A change to menu planning in 2016

In previous posts, I looked at how I menu plan each week before I do the grocery shopping. You can read those posts here and here. Menu planning is definitely the way to go if you dislike 'winging it' (which I do!) and if you want to feel organised and have everything you need for each meal. I have recently stumbled across this website that outlined a few options for menu planning - click here to read about the 6 different methods! 

1. Fly by the seat of your pants
2. Menu planning by sales at the supermarket
3. Once a month cooking
4. Pre-planned meal services
5. Weekly planning (this is what I used to do)
6. Thematic planning (this is what I plan to do this year!)

Thematic planning means that each night of the week has a certain theme, and what I have done is typed up all the options for each theme, so that all I have to do is pick from the list (without worrying if I have a night for chicken, a night for beef etc.)

I asked a question on the Skinnymixers Facebook page (a wealth of information for Thermo cooking!) about what I should call each day of the week. Here are some of the responses:

 - Meatless Monday (vegetarian meals)
 - Mince Monday
 - Mexican Monday 

Tuesday or Thursday:
 - Taco Tuesday/Thursday
 - Thai Tuesday/Thursday
 - Take-out Tuesday/Thursday (healthy versions of takeaway foods, e.g. pizza)
 - Try-out Tuesday/Thursday (new meals)
 - Tight Tuesday/Thursday (using up what is in your pantry, or cheap meals)
 - Thrifty Tuesday/Thursday (using up what is in your pantry, or cheap meals)
 - Thankful Tuesday/Thursday (leftovers)
 - Traditional Tuesday/Thursday (meat and 3 veg for example)

 - Wing it Wednesday
 - Worldly Wednesday (international dishes)
 - Warm Wednesday
 - Whatever Wednesday (free choice, or using up what is in the fridge)
 - Whacky Wednesday (new meals)
 - Wraps Wednesday 

 - Fast Friday (fast food or quick meals)
 - Fish Friday 
 - Fun Friday (fun foods like pizza or burgers)
 - Fingerfood Friday
 - Freezer Friday (using up meals from the freezer)
 - Frugal Friday (using up what is in the pantry)

Saturday or Sunday:
 - Simple Saturday/Sunday
 - Serve-Yourself Saturday/Sunday 
 - Slow-cooker Saturday/Sunday
 - Soup Saturday/Sunday
 - Salad Saturday/Sunday
 - Skinny Saturday/Sunday (or even Skinnymixer, cooking just Skinnymixer meals - check out the website here

So many options!! As I went through all my existing meals I like to cook, I decided to just keep it really simple. These are my themes and some ideas for meals:

Meatless Monday (vegetarian)
 - quiche
 - risotto
-  zucchini slice
 - fritters

Beef Tuesday & Thursday
 - lasagna
 - san choy bow
 - rissoles
 - chilli con carne

Chicken Wednesday
 - chicken kievs
 - cashew chicken
 - butter chicken
 - chicken kebabs

Fun Friday (healthy take-away style meals, pasta and 'other meats' e.g. pork, lamb etc.
 - homemade pizza
 - homemade burgers
 - spaghetti bolognaise 
 - frozen fish, homemade chips and salad

Salad/Soup Saturday (salads as whole meals, and soups in winter)
 - thai beef salad
 - chicken caesar salad
 - bbq chicken and salad wraps
 - mango and macadamia chicken salad

Serve-Yourself Sunday (get your own easy meal)
 - we usually make toasties or just have cereal for tea! 

As a general rule, anything I make is low in fat and low in sugar (which will not suit everyone but it is how we like to eat), and even traditionally high fat and high sugar meals are made healthier - the Symply Too Good website and recipe books are a great place to start!

I will let you know how this style of menu planning goes - I'm excited to see if it makes planning and cooking a little easier! 

[Top image from http://orgjunkie.com/menu-plan-monday-guidelines]


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