Are you fed up of staring at the contents of your fridge and wondering what you can make of it for a meal? We’ve all been there in the supermarket browsing the aisles and putting everything you fancy in your basket only to get home and realise you don’t have any complete meals, just bits! Plus you’ve spent a small fortune. That’s why you should plan your meals!
I know what you’re thinking, great another job to do! Meal planning doesn’t have to be a big job, it’s something you can do in about 10 minutes if you sit down and focus with a pen and one of my meal planner notepads - it couldn’t be any easier.
My notepads don’t have days on, I purposely left that column blank for you to fill in yourself depending on which day you go to do your big shop - not everything has to start on a Monday. Once you’ve filled in your days, work through each day thinking about breakfast, dinner and tea or breakfast, lunch and dinner depending on whether you’re from the north or south of the UK. Below is my thinking on each section and how I go about planning those meals.
this is the easy one for me and often I don’t fill it in. I have a rotation of toast, bagels, porridge and fruit across the week so when writing my shopping list I always put those on straight away as staples. Unless I'm doing a weekend treat breakfast that needs a bit more than the usual like a shakshuka.
I am northern and I do normally say dinner but having lived down south for 15 years lunch has creeped in and it won a place on my notepad. Similar to breakfast I have a few set lunches I flit between every fortnight or so from salads, to sandwiches and leftovers from the night before. So I usually write down without too much thought what I will have on each day in order to make sure I don’t miss those items off the shopping list when I come to write it.
Dinner (or Tea)
Now this is where it gets fun if you like to cook. Each week I like to pick 2-3 recipes from a book or that I’ve seen on instagram to try, usually new things or twists on old favourites. They can be quick dishes or longer cooks but either way I usually decide these first and space them out throughout the week then intersperse them with our usual ‘go to’ meals like a prawn and chilli linguine or a stir fry. Also our plans for the week heavily dictate the meal plan, if I know I’ve got a busy day it will be a quick meal that night or if my husband is going to be working late I’ll get something we can cook separately or he can easily warm up later.
The notes section on the planner is a handy place for you to write down things you don’t want to forget as the week goes on. I tend to write ‘use by’ dates on there for fresh food I’ve bought because as much as I have planned the meals sometimes life gets in the way or you just don’t fancy something so you switch the meals around. It’s good to know at a glance that those sausages need to be eaten by wednesday so you don’t switch them to later in the week and miss their ‘use by’ date. Handy eh?! I also write recipe book page numbers down or reminders such as ‘take the chilli out of the freezer’. It just frees up my brain space to get on with the million other things on my ‘to do’ list.
It might sound like a lot of work planning your meals this way but honestly once you get into the habit of it it will save you so much time each day trying to decide what to have and also it should save you money as you only buy what you know you’re going to cook.
Hopefully I’ve convinced you with this blog post that meal planning is the way forward, if that is the case click here to order your meal planner notepad while you are in the mood.