Meal Planning

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Probably my favourite part of Sunday, the time I sit down with a blank piece of paper and make myself hungry as I decide what I am going to eat for the week. I call it 'The art of meal planning' because it's a process that just makes the whole week so much easier but still have amazing meals. If you don't plan your meals in advance this is why you should do it.

First of all it's the only way you can have full control on your meals. No 'quick plate of pasta' because you don't feel like figuring out what to cook. It is also a good way to find out new recipes and try new things and a variation of foods. Finally, it makes grocery shopping easier. You know what you're going to need for the whole week and thus only get the essentials which will help you budget better. If I've sold this well enough and you're going to give it a go, there are four things you need.

The planner. There are a lot of weekly planners on the market. My favourite one is by kikki-k and it is a magnetic planner specifically created for planning meals. However, I create my own one, which is so easy. All you need is a blank paper, pen and ruler. If you do one yourself, make sure you put enough sections in there to cover all the meals you have. I only have breakfast, lunch and dinner so those are the three sections I really need besides the days of the week.

Recipe books or websites. Really and truly all I use is google. I just type in something stupid like 'chicken recipes' if I want to cook something with chicken and just get a million and one options of how I can cook my chicken. If I don't have that much time I go directly to my favourite sources which are usually Sorted Food, BBC Good Food or the Food Network. As for my all time favourite recipe book, the winner is Deliciously Ella. Simply love her recipes. When I decide my meals and write them on the planner I also write the source of the recipe next to it to avoid spending ages looking for it again.

Amazon Fresh. Especially if you're on a budget I find it a good practice to look at the prices of certain ingredients before committing to cooking certain dishes. While on amazon fresh I tend to just put the things I need in my basket and have them delivered the next day right to my door.

Storage Boxes. The beauty of meal planning is that you think in advance of the days you will not have time to cook. These are usually the days you whip up the most unhealthy meal. I make note of those days and make sure that on the previous days when I'm cooking I throw in an extra portion to store it for later. Batch cooking is the best and is easily done. It will take you a few extra minutes to cut some more stuff up but will save you an hour from another day. So, when you need to whip something up quickly it will still be healthy and delicious. Just make sure you have those storage boxes available.
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