Ever walked down the supermarket aisle and felt like it’s groundhog day? Same shopping list as last week…and the week before…and the week before?!

We often have ‘set food memories’ that think chicken one night, salad the next, or we get distracted by what’s on special. We may plan to write a list or indulge in a great cookbook for an amazing recipe, but often we just don’t get around to it. As such, the trolley always looks the same and after a while, your spouse and children realise there are, at best, probably four routine meals you know how to cook well. The problem is however, that no matter how well you cook them, if it’s a staple dinner week in week out, it’s not going to be exciting.

This is how I found our pantry when I opened it; predictable. It was verified when my husband told me “Elka you keep cooking the same meals”. Ouch. That really hurt, but it also struck a chord.

We sat down and wrote a list for every night (except Fridays – strictly date night which is always take-away or eat out night). We looked through some great foodie books. We planned, prepared and not only was the shopping more exciting that week, but dinner time was a real treat of not knowing what to expect.

Often we can become caught up in being creatures of habits in the kitchen and forget to mix it up with new flavours. We gained inspiration from some wonderful companies who deliver fresh prepared meals daily. Hello Fresh and Eat Fit Food are just two amazing services that delivered to us and we loved it. I would encourage you to invest in even just once a week where all meals are delivered – it gives you a break and ensures you’re eating balanced whilst providing ‘food for thought’ when preparing your next recipe. And above all, put love into your preparation and love is what you’ll get back in droves!


Author: Elka Whalan

Elka Whalan is a much loved and recognized member of the Australian media landscape, both for her athletic career, and her media commentary. A dual Olympian, Elka is now a mother of two young children and can be seen regularly on Sunrise and The Morning Show. Recently Elka also became an Ambassador for Healthy Bones Australia and REXONA, and is passionate about keeping fit, healthy, and keeping the romance alive in her marriage.


  • I have a comprehensive food shopping list saved online which is very helpful to my budget. Any items on special that week are indicated so I select from those for my trolley first, that’s how I include more expensive cuts of meat that I wouldn’t regularly buy. I then make my meal plan before completing my online order. Buying the same basics doesn’t have to translate to cooking the same meals, although sometimes my husband comments that we haven’t had a certain meal for a while. I have found heaps of recipes based on my regular shopping habits and found most of them are from MoM members. There is always a way to suit our families tastes and budget : )


  • this website has helped expand my usually meal repertoire.


  • I have actually saved a fair bit of money when shopping since I started planning more


  • Good advice, thanks for sharing.


  • I have a list of recipes where ingredients are interchangeable.


  • a very interesting read, thank you


  • Every house a different routines. We don’t buy ready mDe food much just once a month may be.


  • Thanks for this article. This is really a mirror to me coz i do the same. But i think i should start planning the meals before-hand to do the shopping accordingly and to put interesting and exciting meals on the plate. Thanks again.


  • I love the specials as often I buy things that I normally wouldn’t and this helps to add some new life into meals


  • lucky I dont need to cook every day


  • Love trying new things for dinner. I agree that sometimes in the supermarket it feels like groundhog day. Recipe cards and mags help.


  • Thanks for sharing, it was a great read


  • Thanks for this good read


  • Enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing


  • Thanks for sharing this :)


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