Every time I come to cook an evening meal, I can never think what to cook. We either don’t have the food I want or we waste fresh food – which equals wasting money.
So I started making a weekly meal plan. I make this on a Friday morning so I have 2.5 days opportunity to go shopping for the required food.
The meal plan obviously varies from week to week, some foods may not last from saturday to the following Saturday which is mostly salad so Sam will go to the shop on his journey home from work for any extra items we might need.
This weeks meal plans is –
Monday – Healthy wedges (baked with frylight), chicken breast seasoned with paprika and salad
Tuesday – Chilli con carne with rice
Wednesday – Stir fry & rice noodles
Thursday – Chicken, steam-fresh veg and pasta
Friday – Fish(slimming world recipe), healthy frylight chips and mushy peas
Saturday – Chicken pasta bake (slimming world recipe)
Sunday – Roast dinner *slimming world version
The meal plan isn’t always quite so healthy but we one of our New Year’s resolutions was to start making healthier choices which I figured started with the largest meal of the day.
During the day Sam is provided lunch at work & I normally either skip lunch or will eat something very simple so I don’t include this within the meal plan.
When I get paid I buy all of our toiletries and cleaning products from Home Bargains, as it is so much cheaper than anywhere else I have found. I will also place my online shopping order which is normally from TESCO. Other items I need to buy will often be from Morrison’s as it is the closest supermarket to us.
Shopping via this method, multiple times throughout the month meaning very little wastage means that we save sooooo much money.
I also found making dump-bags sooo handy. Basically you get large food bags, add the ingredients you need for a meal. So chopped chicken & curry sauce, you defrost this and cook via hob, oven or slow cooker…sorted!
Now, I have a book for recipes, that I brought as an impluse (quite pricey) purchase from Paperchase, however in the long-run it has become a very useful item. I sit down with my weekly planner (image at the top of the page – only £3 from Sainsbury’s, bargain). In the notes section, I write a shopping list & concise to-do list, then each day I write down anything significant I may be doing and what we will eat that day.
Not only does this save money but the stress of thinking what to eat every single night, opening the fridge endless times hoping somehow, magically new food or a meal will appear in there.
Even though it may take you half an hour to plan your meals for the week and write a set a shopping list, think how long you spend in despair each evening thinking of a meal.
Also, if you have fussy-eaters in your family you could all sit down and pick from a list of meals your family eat. Or encourage your children to find recipe’s they like the look of…maybe if they’re older you might even encourage them to develop their cooking skills and help with meal making. Double Bonus.
So yeh, basically meal plans are the way forward.