Meal planning is exactly as it sounds – it’s simply planning your meals in advance!
There’s nothing complicated about meal planning, in fact, if anything it simplifies your life because you know what to buy when you go shopping and you know ahead of time what you’ll be eating for tea each night. And it’s these two key things that will save you both time and money every single week.
I’ve written lots of posts about how I meal plan including this quick guide to how I meal plan here and this post on my other blog which has everything you need to know about meal planning all in one place. Have a read through of those posts and then see if you can plan your next week’s meals using as much of what you have in the house as possible.
I’m not super strict as far as meal planning goes because there’s always going to be times when life gets in the way or even when we don’t fancy what we have planned for some reason. If this happens, I try and juggle the meals around for the rest of the week to make the meals I had planned worked for us. If that’s not possible then I might use things I have in to make something else with the planned main ingredient of the meal – for example, if we’re planning chicken something or other for tea, I’ll try and replace it with another chicken dish using just what we have in. Failing that, I just give up for the night and get back on track the next night making sure that there is no food wasted by the change in meal.
I often cook double portions and put any we don’t use in the freezer for another time making an almost ready meal as it will just need re-heating once I take it out and defrost it. I’m going to be focussing on batch cooking much more in the coming months as I’ve just been given a huge freezer for my garage so I’m going to fill that with batch cooking.
Leftovers are frozen for another day or used as lunch for the next day to ensure that there is no wastage in that department and my soup maker makes an amazing soup out of next to nothing so the random veg in the bottom of the fridge at the end of the week goes in there to make soup for lunch.
I share my weekly meal plans on here for inspiration for you if you’re stuck in a rut and I also share some of my recipes too, hopefully, I’ll be able to share more with you as I start experimenting a bit more – my New Years resolution is to try and cook one new meal a week. Let’s see though, shall we?