Meal Planning?(15 Posts)
Hope I've posted in the right place!
I'm wondering if anyone does this and if it works?
I'm desperately trying to get more organised this year
I'm the most disorganised person I know and although I dabbled in trying to meal plan/prep/use the slow cooker, I just don't seem to be able to pull it off.
I've two under 4 and the eldest is quite picky so I find that limiting although do try to introduce new food on his plate for him to try a few times a week.
So my question is, do you meal plan? Part or full week? What works for you and where do you begin? Do you do slow cooker freezer dumps? Are they worth doing? Tia
This was my New Years resolution because I was fed up of having freezer and cupboards full of food and also coming home late and hungry and snacking on crap.
So I was a complete saddo and made a chart (just days of the week), 4 weeks on a page of A4 and started writing down what we've got and what we're having each night.
Some nights it changes, so for example I might have written down bolognase but when I come to take it out of the freezer in the morning I don't fancy it so have chilli instead. But the point is I am getting it out so its ready for a quick blast in the microwave in the evening and I am using up food we have in the house.
Only been a couple of weeks but I'm loving it already.
We decide meals for the week on a Saturday so this week we are having fajitas, curry, risotto, pasta, gammon steaks. The curry sauce and bolognese sauce for the pasta are from batch cooking and are in the freezer.
I meal plan at the beginning of the week for the following week by looking at meat/fish offers on Ocado. I then check what I have coming in the veg box and basically pair up the meals that way. I add any additional sides or bits and pieces needed to complete the meal on Ocado and job done (eg. Pitta bread if we're having lamb kebabs with roasted veg etc.). We have lots of variety because the offers and veg box contents change all the time and it keeps me on budget because I buy only meat that is on offer.
I do bulk cook some stuff that freezes well- Chilli, curry, pasta sauce, bolognese etc. into ready meal sizes. DH has a packed hot lunch for work so he normally takes a box of them from freezer to work.
I have a list of about 12 different main meals pinned to the fridge - nothing takes more than about 40 mins to prep cook and plate. This way I choose one on a morning and pull stuff out of freezer before work and don't feel stuck with a set plan as such (found when I did a proper daily one we would change our minds all the time)
I wrote a list of all the meals I cook
badly and got the 2 DC to add what they like (they are teenage and 20s so a bit easier).
I have a list of 23 meals but will hopefully add to that when I come across recipes I think we will like.
On a Friday I get them to pick at least one meal each then I choose the rest, at least 1 meal has to something already in the freezer or I can make from the cupboard.
Then I allocate a meal to each day, Saturday I get the messages then decide roughly what nights well be eating what, depending on dates etc but I stick to the plan as in the meals chosen are what we eat that week.
Only been doing it about 5 weeks, but it's working so far.
You must be is Scotland if you get the messages!
Yes meal plan for probably 10 years now mainly because I just can't cope with the idea of having to first find an idea of what to eat and then be sure I ave all the ingredients or that I use whatever is getting pass its best in the fridge).
We have a list of meals that we ike (quite long now, we've had time to make it bigger over time) and start with that than fill in the gaps, add things we want to try (usually more of a weekend thing).
We have lunch and dinner planned.
tbh I find it much much easier than buying random stuff and then trying to make a meal out of them. I'm not a fantastic cook. I need a recipe to follow! (whcih I can't if not all ingredients there etc etc)
We did this as a new year's resolution last year and it worked so well we stuck at it.
We get an email with the veg box contents on Sunday, make the plan for the week then and decide who will cook which nights. Mondays are always busy so I try and keep something in the freezer and food shop on Tuesdays.
I'm working on batch cooking and freezing-what usually happens is I make a big portion and we just eat it all...
oh another thing is, YY to make a batch and freeze the meals. Every so often we then have a 'freezer meal' on the menu.
Menu planned for the week and shopping done once in the week.
It reduces waste too. No vegetables passed their best at the bottom of the fridge. I usually plan meals with fresh veg at the start of the week and add more and more frozen stuff towards the end of the week.
Our week starts on a Thursday (online delivery wednesday evening)
I have been lazy about it lately but it is worth doing. Keeps the waste down.
I do freeze leftovers but don't batch cook. The week before payday often uses those leftovers
Same as WoodHeaven in that fresh veg at beginning and frozen or salad as week goes on. My week starts on Saturday so veg nice and fresh for Sunday roast
We started planning out last year but did it gradually. Over the course of a few months, we took pictures and wrote down the recipes of our meals - of what we normally eat while trying to implement healthier food in the menu. That's how we've managed to gather quite a long list of recipes without ever really planning. You know... It just happened :D But it works, so if you don't have time or you don't want to stress out about it try our way
I used to do it for a month at a time, stock taking at the start to see what meals I already have to use up. I now do fortnightly. It works really well.
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