Hellllloooo finally! I have made a concerted effort this week to get back on here and write a post. I’ve been way, way too busy lately to even think about writing anything.
So now that I’m back on here, what will I share? To get started and in the spirit of my general busyness lately, I thought that I would share my meal planning habit and my meal plan for next week.
I’ve been meal planning for about 18 months now and I absolutely could not function in the evenings without one. It is important to me that we eat a reasonably healthy, fresh and well-balanced diet. I prioritise making dinner most nights and usually make enough for lunch the following day. Having a meal plan saves SO.MUCH.TIME. It saves time (and money) when I do the grocery shopping on the weekend and I don’t have to reshop for things I missed or wonder what to buy. It also saves time in the evenings because whoever gets home first can just get on with making dinner without wondering what to cook. Lastly, I find it’s a fantastic way to incorporate new recipes into my routine.
I have a Kikki-K meal planner pad (about the only thing I can afford there!) which I use to plan everything out and then I write it up on a blackboard in the kitchen. For your benefit, I’ve replicated my meal planner pad as a powerpoint template but I’ve made it better…I think so anyway! Feel free to use it. So without further ado, I’ll share my meal plan for next week. Tada!
Blame Mr Intriguerry for the gnocchi, jasmine rice and crispy garlic toast. We’ve been having a lot of brown rice lately and this week was a bit of a compromise since I’ll be out on a few evenings. I’ll have to do a separate post explaining what ‘Eggs Eleven’ is!
Tips for those getting started:
- Be Prepared: Set aside 30 mins at some point in your week to prepare the meal plan and shopping list for the following week. Sit down with a template, a few recipe books and your diary and plan it out. The more often you do it, the faster you will get. It helps to have a good idea of what’s in your fridge/pantry before you start.
- Be Smart: Have some goals in your head. I target one meal per week using fish, chicken, mince/sausage and egg. I limit carbs like spaghetti and bread to once per week and substitute brown rice, quinoa and sweet potato where possible. Pick recipes with common ingredients so you don’t end up wasting things. If you need a 3 sprigs of a herb for a recipe try and pick other recipes that will let you use up the bunch you have to buy.
- Be Realistic: Instead of planning each meal each day all at once just start with one meal a day (I suggest dinner!). Think about your weekly routine and don’t plan a meal for an evening when you’ll eat out or not athome. Also think about who will be doing the cooking. It’s no use planning to cook a three-course Heston Blumenthal extravaganza if the person doing the cooking that evening is limited to 2-minute noodles.
- Be Disciplined: If you make a meal plan and buy all the fresh produce, you need to commit to sticking with it at least for the week. Don’t give in to the temptation to just get take out.
KEEP YOUR MEAL PLANS!!!! I cannot stress that enough. Why go to all the trouble of making a new one from scratch each week. I started keeping mine in about March this year so I can just flip back and use one from earlier in the year. This won’t always work if the recipes are seasonal but that’s an easier problem to fix quickly than making a brand new plan.
Do you meal plan and how do you do it?