Wednesday 8 May 2019

Why and how I meal plan. #MealPlanning

I have been meal planning for years. I decided that it would be a new years resolution of sorts and posted my first meal plan at the beginning of 2013. It was one of the first linkies I actually joined in with.

Why I meal plan.

I was sick of spending £150/200 on food each week, buying lots of random things and only getting a couple of good meals from the lot of it and at the end of the week throwing so much out.

With meal planning I only buy what I need for the weeks meals and of course a few treats on top. Now I throw hardly anything out and most week our shopping bill is round about £110/120. I hi-five myself when I get it under £100. Recently I cut all the snacky food out which has reduced the shopping bill even more.

I have a little white board in the kitchen and I write the meals down and when we are eating them and the kids go of to school knowing what they will be eating for tea and come home in the right frame of mind to eat it because they have been thinking about it all day.

If I didn't meal plan we would be eating the same meals every week which would probably come from the freezer and consist of a lot of chips and beige food. Meal planning gives me the chance to come up with different meals and try new recipes. I know if I didn't plan it would get to tea time and I would be struggling to come up with something under the pressure of the kids being hungry.

I'm not going to lie and say every weeks meal plan goes to plan. I would say about once a month we eat everything I have planned per week. Some weeks I do change things around but with planning we still have very little waste and spend less on unplanned takeaways.

How I meal plan.

I shop online, usually with Tesco or Iceland. I won't go grocery shopping and do a full shop in our local supermarket. I find it impossible to stick to a list and I hate our local Asda. There is nothing wrong with the company it's just stresses me out shopping in there. It's always so busy and if I see something I fancy I will get it, even if it's not on the shopping list so the shopping bill goes way up. 

I order my food shop online usually on a Thursday or Friday to be delivered the next day and that is when I meal plan. I look and see what's on offer or what's new on the site. I will ask the kids what they fancy and Stu of course. Usually they say they don't know so it's left up to me.

If we have had a roast dinner on a Sunday I like to use the left overs on a Monday. Bubble & Squeak, an omelette, a curry or something like that.

If we don't have a roast dinner on the Sunday we will usually have one on the Monday. I always like to start the week with a big hearty meal. If it's not a roast it's usually something using the slow cooker. Sausage and baked bean casseroleBeef meatballs in tomato and mushroom sauce or Thick & chunky beef stew.

I always seem to cook a filling meal one day and something lighter the next. By Thursday my motivation for cooking has usually left me so I plan for that and I usually make something quick and easy. Friday is usually pizza night. Stu works late, it's my busy day and the kids want something fun.

I join in with Katy Kicker's weekly meal planning linky which gives me lots of inspiration. Katy cooks some great meals and the people who link up do too.

My favourite sites for finding recipes are actually other blogs, Netmums, Pinterest and Tesco. Sometimes I will find a recipe and it will contain something we don't like so I will change it up a bit.

Meal planning works for us. Some people plan all their meals I just do the evening meal. 

Do you meal plan?


  1. I love meal planning because when I get home from work tired out, I like to know that I have a plan and something defrosted in the fridge ready to prepare. It saves all the brain-ache and the desperate rummaging through the freezer looking for something that can be prepared from frozen. I love seeing everyone else's menu,plan - I always grab a few new ideas from them and some have become family favourites ! :)

  2. It's really interesting reading this Kim, I've started thinking more about meal planning because of the amount of money I waste on food. I was at the stage of doing a weekly shop even though my cupboards and freezers (yes, I have two) were full. At it takes is a little forward thinking and now that's my aim. x