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Thursday, 12 January 2017

Menu system for busy people.

Now that we have retired, we found it was very time consuming ensuring we ate a reasonably good and varied diet; as was ordering or buying shopping.

We order most of our food from Ocado, but some of their fresh vegetables and fruit are in larger quantities than we require, so we also shop from Tesco and smaller shops. In addition, some of their meat joints are very expensive so we also buy these items from a nearby Aldi.

Our weekly menus start from Tuesday to Monday, more about these later.

Our main Ocado order is delivered between 9am and 10am on a Tuesday. We walk up to Aldi early Wednesday morning where we also purchase the Aldi items we need, and a couple of their fresh (cooked on the premises) croissants. These are the best we’ve ever tasted outside of France. This makes our mid-morning coffee very enjoyable and is our weekly treat.

We have set up five weekly menus which we use in rotation over a five week period. This gives us a choice of 35 different lunches and 35 different dinners.

Here is an example of the front page of the first of our weekly menu.




The reason one of the lunches is in red ink, and one of the dinners is in blue ink will be covered a little later.

On the back of this page we have added the shopping list. As you can see, there are check marks we tick as we order from Ocado. The shopping list pertains only to that week’s meals. It covers Ocado food, Aldi, Tesco and local shop purchases, and a check list to ensure we have enough herbs and spices in our spice racks. In addition, there is a replacement list should we want to try out a new recipe.



Certain items are in red ink, whilst others are in blue ink. This is for when we are invited out or want to go out for a meal the following week. Food shopping for one of the lunches is printed in red ink; food shopping for one of the dinners is printed in blue ink. This makes it easy to skip those items when we order from Ocado or go to the local shops if we are going out for a meal.

Those who have followed up to now are probably beginning to wonder what happens if we are invited for a meal on the actual day? This is simplicity itself. All we do is to carry one meal over to the next week, and the red or blue ink will compensate; very easy for us. We have a separate check list for household items, vegetables and fruit.
 

So, we have five set meals for a five week period which is repeated each five week period. We have two sets of menus, one for the winter period (8 months a year) and one for the summer period where we have a lighter change of menu – less roasts and more salads. You get the drift?

To make life easier, we have a directory on the computer called Meals. Then there are two sub-directories, summer and winter. Under these are five directories, Menu A, Menu B … Menu E and we have the menu file of each meal’s cooking instructions in each sub directory. A further directory is called notes for anything else. And, yes, we’ve made a special week for the Christmas week.

I have included here, a picture of one of our cooking menus for Roast Ratatouille and all our cooking instructions are done the same way. We embolden the ingredients as we are old and used to miss the occasional item!


This does take a little time in setting up and there is nothing to stop you reducing to four weekly menus, not less or you’ll tire of the food. As time goes on, we want to increase to six, or even seven weekly menus. We chose five initially as this should be enough to stop us getting bored.

And, yes, we still need to find more quick nutritious lunches to replace one of the cheese and ham sandwiches, and one of the baked beans! But we do make our baked beans on toast with onions, garlic, ginger, cumin, garam masala, cayenne pepper and turmeric! 

Any questions, other than what happens after we have eaten the baked beans, in the comments section below will be answered.

Ampers.


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