How do you plan what you are going to cook for the week? Or do you plan at all?
I plan my meals for the week, every week, for various reasons.
- It gives me a ready answer for that daily question "What's for Dinner?".
- It forces me to buy only what food I need for that week.
- It allows me to use that food efficiently and by the end of the week the refrigerator is significantly emptier than it was at the beginning.
- It allows me to schedule time for more complicated cooking adventures.
Every Friday, I plan the week's dinners, from Saturday to the following Friday, and I shop for the ingredients either on Friday evening or Saturday morning. When planning, I keep in mind my busy schedule. On days I have off, like Saturday and Sunday, I have more time to experiment with new dishes or ones that require more preparation or cooking time. On weekdays, I opt for quicker meals or slow-cooked ones that I can prep early in the morning and have them done by that evening. I also keep in mind any social events or gatherings I go to where there are food or any time I go out on a date with my beau Carlos. In those instances, I don't cook and I won't buy any food for those evenings. To keep myself on a budget, I try to chose meals that don't require expensive ingredients and serve a dual-purpose: dinner that night and leftovers the next day. This usually works but there are some instances where I don't even want to look at the meal the next day. If I do an unusual weekday experiment, sometimes I will plan not to have leftovers the next day and will plan and buy ingredients for a lunch accordingly.
I break out the plan by day and by type of meal. For the most part, I am planning dinners, lunch leftovers and a Sunday brunch, but if there is something really special I'll make sure I'll allot time for that. This is how I laid out this week's meal plan.