Meal Planning: Why I love it.
There is nothing more I detest than getting home from work and not having any flippin idea on what I am going to cook for dinner. Standing in front of a bare fridge, kids whinging because they are hungry and all you can think of (and have ingredients for) is cereal or vegemite sandwiches. It. Does. My. Head. In. It is the worst way to end the day. Nobody is happy. Well the kids probably would be happy with cereal or vegemite sandwiches for dinner, at least they would eat it.
I started meal planning when I went back to work after having Mr 5. I wouldn’t get home till about 6pm and I needed to know what we were eating. I didn’t want to have to duck into Coles on my way home with a tired and cranky bub. It worked so well I have stuck to it. Life is so much easier and calmer when I know what the heck I am cooking for dinner.
♡ It saves me time and stress! 20 mins spent each Sunday morning writing out my plan and shopping list, saves me so much stress later in the week. Who really wants to have to duck into Coles on their way home from work with tired and cranky kids. Not me, and I’m guessing not you! Each morning I look at my plan, pull out the meat to defrost while I’m at work. And I’m done.
♡ It saves me money. I only buy what I need at the shops for that week. No extra’s because I have no freaking clue what I am cooking that week so I will grab all the meat things in case. Yep, I grab my 4/5 packages of mince, chicken etc and off I go. It means my pantry doesn’t turn into a mini supermarket with a trillion jars and packets that I bought and have never used. Each week I do go through my pantry to see if the is anything in there that wasn’t used last week and I make sure to use it that week.
♡ We eat healthier. Despite my above comment about jars and packets, I actually don’t cook with sauces from jars (except for one meal that my kids love). I make all things from scratch. So by having all the necessary ingredients at hand, I know I can prepare a quick and easy meal with what I have at home.
♡ We eat more variety. The weeks I don’t get organised and meal plan, I resort back to the same old meals because I know the kids will eat them. There is nothing wrong with this of course, these meals are family favourites, but I do try and compare the new meal plan with the old one from the previous week to make sure they are different enough so that The Mr and I get a little bit of variety. I try to balance our meals out by ensuring we don’t eat too much mince or chicken in one week. If we are having salmon that week, I will cook a budget meal to balance out the cost.
♡ The kids get their favourites. There are two meals I know the kids will devour so I make sure one of them are on the plan each week.
♡ It works well with a shift working hubby. The nights The Mr isn’t working I will plan for meals I know he can cook well. All he has to do is look at the list on the fridge and see what we are having.
Do you meal plan? Or do you live on the wild side of the kitchen and just wing it every night?