Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Meal Planning and Market Shopping

I have mentioned numerous times that I don't cook. Almost Ever. I am lucky enough to have a boyfriend who enjoys being in the kitchen and in return, I (usually) clean up after him. It has to be the only advantage of having SJ out of work, he has no excuse NOT to cook me dinner or do all the grocery shopping. That said, we do have a bit of a system in place that should make it easy enough to continue eating as well as we do when he does get a job (and he will soon, I know it!).

I bought these Chalkboard/Whiteboard dots on ebay (you can get some here) and they have been so useful. Removable (since we're renting), they look pretty (at least I think so) and they are very easy to use. Ours keeps track of our bill payment dates, shopping list, weekly planner, long term shopping list (like a new vacuum) and our weekly menu.
This is the plan for this week, hoping to get to yoga tonight, have PT tomorrow (though as we speak that is changing, SJ's cousin is in town), Thursday we're going on a day trip to Mornington and Friday we have tickets booked to the Moonlight Cinema. Once we know our week's plan...
We can plan our menu. We do this on Monday nights and shopping day is Tuesday. As you can see, this week I will be enjoying lamb koftas, spinach and riccotta cannolini, chowder (from the freezer supply in case we have a big day on Australia Day), chicken wraps and a cheese platter (at the Moonlight Cinema), homemade pizzas, kangaroo roast and our traditional Monday stir-fry (because it uses all the leftover vegies).

So this morning SJ and I went to the Queen Victoria Markets (NOTE: Parking at the markets is free after 6am if you exit before 10am!) . I don't always go with him, he used to drop me at work and then head over, but I go every few weeks. Today I shopped only a little then walked down to work.
First stop this morning was the deli for chorizo for our pizzas.
Then along the aisle to our cheese man. We love Pavilion the best and the owner is a really lovely guy who has always given us great cheese advice, even when he thinks the nicer taste comes from a cheaper cheese! Sadly, he's still on holidays at the moment so we got our cheese from across the aisle instead.
Still good cheese I am sure, but the Camembert wasn't the same. SJ might have to go in again on Friday just for that ;-)
SJ dealt with the purchasing of our kangaroo fillet and chicken tenderloins...
...while I bought some lovely chocolates for Friday's picnic dessert. Going to be hard to keep them untouched until then though!
Then we move into the meat hall. Meat is so cheap here, even if you're not buying in bulk (we only shop for what we need for the week).
Then it's off to fruit and vegetables.
As you can see, the markets aren't particularly busy at 8am on a Tuesday morning. I'd take a photo from the same place at 8am on a Saturday but you wouldn't see anything for the people so I shan't bother.

I didn't stick around though, bought myself an apple, banana and nectarine ($1.50 total) and headed off to work.

It doesn't take as long as you'd imagine, particularly once you have favourite vendors and a shopping list. Probably a little longer than shopping in a supermarket, but not if you do your shopping around 6pm on a weeknight when the register queues are crazy. It also means we get great food, an amazing variety and it is all within our budget :-)

16 comments:

  1. It is scary on Saturday. And the boys don't tolerate it too well. I need to make more effort! It is just so convenient to go to Doncaster and get everything from Colonial fruit market.
    There is a good butcher in the market. He is right at the door facing Elizabeth street (the junction). On the left is seafood and they are on the right.

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    1. If you can find a good grocer & butcher nearby it is probably easier for you. I wouldn't travel 40kms return for weekly groceries.

      But yes, weekdays are much better. Or if you want bulk meat, just before closing on Sundays. They have big discounts before the Monday closure.

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  2. Ok, I'm totes jealous now.
    I miss market shopping!!
    And now I want kangaroo filet and camenbert! I'm holding you reponsible for my cravings Miss Directions!!!

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    1. Sorry Yaeli. You're not allowed camembert, right? You should get your hands on some kangaroo though, high in iron!

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  3. Love the dots! My boyfriend and I are moving out soon (if one of our applications is accepted) and now plan on doing Stir Fry Mondays or which ever day suits us :) Great idea! I grow veggies too so I always have a few on hand. (I was reading though some of your other posts and saw your garden ones).

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    1. Yes our garden was looking quite lovely until our 3 weeks away during the heatwave over Christmas...it's quite pathetic now lol

      Hope your application is accepted :-) dealing with them is always such a procedure.

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  4. Oh I am very jealous! Wish I had a market nearby :( Love the idea about stir fry mondays, might have to give it a go! And the menu looks delsih xx

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  5. We always buy our cheese from Pavilion too. The owner and his sons are so lovely!

    I really need to get into the habit of meal planning, it would make things so much easier.

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    1. Aren't they just? SJ only ever talks to him (the dad) about cheese, but I've discussed Gold Coast holidays and making pizzas and all sorts of things. I'd visit to chat even if we had nothing to buy!

      And meal planning is awesome. I don't think I'll ever go back :-)

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  6. Those chalkboard/whiteboard dots are awesome!

    I wish I was able to visit the markets more often. Prahran market is great too!

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    1. I've only been there a few times and always close to closing, it's not on the convenient side of the city for us. There are more 'cute' stalls there though. I also like all the food places at South Melb. Have yet to try Footscray though...

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  7. Those dots are so cute and useful! Thank you for the sweet comment xo

    http://dreamingenfrancais.blogspot.com/

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  8. Queen Vic markets... *whimsical sigh*

    Cute dots!

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    1. Sorry Cecilia. I will miss it when I move back to Brisbane too.

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