Skip to main content

Making a plan and sticking to it (Or why meal planning is only the first step!)

I've been asked lots of times about meal planning and following through to actually doing the plan, so I thought I'd do a post about that.

There are LOADS of videos on You Tube telling you how to meal plan, but here are the basics.

1) Don't spend loads of money buying boards/planners/ stickers/stuff... The back of an envelope will do.

2) Make a plan

3) Shop the plan

4) Stick to the plan (broadly speaking, it's fine to allow some wiggle room)

So, here's what works for me, what works for you will probably be different, but play around with some different ways until you find the best one.

  • Choose a time to do your meal planning - This is usually Sunday evening for me, especially as I tend not to be in work on Monday, so I do my shopping then. Not leaving too much time between making the plan and executing it works really well for me.
  • Work out what you're doing in the week - Get your calendar/diary/phone/wherever you keep all your appointments and schedules for your family and work out what you're doing in the week. It's no good planning to cook something from scratch on a day when you're rushing out of the door to do clubs or events. If you have school-aged children, this may be the time to go through their bookbags to find those "forgotten" letters about events.
  • Check your fridge/freezer/pantry - to see what you already have and to check whether there's anything that you need to use up
  • Get some paper and divide it into 7 sections - Then divide each section into 3 (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner). If you plan for each meal, you'll think about what you're eating and what you need to have in the house, which should save you having to keep going to the shops too.
  • Write down what you're going to have for each meal - Remember to refer to your plans for the week and also the stuff you already have in the house that might need eating up or that you might want to eat.
  • Make a shopping list - Based on your plan, make a list of the things you need to buy. Aim to only have to go shopping once (this will save you time and money!)
  • Shop the list - When you go shopping, shop your list, don't buy anything that isn't on there (that way lies waste!)
  • Eat to the plan - As closely as you can. Obviously sometimes that might not work, but try and stick as closely as you can to the plan, again this saves on waste (both food and money).
I try to cook extra portions of things to freeze, so that there are always some easy defrost/re-heat options available if we're busy.

I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't eat out or get take away sometimes (we do), just plan accordingly.

And that's how I meal plan and shop. It works for me. How do you do it?


Popular posts from this blog

Reasons to be cheerful - 5th October 2017

It's a quickie this week... I'm still loving my job and really glad that I made the move. I submitted two commissioned articles to editors and they were happy. I'm off on a trip, a couple of nights away (more on that next week). Hope you've had a great week too.

Reasons to be cheerful - 7th December 2017

1) After a day of sawing, drilling, cutting, etc, etc, and then a new bit in the boiler...We have gas! Yes, our heating, hot water and cooker are now working - the gas is fixed! SO happy after 12 days without it.

2) This morning Boyzilla was greeted by a dead RAT outside the sitting room. Whilst yucky (but not as yucky as if I'd had to clean it up), it makes me hugely proud that my cats are, well, cats.

3) The two planning tools I ordered for 2018 to help me move forward with my plans to do more writing have arrived and I'm looking forward to spending big chunks of the next four days exploring them and planning for a fantabulous year.

150 things about me (all true)

Happy 150th blog post to me... And to celebrate, here are 150 things about me and they are all true!

1. My middle name is Margaret
2. My star sign is Libra
3. I'm 50 in October
4. I'm a practising Christian
5. I can't drive a car
6. The last live theatre I saw was Macbeth at the National in London
7. My favourite novel is Dracula
8. My favourite movies are The Godfather, Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid and Bram Stoker's Dracula.
9. I have a son
10. He is over 18
11. The first poster I had on my bedroom wall was of Donnie Osmond
12. My favourite Star Trek is Next Generation
13. My favourite classic Dr Who is Colin Baker
14. My favourite new Dr Who is David Tennant
15. My favourite Dr Who companion is Nardole
16. If I had to choose a Dr to travel with it would be the 8th (Paul McGann)
17. I have 4 A'Levels
18. I appeared on BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour once
19. The last movie I saw in a cinema was Avengers: Infinity War
20. I always look for Krilitane when I go i…