Easier Meal Planning

I mentioned in one of my previous posts how useful it is to plan meals. You waste less money, less food and you could even find yourself eating a little healthier when faced with a potential week’s worth of junk food. The problem is a meal plan can be hard to make and even harder to stick to, which naturally puts people off doing them in the first place. There are several tricks to making them work and being the darling *cough* domestic GODDESS *double cough* I am, I thought I’d share mine with you while reminding myself what they are.

  • Stop making it so complicated! Definitely first and foremost. It doesn’t matter if you write your meal plan on a scrap envelope that’s headed for the bin or an apple-shaped chalkboard you saw on Pinterest, the point is you’re doing it. And another thing – don’t let seeing a week’s worth of meals at once make you feel the need to make something super-complicated just to spruce things up. Yes, you need variety, but you don’t need the stress.
  • Work your meal plan around your cupboards. Take a look in your fridge, freezer and cupboards. Do you have a shelf full of canned tuna but a meal plan full of steak and sausages? STOP. Either throw in some tuna-sweetcorn pasta or donate some tins to a food bank. If you have any leftovers in the freezer, use them. Freezing something doesn’t make it indefinitely imperishable!
  • Remember your schedule. Are you working late Thursday night? Then it’s the perfect night for some microwaveable leftovers. Entertaining Saturday? Cook to impress. Never plan complicated meals for busy days, or if you prefer, plan meals you can prepare the night before when you have more time.
  • Don’t be afraid of repetition.  We’re creatures of habit at heart. If you like to have soup or jacket potatoes several times a week then carry on! If you like to have the same fillings/flavours then that’s fine, or you could chop and change if you prefer.
  • Stick with it. New habits don’t just appear in our lives – they’re made to be there, drummed in until, eventually, you do things without even thinking about them. If you give up the first time you make a mistake then you’ll just go back to the same old. To quote something I saw at a positive parenting course: If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.

Do you use a meal plan at home? What, if anything, do you find difficult about it? What are your meal plan “hacks”?

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