Meal Plan help!(9 Posts)
How does everyone go about doing their weekly meal plan? Do you have a method you use week in week out?
I used to do one faithfully every week but have had another baby recently and am struggling to get back into the swing of it. I subscribe to BBC Good Food Mag and save all the recipes i fancy trying. I used to go through these each week and pick out ones to make. This method just isn't working for me now as i don't have the time to pour over binders of recipes. I feel like i know what i'm going to do until i sit down to do it and hit a blank wall. I would like to make more decent meals each week for my husband and kids and have less waste at the end of each week but not take ages each week deciding how to go about it. Can anyone relate or help?
If you’re finding it hard to plan for a whole week, just start by doing 3 or 4 days at a time.
First check your food at home in the fridge and cupboards to see if you’ve got anything that is going out of date and needs using up. If you do, find a meal that incorporates it.
The next step is to choose one or two meals that you fancy eating over those days. Then work out what ingredients/foods you will be getting for them but which you won’t be using up completely (for example: half a cauliflower, half a bunch of spring onions...) and try to find meals to add to your meal plan which will use up those ingredients.
This is mine for this week and weekend:
Monday - tuna and sweetcorn burgers www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/5863/tuna-sweetcorn-burgers We already had the white bread and cheddar. I needed to buy: 2 tins tuna, 1 tin sweetcorn, salsa, bread rolls, lettuce, eggs, spring onions (2 bunches as needed for later in the week)
Tuesday - egg fried rice realfood.tesco.com/recipes/prawn-fried-rice.html We already had soy sauce and rice in the cupboard, peas in the freezer and I used the eggs and spring onions that I had left after making Monday’s dinner. I bought a packet of cooked prawns. I froze the spare prawns and will use them in tonight’s fish pie.
Wednesday - stuffed peppers www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/stuffed-peppers-with-couscous-courgette-and-mozzarella I needed to buy four red peppers, packet of lemon and coriander couscous, a courgette, tomatoes and mozzarella. I served it with a green salad made with lettuce left from the tuna burgers on Monday.
Thursday - curry www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/tomato-chickpea-curry I already have the spices as I make this regularly. I bought a tin of tomatoes, tin coconut milk, a tin of chickpeas. I don’t bother with the fresh coriander. I used tomatoes left after making Wednesday’s meal.
Friday - fish pie www.womanmagazine.co.uk/archive/creamy-fish-pie-2326 I already have a block of cheddar. Needed to buy frozen fish pie mix, potatoes, dill and creme fraiche. I also bought a lemon as from experience I’ve found this tastes better with juice of half a lemon. Other lemon half is used for G&T! Add prawns from Tuesday’s meal.
Saturday - will make DH an omelette for breakfast with any leftover eggs.
Sunday - roast chicken (from local butcher) with roast potatoes (from pack used for fish pie).
I have about 30 to 40 dinners that I make on a loose rotation and don't really need a recipe for (I have written them out in a notebook and look at that if I'm stuck for ideas because I often forget that we haven't had, say, paella for a while - or if I've got particular foods that need using). About once a month we'll have a takeaway and about once a month will make something totally new.
Rice thanks so much for your in depth reply! That's exactly what I wanted and where I want to be. Some of those recipes you've put links to look amazing aswell. I know that I need to be more organised and utilise the ingredients I have in more meals the way you have. I guess the key is to look at what you have in the fridge/freezer and go from there. Logically I know this but each week when the time comes I hit a brick wall. I have no clue why must do better this week.
Nextphone I know no where near 30 to 40 recipes of by heart!! I think this is part of my problem. Instead of making more of the same things regularly I try to make new stuff all the time and never get good at anything. I guess my aim is to have a few weeks or a month worth it meal plans that are tried and tested that I can just rotate.
30 or 40 is v impressive! I’m more like 12 to 15.
My saving grace is keeping my lists in a notebook, then when my mind is blank, I just flick back.
First I ask everyone what they fancy, and end up with say
Tuna pasta bake
Toad in the hole
So I’ll think, I need some veggie meals that don’t use the oven, so I’ll add
Chickpea and coconut curry
Linda mcartney sausages and mash
Then I make a shopping list for it all.
You could start a list of all the meals you like / choose to eat out and make sure you have a good recipe for each one that is a 'go to'.
Meanwhile, make sure you photograph or keep somehow all your previous plans for inspiration.
I started a new 'family friendly' binder and slowly gathered all my fave recipes that work for all of us in sections so can flick through when I'm stuck.
Have a block of meals that are very easy eg chicken Kievs, jackets, peas and sweet corn is my 'can't be arsed' meal of choice at the moment!
I've also just discovered Chinese cook in sauces so did black bean beef stir fry with egg fried rice recently which was very easy to make and also easy to shop for with no waste - bag of stir fry veg (I pimped it uo with what was in fridge already), diced beef, sauce.
I tend to start by looking at what I've got already, what is coming in our veg box and what is in the Tesco 3 for £10 meat & fish deal. Then I will do a couple of recipes from books or Pinterest and the rest things I know already.
I’ll try and make things that link together. Yesterday I roasted a whole butternut squash. I used part for a vegan mac and cheese. We had curry with some of it tonight. Tomorrow we’ll have it with cous cous.
Similarly I’ll do a lentil bolognaise type sauce which can easily be turned into a shepherds pie, or a filling for jackets, a chilli or a keema type curry.
On Sunday we sit down and work out which nights need glasses be quick and/or easy. They get a freezer meal or maybe a stir fry with a pack. Then we think about what we fancy and what could be made with batches of it. Wednesday is always jacket potato night.
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