Saturday, 28 March 2009

Weekly menu planning

I have a weekly menu plan on the door of my fridge, where I note down what I plan to make for our bento as well as dinners on weekdays. I normally do this on a Sunday afternoon or evening. I find that it helps me with the cooking and food buying process through the course of a work week, when I don't have to spend too much time thinking about what to buy and what to cook. I could just look at the menu plan and know what additional ingredients I need to buy the next day, or whether I need to buy more carrots to be used in a number of meals. More importantly, the dinner menu gives me a basis for packing bento the following day, since much of my bento is planned around leftovers.

I bought this little whiteboard from Daiso ($2). It has magnetic strips on the back but they were not strong to hold the board securely when the door is being opened or closed. So I just hang it off another magnetic clip that I already have on the fridge.
Menu planning

This doesn't mean that the menu is cast in stone and iron-clad. Sometimes plans change, if we end up meeting friends for dinner, or if we feel like having different types of food. I don't get too hung up about changing the menu on the fly. But having a plan that I can go to makes me feel much more organised and it means I have less to think about during the week.

As for the weekend, we tend to eat out for lunch, and dinner just depends on what we feel like and plans for that day. Much more relaxed that way.

If you can make out the words on the white board, you will notice there is a pretty wide range of food in there in the course of a week. There is rice, noodles, potatoes, Chinese, Japanese, British/American. We like variety :) Here are some of the recipes from that white board:

Mushroom rice

Kung Pau chicken (宫保鸡丁)
Kung pao chicken

Fish fragrant aubergine/eggplant (鱼香茄子)
Fish-fragrant aubergine/eggplant (鱼香茄子)

Chow mein

Honey and rosemary roast chicken legs
Honey rosemary chicken


VeggieGirl said...

Great menu plan!!

skinnymum said...

this is my 2009's resolution. not been able to keep to it consistently though.

Alexx said...

I've started doing this - it's saving me loads of money as it's stopping those impulse buys that then mean existing food is wasted! Plus when you are busy it takes away the need to think about the night's food. Love the little whiteboard.

Maya said...

I do this on Saturday nights...well most Saturday nights. Makes life less complicated :) I find that I have less wastage and know exactly what to pull out of the fridge when I get home from work.

noobcook said...

U r so organised! I gave up trying to plan coz somehow, I never keep to it, hehe

Elsye said...

oo my, It was difficult for me to arrange menus hehehe but Yes, its saving money ..

Nilmandra said...

Veggie girl: I try my best!

Skinnymum: It does take some effort and discipline. I do miss the odd week here and there too.

Alexx: I used to write them out a sheet of paper and stick to the fridge door with magnets each week. Then I spotted the little whiteboard and it was perfect for the job.

Maya: Yeah, I try to plan meals that would use up everything that I buy so if I buy a pack of long beans, I work that into meals the next day or two.

Noobcook: LOL I try :) I do miss a week here and there!

Elsye: It takes a while to get into a routine but I like that it saves me time and money.

Joey said...

I do that on Saturday or Sundays too, depending on when we plan to do groceries. I write it down on scrap paper. I'd love to have a menu board but magnets don't work with our fridge door. :(

Mrs Ergül said...

I wonder if they sell this in the Daiso here?! Which section did you find it in over there? And it looks like a decent size! Roughly how big is it?

Thanks lots! it is a great idea!

Justo said...


Nilmandra said...

Joey: You can't put magnets on your fridge door?? Oh my, you're missing out on a great place to display tacky holiday magnets! ;)

Mrs Ergul: I think they probably have it in Singapore Daiso too. It is in the stationery section. The white board is slightly smaller than an A4 sheet of paper.

Justo: Stalker!! :p

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