OK, we’re retired, so we can hardly call ourselves busy. Mind you, keeping interest in the Good News and Bad News blogs at watching.org.uk does take a lot of time each day.
First of all, we decided on a revolving weekly menu we call them simply Menu A, Menu B … Menu E. These we set up in a word processor and we have a printer with duplex on (prints both sides of the page). On one side we have the menu and on the reverse side we have headings of the three main places we shop (Ocado/Tesco/Local) with all the items for the menu week listed with check boxes.
We have a large A4 folder with 62 clear pockets we bought from Amazon for only a fiver (not the one with animal fat of course) where we list each of the weekly menus followed by the lunch and dinner menus for each dish.
We chose five menus, and are thinking of increasing them to six so there is more separation and don't have the same meals near the same date of each month.
We have a large list of foods we buy from Ocado and, on a Sunday, I get my tablet where I keep a database of the foods stored in our garden cabinet. Once I mark them in a column of the Ocado list, I then go down the back of the weekly menu adding all the items we need for the weeks menus. I then mark them off the shopping list. Finally, we include other items such as cleaning materials, spices, vegetables and fruit.
We fire up the Ocado website and quickly enter all the items on our four page shopping list.
The whole operations including printing takes less than an hour and we book the shopping slot for early Monday morning – and it is done. Occasionally we pop into the local shops or Tescos for items that Ocado doesn’t sell in small quantities.
The folder is just for advance information, it plays no part in the ordering procedure.
Each week, we tick one item which we feel isn’t up to our standards, and search the billions of recipes on the net for a replacement. Mostly we are happy with our choices. But in time may get bored. Six menus will give you 42 different lunches and 42 different dinners. Surely that is enough for most families?
An added bonus is, we have more space in our fridge/freezer/cabinets.