I see myself as a pretty organised person, and love writing a good list. I have a list for my day-to-day life and work life, which contains tasks like “Do the washing”, “Hoover the living room”, or email a client. Something that I haven’t done before is meal planning. Looking in our fridge and freezer last week it was a little empty with a few random items. Knowing that the upcoming week would be really busy, I set about making myself a little meal plan for the next 5-days, and then went to shops to purchase exactly what I needed.
As sad it is may seem meal planning was a particular highlight of mine last week, and here are my reasons why:
There was little wastage
Once my meal plan was written, I worked out exactly what ingredients I needed to buy. This meant that I purchased exactly what I needed, resulting in less wastage and random bits of food left in the fridge.
I saved money
As I was buying exactly what I needed, there was no longer the odd trip to Sainsburys after work to pick up dinner or buy such and such. Everything that we needed was at home.
It was easy
I had a fair few late nights last week at work, and meal planning certainly took the stress out of deciding last minute what we wanted for dinner. Most of the meals I had on the meal planning were also really easy to cook which was what we needed at the time, as I didn’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen.
Food for the family
One of the good aspects of meal planning is that it allowed me to prepare and cook for the whole family (me, my husband and daughter). No longer did I have to cook a separate meal for our daughter, she ate the same as we did. It also meant that I could freeze some of the leftovers for later in the week for her.
Sharing the load
This was probably one of the best things about meal planning was that my husband got involved with the cooking. As I had already decided what we were eating that night, and all the ingredients were in the house, then there was no excuse for him not to cook. It was nice to put my feet-up and take a break from the cooking for a night.
One of our family goals for 2017 is to not buy a takeaway in the first quarter of the year. It’s so easy for us to order an Indian on a Friday night, and that would cost about £25. With meal planning we knew exactly what we would be cooking once we got home from work, and saved ourselves quite a bit of money. We’ve got a new goal to have Friday nights as “cook a Curry” night.
So that’s my top reasons why I fully support meal planning. It really worked for us as a family last week, and I hope that it’s helped us to save some money too. I know that there are apps and free downloads to help you meal plan, but for now I will stick to my traditional paper list. I now need to meal plan for the 2 next weeks so that I can complete the Ocado shop tonight.
Have you ever written a meal plan, and stuck to it? I would love to hear your top tips.