Planning your weekly meals ahead of time will not only help you to be more organised, but it will also save you money, kitchen and grocery time, and will help you avoid food spoilage and wastage in your fridge and pantry. I have been meal planning for years and can show you how planning meals can make your life simpler.
Do you plan your meals each week, or are you considering starting to meal plan for you and your family? I like to plan what meals I will make ahead of time because I find that in doing this, it helps me to get more organised, to prepare my shopping list early and get my shopping done quickly with a completed list of items that I need for each meal I’m going to cook. Plus it stops me from buying unnecessary items at the grocery store that saves me even more time and money. I know that many mums might think that a meal plan is not worth the hassle, but I can honestly tell you that it takes me just 5-10 minutes to plan one week of meals, and it completely takes the burden out of standing in the kitchen every night thinking of what to cook. Meal planners are actually very simple to use. Here’s how I use my meal planner.
HOW TO USE THE MEAL PLANNER
Once you’ve used a meal planner, you won’t go back to unplanned dinners. They’re just too convenient and help you so much with being an organised mum, plus everyone in the family knows what will be for dinner, saving you that annoying question, ‘mum, what’s for dinner tonight?’ Here’s how I use my meal planner:
- I’ve placed my meal planner in an A4 frame & use a whiteboard marker to write the meals onto the glass to plan dinners on it so that I can re-use it each week.
- I create copies of all my meal plans and file them in a binder so that I can use some of my already-planned out meal plans in future weeks.
- I place the meal planner in the kitchen so the whole family can see it.
My meal planners are available here, as an instant download – many colours available. My Lunch and Dinner meal planner is also available here.
HOW TO PLAN MEALS
Planning meals is not a difficult task. It just takes a little bit of your time, and you can create incredible meals for your family every night without too much difficulty. When you meal plan, you make sure that you have every ingredient necessary to cook each night. If you’re making spaghetti, for example, you will never need to run to the shop to buy the pasta or even the parmesan cheese that you can’t live without. It’s that simple. My kids also have a lot of after-school activities to attend, so I organise my menu around their activities so that I know when to start dinner each night. If you’re a busy working mum, try using a slow cooker.
- Check out any current grocery catalogues you may have at home and plan your meals based on meat and vegetables with any specials in mind to save more money.
- See what food you still have in the pantry or fridge that may need using up, create meals around these foods.
- Consider cooking a double batch and have the dinner for two nights instead of one, or freeze half for a future lazy night off.
- Gather inspiration from my meal plans I share.
- Complete your weekly meal planner with dinners you will cook.
- Get your grocery list together for the whole week and get stocked up.
READ MORE: My Weekly Meal Plans
BENEFITS OF MEAL PLANNING
There are so many benefits of meal planning. Yes, it helps you be more of an organised housewife, mother and superwoman – but it also simply saves you time, leaving you with more spare time for yourself, and I definitely know how precious every minute to me is! It also saves your money and helps you to stop wasting food, not to mention that it actually makes you cook healthier meals because you’re not tempted to order take away as a last minute resort. Here are more reasons to meal plan:
- You can cook in bulk and make nights easier for yourself
- Each family member can take turns and choose their favourite meal to be cooked to make things more fun
- Helps to lower your frustration when it comes to deciding what to cook each night and running around for ingredients
- You can reuse old meal plans and old shopping lists and already have weeks sorted, saving you more time and money
- They make busy afternoons easier on everyone
- You can get your kids to help you out and spend more time with them
- If you’re late at work, the family can help by getting the ingredients ready for you or even start the cooking process for you if they’re old enough to help
MY WEEKLY MEAL PLANS
As of next week, my weekly meal plans will be back which I hope will make things easier for you when it comes to meal inspirations. What I would like to know is whether you follow a normal diet, or if you and your family follow other diets like the Keto or Paleo diet, or even whether you’re a vegetarian or vegan, because I would like to provide meal plans to help all of my Organised Housewife community! Let me know in the comments below and check out one of my past weekly meal plans below.
READ MORE: Weekly Meal Plan #27