to-do list for quite a while, I have finally cleaned my fridge. Not just a quick wipe down with a cloth, a proper 'pull all the drawers and shelves out and wash them in the sink' kind of clean! I intend to give it a good wipe down every week from now on so I don't have to get to this point again!
So here it is: my sparkling clean fridge!
Top shelf: flax seeds, soup for lunch, water
Middle shelf: extra margerine for baking, container of tinned peaches, bread
Bottom shelf: eggs
Door: mayonaise, Jam, margerine, cheese (you can't see it in the picture), tomato sauce, soy sauce, and milks (all in-date)
Fruit and veg drawers: celery, carrots, tomatoes, apples, lemons, mandarines: all still good!
The one thing that didn't get used up this week:
It doesn't look too bad in the picture, but it's much slimier in real life. Eugh!
My daughter loves lettuce in her sandwiches but she was the only one who ate it this week. Next week I will be planning more uses for lettuce so I don't have to post more pictures of wilting leaves! Oh the shame!
So what will we be eating this week?
When planning my menu I have to take a few things into consideration. I am catering for:
One person who is gluten-free
One is wheat-free (and many-other-things-free)
One who will eat anything (particularly if it is covered in tomato sauce!)
Every week I set myself a $200 (NZ) budget. I would love to get under that, and have tried many times, but it has just resulted in there not being enough food in the house. However, since I started menu-planning we are saving over $100 (NZ) on groceries per week!
Tonight it's Chicken and veges (nice and simple as I teach after school), with eggs for the vegetarian.
Saturday is a stir-fry with the leftover celery, carrots and some frozen corn from the freezer.
Sunday is a bit of a messy night as my husband has a concert on that we are all going to and my daughter is at a birthday party until about 7pm! He will eat pizza with his band kids at the venue, Zoe will eat at the party, and Alex and I will have chicken sandwiches and chips. Guaranteed to be eaten quickly!
Monday is a stirfry.
Tuesday is Steak, baked kumara (sweet potato), carrots and beans with tofu for the veg.
Wednesday is tuna and vegies stirred through mashed potato (a simple but effective way to get my slow, picky eaters to eat up quick. Once again, tofu for the vegetarian. Wednesday dinner is always a bit late as my daughter has art class until 5.30pm)
Thursday is soup night!
Snacks are: date and walnut loaf, mini-muffins, corn-thins, sandwiches, chickpea chips.
So there is my food week! Here's to no foodwaste next week!
Thanks again to The Frugal Girl and SimplyBeingMum for the foodwaste and menu-planning inspiration.