I have to admit from the start, until just a few weeks ago I had never been one for meal planning. Not at all.
I was more of your fly by the seat of your pants, quick what are we going to have for dinner mum. Dinners were planned basically max 3 days at a time, and daily trips to the supermarket often occurred.
You probably know as well as I do, that daily supermarket trips and scrambling for dinner ideas is not the best way to do mum life. In fact it is a sure fire way to ensure stress and waste a lot of time and money.
Now for those who don’t know, our family life is somewhat complicated. Shift work, shared custody etc, etc. Plus a little lady with lots and lots of allergies. And when it all boils down, I really think this was my excuse for a long time to avoid meal planning. I exclaimed it would be too hard, too likely to change, i would still have to cook for my littlest, blah blah blah.
But after a few weeks of meal planning as much as possible, I have realised I was so full of s$#t, lol!!! In fact the complete opposite is true. Meal planning is making life easier, much easier.
So here are my quick tips for making meal planning work for you, especially if you have a slightly interesting schedule/life like we do.
Know the family week
Now this can be knowing activity nights, when people won’t be home, late work days. Anything like that. For us it is looking at shifts, when the girls will be home, what days we won’t have time to cook. All those little things that mean that it might be worth thinking and planning ahead a little better when it comes to dinner. Write it all out, and build the meals around it.
Build your shopping list smart
By this I mean, do it once and do it right lol. Remember snacks, special occasions, lunches that need to be packed. All that jazz. The only thing I have to relent and re-buy through the week is generally bananas as it can be hard to get them perfect for a whole week.
Oh and by the way, Sunday to Saturday does not even work for us one bit. So oftentimes our plan is 5 or 8 days, starts on a Tuesday, you get what I mean. Make it work for you and your family.
At least twice a week I try to cook double and freeze. Or sometimes as I cook one meal, I actually cook another and refrigerate for the following night. This is so helpful for nights with late activities, late work, or when I just plain cannot be bothered to be a magician in the kitchen.
Meal planning is basically the bomb-diggity. I am loving being more organised and not scrambling. I am loving saving money too, of course.