Welcome to Meal Plan Monday, our weekly feature where we talk all things Meal Plan. This week I’m handing over to Laura from Edinburgh Life with Kids!
I’ve always been a fan of Meal Planning. Through working out what we eat in advance, I’ve found that we save money and end up with a lot less food waste. It also takes away the hassle of thinking what to cook each day – everything is always there ready to go. By heading to the supermarket once a week (instead of everyday) I also save time and energy – which is always a bonus!
In the past, I’ve always sat down and planned the week ahead. Whilst this has generally worked for us, there has been the occasional hiccup. On weekends that have been unusually busy we’ve sometimes just not had the time. This has resulted in weeks that are just chaos.So we decided to try something a bit different:
Instead of working on a week by week basis, we decided to plan the entire month at once. Writing the shopping lists for each week in one go. I was tempted to also just book online food deliveries as well, but actually quite like the half hour I spend in the store each week. But all the planning was completed a month in advance.
To start with, I decided that each week needed a pattern. We would have a type of soup on Monday, salad on Tuesday, Stir fry Wednesday, and so on. I’m sure you get the idea! This gave me a really clear framework and I found it made thinking of what to eat easier.
The problem was – we got fed up with this pattern after two weeks. Mondays were just a bit rubbish!
I also switched focus to try an include more protein in my diet rather than just losing weight (I want to increase my muscle to fat ratio). When a neighbour loaned us the ‘Lean in 15’ book by Joe Wicks – it was time for a change!
We decided that the initial idea had been a good one. We had saved time in the previous weeks so simple re-jigged the next two weeks just using the one recipe book. For those familiar with the format of the book, it’s actually divided into two types of meals so provides variety. I know what days I go to the gym (and need carbohydrate meals) so this made planning a lot easier too.
We’ve enjoyed this approach greatly. We’ve eaten loads of new meals and tried new things – and not spent a great deal of time planning!
I had to work this past weekend but my shopping list had already been written. This has resulted in me feeling a lot less stressed about the week ahead as I haven’t really had to think about anything. My husband had a really clear shopping list – and thankfully, hasn’t diverted from it that much.
The downside I guess, is that it doesn’t really cater to whims. Last night, I really wanted to have a take out. Like really wanted one.
But we already had food in and this would’ve been a colossal waste. I suppose this could also be viewed as a good thing given that we didn’t then waste money on a take out. But I’d still quite like to have some crispy beef!
Overall, planning ahead has been successful. I think going ahead I’m more likely to plan two weeks ahead rather than four. But for people who know their routine, and have a good idea of what the month ahead holds. I’d really recommend this approach!
where to find me
edinburghwithkids.com – A Scottish Lifestyle & Parenting blog
Thanks so much Laura! We’ve tried the same meals for each day of the work but we got bored really easily too!
21 thoughts on “Meal Plan Monday: Edinburgh Life with Kids”
I try really hard to do a meal plan every week – even my kids are comforted knowing what is coming for dinner. Having said that, no way would I have had your resolve – it would have been take away even if there was food in the fridge! haha
I’d love to be able to plan that much in advance but sadly that’s probably just a bit too much for me. I’m glad it works for them x
I really admire you for planning so well ahead. I’m terrible at planning meals. Sometimes I’m good like this weekend and have meals planned out and others I’m constantly asking my hubby “what will we have for dinner”. We’re currently trying to eat the contents of our cupboard and freezer before we move but once we do and we’re settled I think I might try meal planning.
It’s definitely not for everyone but worth a try at least
We love meal planning now, sometimes it goes a little off key due to sickness like last week but most of the time i love to be prepared!
I really try to meal plan but I’m rubbish at sticking to it – I must get more organised 🙂
We meal plan but only generally week by week. Having said that, when my partner goes to the butcher to get meat he tends to buy for the month so we at least have an idea of what we will be eating throughout the next month as the meat is in the freezer ready! x
I’ve never done a meal
Plan and really I should, but I’m a tad guilty of loving to go to the supermarket every day, plus no two days are the same, especially as I work freelance. But to save money and good waste I really should try to plan ahead x
Shopping daily does help though if you’re only buying what you need
I used to really enjoy planning our meals each week, it’s something I have got out of the habit of I need to do one next food shop day!
It sometimes doesn’t work for us all the time either
I vaguely plan a week or so in meals when I do a food shop, and I bulk cook usually so the freezer is stocked up. I should really sit down and do it properly though, so that there is less waste! Good idea ??Kate x
It is great that you plan so many meals in advance and it really does cut down on costs and waste x
Meal planning is the way forward
Great meal plan! It would be amazing if you could link this up to #MealPlanningMonday
We meal plan every Friday night, and book our online delivery for Saturday mornings! We’ve saved so much money this way, and it saves the stress when it comes to cooking. Although if we decided to have takeout we just do it, we just carry the food over to the next week / day x
That’s a great idea for the food shopping
I think it’s great that you plan ahead. I think meal planning is something I should be getting more involved with x
It helps us so much
I need to plan meals this week. Hate thinking of what to eat everyday.
I’m not very good with planning ahead. Meal plans are a great idea for saving time and money, I should really start and write one 🙂