I’m a strong believer in meal planning, and try hard to give this love and habit on to my kids. Meal planning makes such a difference in my life, and I wanna share all this with you.
So, let’s talk about what meal planning can do for you.
Planning your meals in advance (and thus your shopping) can save you so much money. When you enter the store you know exactly what you need, and you have the advantage to be able to plan your meals around what’s on sale. I always go online and check the stores sales for the week, so I know what I can get cheap (this also let me bulk buy stuff I need regularly like canned stuff). You’re also less likely to be tempted when you have a list and a plan, and can save money on those spur of the moment buys, not to mention that when buying when hungry we tend to go for easy options which is often more expensive.
Meal planning might take a bit of time on the day you plan (I like to do it sunday) but it can save you so much time on the long run. Not only do it cut down on the time spend shopping during the week, it also cut down on time trying to figure out what the hell to eat for dinner/lunch/breakfast.
Meal planning can help you cut down on food waste. You can plan the first few meals from what’s left in your fridge, and the rest can be planned using the ingredient you buy (say one day you need half a cabbage head for a stew, then you can use the other half for coleslaw another night)
So how to do it?
Personally I like to have a schedule to work from. This helps keep us from eating the same generic dishes all the time, and makes planning a lot easier.
I try to include these things in my week plan when the kids are with me.
2 x meatless
2 x fish
2 x meat
1 x friday treat
The friday treat is the kids’ choice, and is often something like homemade burgers, pizza, tacos and so on.
When it’s just me, I eat less meat and no friday treat, so the shopping and planning is normally a lot easier. I also tend to eat left overs for lunch, where the kids have bread and sandwiches for their school lunch.
I try to do my planning and shopping on Sundays, and it take a few hours, including checking what’s in the freezer and fridge that needs to be used up. As mentioned I like to go online and check out what the store got on sale and plan from there.
I do my big shopping on sundays, and then take the kids to the store with me on fridays. They get to buy their friday candy and we pick out extra milk and anything we might have been running out of (it happens) but it’s normally a fast shopping trip.
I really recommend everyone to give it a try, as it makes life so much easier.