Years ago, I used to meal plan all the time. I actually used to plan a fortnight's worth of meals at a time and was very organised in that regard. Then, for a few reasons, I stopped meal planning and started flying by the seat of my pants and often deciding what was for dinner a day at a time. Needless to say, this used up huge amounts of my time going to the supermarket every day, wasted huge amounts of money impulse buying every day and dinner was often cooked late if I didn't get to the shops till late in the afternoon. NOT very organised at all, I'm ashamed to say.
So. I'm back to meal planning again. This time for good!
I'm going to tell you how I go about meal planning, but it's not the only way by a long stretch! So, here we go:
I meal plan weekly now, for a few reasons.
- I don't have to think up huge lists of meals at once, I do 7 at a time.
- I don't end up with a huge shopping list that just looks daunting (and expensive!).
- The fridge doesn't end up over crowded with things that might end up being forgotten or that go to waste.
- I can take advantage of the weekly specials, without missing the weeks in between.
- Sit down and browse online at the catalogues for Woolworths, Coles and Big W. Big W because they often have bulk buys of laundry powder, toilet paper etc on special and I usually do my whole shopping list at the same time as my meal plan.
- I make a note of the things like meat specials, fruit and veg specials, any items I buy on a regular basis and anything I think I'd use for meals.
- I go through my fridge, freezer and pantry for anything that needs to be used up or for weeks when I'm on a stricter budget than others, I try to use what I already have in my pantry to save money.
- I then think about what I want to cook for the next week. I usually choose a few tried and tested things we all love plus a couple of new and interesting things. I often trawl the Taste recipe website for inspiration and enjoy going through my cookbooks for things I've forgotten about.
- Once I've decided what we're eating I make a list of ingredients. I write down every single ingredient I need that I don't already have at home. So, all the things I need to buy.
- I add these things to my shopping list.
- I type up a meal plan, detailing what we'll be eating on each day of the week, print it out and stick it up on the fridge. This also stops me being asked a hundred times a day what's for dinner!
Have a great evening everyone!