Welcome to Meal Plan Monday, our weekly feature where we talk all things Meal Plan. This week we have Hayley from Devon Mama writing about what works for her family!
I’ve never been the best at meal planning. My mum used to do it and in my head I linked it to constantly eating the same meals; week in, week out. I’d have a rough idea of what I wanted to eat for the week and buy things that I thought would cover me but that was about it.
When I moved in with my (now) husband we lived in the middle of a town so meal planning wasn’t necessary. It started our habit of just ‘popping to the shops’ on a daily basis. When we moved out of the town to a nearby village, it was almost worst, now we drive past the supermarket four times each day; to work, home for lunch, back to work and home again. It’s just too easy to whip in.
Recently however we’ve realised it’s a habit we need to kick. We’re wasting time, food and money. We end up with food we don’t need, a constant supply of chocolate and a never-ending rotting heap of veg in the depths of the fridge. I spent a lot of time putting off a meal plan because of my past experiences of it at home but I know I’d been tarring all plans with the same brush. My meal plan doesn’t need to be same-y and I love a list so it started to really appeal.
I put my first meal plan in a long time together last week and (I don’t want to sound too smug) it was a real success. Our shopping bill for the week went from £100+ down to just £35. Now, I know that’s not feasible in the long term, we don’t go out much so nice food is one thing that we don’t want to compromise on, but the first week was based on food we had in the cupboards and freezer. I did a quick list of what major meal components we had already and planned accordingly.
Last week our shopping bill was £60 for the week. We didn’t scrimp, there was plenty of meat, fresh veg and treats and every meal passed the husband test! I should qualify here that we don’t have to buy formula and we buy nappies in bulk from Aldi every couple of months, so that’s a cost we don’t really have to deal with. Having used up the majority of the freezer and cupboard, I’ve been getting my inspiration from other Meal Plan Monday posts, Pinterest and throwing in some old favourites along the way.
So is meal planning working for us? Yes! It’s given us structure, saved us lots of money already and forced me into a new routine. I actually enjoy routing around on the internet and in the cupboards for inspiration, running ideas past my husband and putting together a plan for the week. I get a huge satisfaction from getting to the end of the day and knowing what dinner is going to be rather than racing home from work and throwing something quick together, often something unhealthy. I get even more satisfaction from getting to a Wednesday night (I shop on a Thursday) and seeing the fridge practically empty! Is it something we’ll carry on with? Definitely!
Devon Mama is run by ; Hayley – a 30 year old mama, wife and recovering sleep addict. Living with my husband, baby and the world’s bounciest dog in rural Devon, I can usually be found attempting to cook, Googling everything and embracing the strange new world that is parenting. Add in a house with ‘a lot of potential’ and a return to my ‘real’ job as a Company Director and it’s organized chaos at the best of times.
You can follow our adventures here: