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Meal planning(6 Posts)
I am trying to sort out my life and one area that is out of control is food. How do you get into the habit of meal planning?
I'd also like to get some home cooked meals in the freezer for those nights when time is short.
Any tips or hints?
I have a meal planner on the fridge I write down what we've got in (generally meat wise) then build a meal around that. Or ask DP what he wants to eat and build a meal around that. Make sure we have all ingredients, if need anything add it to my trolley in supermarket app and only buy what I need. I probably could do it cheaper by going to Aldi or Lidl but I don't buy anything don't need!
I also stand on a Sunday night and prep all veg for week into large sandwich bags then can either throw into slow cooker on a morning or use on a night. I also like to make something that can just be heated up in the oven with no prep on then night so lasagne or Shepard's pie etc...makes for a boring couple of hours on a sunday but means get evenings with my baby after work
I'm not as organised as kshaw with veg prep but I do a similar thing with planning a week ahead on paper, based around what I have (the protein element normally) - putting what I need to buy on a shopping list at the same time. At the weekend I tend to cook a couple of dishes in double portions for the freezer or cook a dish to go in the fridge and eat later in the week.
Sat. Lasagne (+extra portion for freezer)
Sun. Haddock florentine
Mon. Pulled pork (pressure cooker, I'll prep and DH will put on as he gets home earlier)
Tue. Malaysian chicken curry (from freezer)
Wed. DH cooking, no idea...
Thur fajitas with leftover pulled pork
Fri. Haggis neeps and tatties (will peel veg night before)
I have spare time on a Sunday which allows me to meal plan and order the food online. If I'm lucky I have enough time to go through the freezer to use up stuff I forgot I had. I batch cook sauce for lasagna etc in sc which makes me enough to last me about 4 mth and I always cook extra mash/par boil roasties when doing them already
I check what I've got in before I do the weekly shop - checking freezer, fridge and cupboards - and first try and think of some meals using what we've already got in.
Then fill up the meal planner for the week - taking into account anything we might have planned to do that week and trying to not have all heavy meals or all light meals iyswim.
Then I write my shopping list based on what I'll need to make those meals. Then I think about lunches, breakfasts, etc.
I don't freeze much, just the usual, Bolognese, shepherds pie filling, leftover risotto, and I generally have braised red cabbage in in individual portions as I'm the only one who likes it! And frozen mash - best thing ever invented! I also have some easy things in for stressed days (fish fingers, etc).
I go to the supermarket on a Thursday. Before I go I make a list of 7 meals we'll have the following week. I make sure ther's some quick stuff for easy nights. They tend to be four with meat, two veggie and one fish. One will be pasta, at least one will be something that I can double up and freeze half and if we're having a roast, that will get rolled over into another meal. I then check the freezer and cupboards before I go shopping.
Lunches are covered by leftovers and always having plenty of salad, eggs and cheese in. I always but some pittas and wraps and use my breadmaker.
So this week we've had (ate out one night):
Homemade donner kebab, salad, pittas, cous cous, homous, yoghurt
Beef brisket, Yorkies, roasties and veg
Hot beef baguettes, salad and potato wedgies
Mediterranean fish stew and rice
Goats cheese, red onion and beetroot tart (made on a sheet of shop bought flaky) baked potatoes and salad
That's for 3 adults and a hungry 11 year old. My shopping was £57 in Aldi and we probably spent £10 on fresh stuff through the week.
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