Meal Planning

One thing that really helps me stay on track and reaching my goals is meal planning. Since I work full time, have my blog and need to keep life running and not falling apart at the seams I tend to be quite organised in general. Meal planning contributes hugely to my overall feeling of being on top of everything and I really recommend you do it too.

I’m quite boring in that I don’t mind eating the same stuff over and over and neither do my husband or son (luckily). While it can get a bit ho hum at times I find it makes it easier for me to plan and make sure I’m organised when I have a selection of tried and true recipes that I tend to cook. Where I can I shuffle the days around to keep it interesting but we tend to eat the same stuff each week/fortnight.

I have a meal planner that is magnetic and sticks to the side of my fridge, I got it free in a promotion that was on at the supermarket. It’s handy to have it in the kitchen and on the fridge because I can just glance at it and I know what’s going on and what’s ahead for the next few days. If you think something like this would be handy, Dr Julie Bhosale has one that she created and you can order off her website here.

I do my grocery shopping fortnightly online but before I do my shopping I do my meal planning for the next couple of weeks to make sure I get everything I need to get us through those two weeks. It helps me not overshop too because I know exactly what I need and doing my shopping online I can check what’s already in my freezer as I’m adding stuff to my trolley.

I can’t sing the praises of online grocery shopping enough. For a busy full time working mum like me spending a couple of hours doing the grocery shopping every couple of weeks is just time I don’t have. Shopping online I can do it in the evening once my little guy has gone to bed and it turns up in a delivery window I have selected. It really couldn’t be easier. Check out Countdown Online if you’re keen!

Planning out dinners first helps me to see which meals we get leftovers from and about how many days that’s going to get us lunches out of too. While I sort of have a set template for lunches for each of us it does help in terms of saving time not having to make dinner and then lunches as well, This means I’m working smarter not harder in terms of overall food prep.

Breakfast is the same for each of us every day so I don’t plan those out and I don’t bother to plan out lunches for the weekends. I do of course make sure we have stuff in the house for those meals but because they are a bit more casual I don’t feel the need to plan them.

Meal planning helps free up space in my head because I’m not having to wonder about it every day. It helps me make the right choices with food because if it’s already there done for you I find there’s no temptation to go and buy something that I shouldn’t be eating. It makes grocery shopping easier because I know exactly what I need to buy and means I don’t buy too much, just in case. Any leftovers that aren’t needed for lunches go in the freezer in individual portions so that if I get caught short or don’t have time to do them one week there’s something ready and waiting in the freezer.

Do you do meal planning as a matter of course to help you organise yourself or do you go day by day? Do you think it could be helpful for you if you don’t already plan out your meals? Comment below and let me know I’d love to know how you organise yourself.

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There are 4 comments for this article
  1. Nerida at 7:19 pm

    Meal planning is great for staying on track. I have a colourful A4 meal planner that is framed in a certificate frame (behind glass) and I just write on it with a whiteboard marker. Great stuff.

  2. Meagan Kerr at 7:13 pm

    I am a massive fan of meal planning and I find that if I don’t have something planned then it’s too easy to eat things that are quick and easy but not necessarily nutritious (I’m talking about you, marmite on toast). I do my meal plan before I do my shopping as well, but I have ditched online shopping in favour of actually going to the shop. I am self employed and make my own schedule, meaning that while everyone else is at work/school, I can do the shopping! I find that I can pick up better bargains at my local Countdown that way (they always have great fruit and veg specials in store that aren’t online). That being said, I will still use the online service when it’s convenient!

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 7:44 pm

      You’re lucky you can switch your schedule to make it work so well for you. It’s a shame that I miss the in store specials but time pressures and convenience win out for me unfortunately. It would be good for them to have some competition in the online arena too!

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