If you’re wondering what meal planning is, you will want to go through this Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning. Meal planning can be a task if it is not something which you’ve done before, it’s something you may be thinking about, what is the point or if you should create one, will you follow and stick to it? You may get to the weekend and think, stuff it, we will get a takeaway. So should you meal plan in the first place?
Why Start A Meal Plan?
Meal planning is designed to make things easier if you’re busy with work, family or other things all day, having a meal plan is a great way to know what you’re going to be making for food. Also if you have a shopping budget, like being frugal or just struggling with money at the moment, a meal plan will help you stay within the budget. If you are thinking how, then you will only cook a particular meal that day, it will also help with writing a shopping list because you know what you’ll need and not deviate from the list.
Meal planning is also great if you want to lose weight if you’re on a diet or following a healthy eating plan. You can put together a diet meal plan, I have my slimming world meal plan that I use and I change it up with different recipes each week with new slimming world recipes so that the plan doesn’t get boring!
How To Start A Meal Plan?
You need to think about what you want in your meal planner, do you want to do a weekly meal plan or one for the whole month? Once you’ve decided the next steps are easy. You need to figure out, are you doing a dinner meal plan or for the whole day? I have only a dinner meal plan, a weekly meal plan, you may want to include breakfasts and lunches as well, especially if you’re on a tight budget.
The first thing you need to do is a stock check of what is in your freezer and cupboards, make a list of the ingredients that you have, then start planning some meals around this, if you’re struggling for meal ideas, check out some dinner recipes here. It is always better to use up what you already have, this will save you money when you write your shopping list. You don’t want anything going to waste, if you have some vegetables in the fridge that may be close to expiry if they are peppers, mushrooms or onions, why not cut them all up, put them into freezer bags and put them into your freezer, saves these going off and being wasted.
For some more tips about freezing foods, check out my guide on freezing vegetables.
When Should You Start A Meal Plan?
I like to start a meal plan on a Sunday, it means you can get the whole week sorted out and you don’t need to worry. This is really good if you’re doing a weekly meal plan and Monday is always difficult as you’re back to work so if you come home and know what you’re cooking it makes life so much easier or if you have decided to do a slow cooker meal, you can prep everything you need on a Sunday and then throw it all into the slow cooker on a Monday morning and leave it to cook all day. If you want some help with slow cooker recipes, check out some of my slow cooker recipes here.
If it’s a Sunday and you have a lot to do maybe think about a slow cooker roast chicken, it’s simple and easy to do and you can get shopping or anything else you need to be done while it cooks, then you have a delicious roast chicken and you’ve had to do very little for it.
Slimming World Meal Plans
If you’re following the slimming world diet a slimming world meal plan might be just what you need. It can really help you think about how many syns you’re using each day and how many syns you have left. I’d suggest factoring lunch and breakfast into your meal plan in this case as well so you can get a better view of each day and it can also tell you where you use the most syns and if you need to cut back or use more.
How else can you meal plan?
Meal planning is easy and you can meal plan by using HelloFresh, all you need to do is sign up for an account and get the ingredients sent out directly to you, one of my favourite recipes on HelloFresh is Lamb Bolognese with Spinach and Rigatoni
If you fancy trying out HelloFresh yourself, you can get a £10 discount on your first order by following this link.
I think everyone should give meal planning a chance, it makes life so much easier and it’s less hassle trying to decide what you want to have for dinner. It also helps avoid buying a take away as you have a set menu and don’t need to dig through the freezer and spend ages deciding what to have.
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