Weekly Meal planning is a part of my family’s weekend routine. It gives us a chance to sit as a family and discuss plans for the week ahead – usually over a nice mug of coffee on a Sunday. When I caught sight of the link up ‘meal planning monday’ over at ‘At Home With Mrs M – I thought I’d join in by sharing my plans a little retrospectively!
Planning ahead has several advantages in my book:
1. Less food waste
I always begin by looking at what we already have – I obviously want to think about how those things could be used but it also means I don’t buy them again! Additionally, by knowing what we’re going to eat I don’t then buy things we don’t need. If I were to just wander round the supermarket it’s likely I would just choose things I think look nice or perhaps that I feel like eating at a time. Basically I’d end up with a load of aubergine and cheese!
2. Less stress
The last thing I want to do at the end of the day is think about what to cook. Mike certainly doesn’t want to come in from work and find that he has to go back out and pick up things for dinner! By planning and shopping ahead, sometimes I will have to go to the shops midweek – but I know this is necessary and can get it done during the day.
3. More adventurous
If I had to make a meal up on the day I can tell you in all certainty it would involve pasta. I am not a particularly creative cook but do really enjoy good food. That’s where recipe books come in! On a Sunday I have time to sit and browse through our collection looking for ideas.
I tend to favour chefs who don’t use a zillion ingredients in their recipes and have options for speedy meals. I’m lucky that Katie eats very well but an ability to adapt recipes to be dairy-free is also key of course! My outright favourite is probably Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diary – whilst obviously a recipe book it tells us what he was eating at any particular time of the year. I like looking at the relevant month because I know the food will be in season and therefore, in all likelihood, readily available in store.
4. Better on the budget
This is really coupled in with less food waste, but by planning meals ahead, I should highlight how much money you can save! Shopping day to day often means shopping on instinct, and probably shopping whilst hungry. I find that this means I’m far more likely to throw ‘extras’ into the trolley – maybe just some olives or perhaps a dessert – but I rarely actually need these things! That’s not to say that we don’t have ‘treats’ – we often have a jar from Olives et al lurking in the cupboard and a stash of ice cream in the freezer – but they are not bought on a whim and can easily be sacrificed if there’s a need to reduce the shopping budget.
What are we eating this week?
Monday – Left over roast chicken with Mediterranean veg
Tuesday – Aubergine burgers with Pesto and Haloumi
Wednesday – Baked potatoes with Pancetta and Gorgonzola
Thursday – Pasta with Sausage, Basil and Mustard
Friday – Mum’s meatloaf – topped with bacon and ketchup
We have the ingredients for many of these dishes in the store cupboard already but found inspiration from browsing Pinterest and from Nigel Slater’s ‘Real Food‘. The tag line reads ‘classic guide to comfort food’ – certainly what we need for all this grey weather!
I’ve linked up some recipes that I could find online in case you also need some inspiration – the aubergine burgers are one my absolute favourites!
Pin this for future reference: