Planning meals can make sense if you’re on a budget or a diet, or both! I know that people are often mocked for being super organised but in this case it’s very helpful. Personally I have found that even when the outcome of the organisation is profitable and/ or beneficial; most people around me don’t understand the time/ effort that I put into saving money and planning my meals.
Despite all the planning/ organisation I don’t often plan more than 1 week in advance. For my life/ schedule I find this method is most effective and results in the least amount of waste. However when it comes to breakfast I tend to buy in bulk… Aldi’s wheat biscuits are my staple breakfast. They are particularly cost-effective for me as I eat them at work on a morning and use the work milk and sugar. A 48 pack of wheat biscuits works out at 6p per day over 22 days and as there are generally around 20 working days in a month, this covers me 1 month at a time.
Also, I should mention at this point that, I use my phone calendar to keep me where I need to be, because my memory is shocking! This means that my first port of call when preparing my meal plans is to check my diary and see which meals I’m going to be around for that week.
I use a grid and make a note of which meals I need to buy for/ prepare for that week, then I check my cupboards, fridge and freezer to see what I already have and can use that week. Often because I tend to cook in batches there are things I can eat from the freezer, these make good gap fillers especially if there are weeks where I’m away a lot and don’t want to buy/ cook lots.
Like most people I have my “go to” meals for different occasions… for example if I’m in a rush, scrambled eggs is always a winner so I always have eggs in. By having a few recipes to hand, it’s easier to know what to buy and how much, which reduces any waste through not using up excess ingredients. One of the most cost-effective things I cook is a Roast Chicken. A medium chicken will feed me for the week if I make the best use of it. I often make salads, add it to couscous/ quinoa or make chicken wraps for my lunch to take to work. I also use it with pasta for an evening meal as this can be made in bulk for a couple of days at a time and makes for a nice easy to put together tea.
Over the course of this blog, I will be adding recipes I’ve tried and tested as well as sharing my tips for effective meal planning, advice from my own experiences in the kitchen and the methods to my (occasional) madness!
Per the title this is just Part 1, there’s plenty more to follow…
Don’t Judge Me But… I’m looking forward to your judgements