We have been meal planning for the past few weeks. There are a couple of reasons; firstly our shopping habits tend to be quite erratic (3-4 trips to the supermarket a week) and secondly we spend far too much money on food. By meal planning the aim is to save time on the supermarket trips, be more organised each day, and maybe even save a few pennies too.
I use one of my Phoenix family organisers to write lunches and evening meals on and try to do 2 weeks at a time to make sure the meals are varied. There are lots of template ideas online or just make your own one up on an A4 sheet of paper. From this weekly plan, I then write a shopping list of all the ingredients needed. Shopping online is preferable to taking the children to the supermarket as it’s easier to stick to the list and is a lot less hassle!
I’m pleased to report that it has definitely been worthwhile. Even when I don’t get round to shopping online, the supermarket trip has been cut down to twice a week (one big shop and then a top up of fresh produce like milk and bread etc.). The children have been helping to choose meals and packed lunches so they feel involved with the whole process and have been keen to help find items at the supermarket (not always successfully I might add). We have definitely saved some money too which is a bonus.
Meal Planning Tips
- Set aside time on a Sunday to meal plan for the week
- Try and shop online where possible to save time and money
- Invest in a slow cooker if you know you are working late or don’t have much time to prepare meals in the evening
- Add a new meal/recipe in each week to keep it varied and encourage children to try new foods (we give stickers for every new taste)
- Batch cook and freeze where you can
You can find out more about meal planning by visiting the websites below: