Meal planning basics

I can’t believe it took me so long to start embracing meal planning! It helps us manage our budget, save time and eat healthy (depending on the types of food we choose of course).

My partner and I have been meal planning on and off since we met 2 years ago, but started to really do it on a weekly basis since the start of 2020. It’s been a game changer! I think it was hard to be consistent with it in our earlier attempts, simply because you need to plan your meals upfront AND do an organised grocery shop.

In more normal circumstances (outside of Covid19 lockdown) our meal plan actually works very similarly to what I share in this week’s video. The only thing that has changed is that we eat all our meals at home.

My top tips:

  1. Keep it simple. I just use a marker and a blank piece of paper to draw up a 7 day meal plan. You can make it pretty if you want to of course, for us it’s just important that it says what we’re having and who is responsible for cooking.
  2. Divide responsibility. My partner and I split the cooking and each prepare dinner every few days, since neither of us love to cook. I typically do most of the salads, soups and new recipe experiments. Paul is the king of pasta bolognese, roast and homemade pizza.
  3. Batch cooking means you have to cook less often. We are usually happy to have the same dish 2-3 days in a row, but if we’ve made a bigger batch than that, we just freeze anything extra and have it the next week.
  4. Be flexible. Right now (#physicaldistancingandcrazytoiletpaperhoarding) some things are harder to find at the supermarket, so it’s best to make a realistic meal plan, but be open to changing up the ingredients if needed.
  5. Follow the meal plan 90% of the time. Even with a great basic meal plan, we sometimes swap the order of the meals, order the occasional takeaway or go out for dinner. The plan is not set in stone, it’s just there to help you simplify your week and stay healthy and on budget more often than you don’t.

Below is an example meal plan for the other week. You’ll notice we only plan lunch and dinner, as we often do intermittent fasting in the morning and skip breakfast. I’m happy to share more about this in a future blog and video if you’d like to fund out more. Just let me know in a comment here and I’ll add it to the filming schedule!

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